Messalonskee photos

The launch is seven miles north of the turn off Rt. 27 at Steve’s Appliances. Can’t miss it.

White patches are hard.

Lake is 12 x 1.5 miles. NE wind Monday will be blowing right down the lake. Marks will be 11.5 miles apart.

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Sailing ON!

With all the possible maybe lakes we’ve been hearing about and checking, Jim Gagnon discovered Messolonski Lake, in Sydney, is in decent shape and ready to go. Some hard snow patches here and there, but also large areas of nice ice. There’s a bit of thin standing water which we hope will evaporate in the strong, dry NW wind today. Moderate winds tomorrow and Monday, but different directions both days, which makes it fun.

Launch at the public ramp. It’s thick and tight to the shore for rolling trailers onto the ice; best not to drive on. Launch is on Hosta Lane, just off Rt.23 about halfway up the lake on the east side. Photos to follow when Jim comes in from the ice!

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The Birches

If you need a bit of beauty and awe this holiday season, take a deep breath of this:

The Birches Webcam | Moosehead Lake lodging | Maine | lodging | lakeside cabins | Maine vacation

Just flashed in the past twenty-four hours. Just thought you’d like to know…

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No Ice

After a frantic day of calling around, checking web cams, and Jim Gagnon driving all over Hellen Gone we have nothing to offer. South Twin did not blow clear. In addition, it took a hit from the big rain last weekend. The west branch of the Penobscot river dumps right into the five lakes. Messalonski was reported this morning to have frozen over the night, but the wind today beat it up badly. Damariscotta is a miserable combination of open water, slush and thin ice.
Our ace in the hole Lac Abenakis got more snow than planned, and it packed down hard with the wind.

So all we have to offer today is this inspirational photo. Keep your gear up to date and in good shape. Be sure your clothing is warm and that keep your knickers cinched.


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Imminent Sailing

First, tip of the helmet to the CIBC officers for picking up the slack in ice reports while the usual guy was in Wisconsin chasing DNs around a couple of big day-glo marks. Marks, by the way, that we’ll be seeing a lot more of at CIBC events this season.

We’re watching two lakes very carefully: Pushaw and South Twin. Pushaw seems to have recovered somewhat from the deluge unleashed upon it a few days ago. Two inches of rain reduced the thickness by half and opened up a wide moat. But it’s looking better today, and with low overnight temps should be in good shape soon. Sadly, there is snow coming late tomorrow and the edge of the flakes is close. We’ll have a good on-the-ice report tomorrow so we’ll at the very least know what’s under the snow.

It measures out at a solid three inches:

As soon as it gets light in the morning have a look at the web cam at South Twin Lake in Millinockett. The lake looks great in the morning light, but I think this plate would look good in any light. Millinockett appears to fall on the clear side of the snowy front crabbing its way across Maine late tomorrow and early Wednesday.

Either way, there is no wind forecast for tomorrow or Wednesday. Thursday and Friday look spectacular, so the plan now is wait and see what the snow hits and then make the call for sailing on Thursday and hopefully into the weekend.

Lastly, kudos to Denis for sneaking in a ball-busting high wind blast on Lac Abenakis today. He reports that he won every race of the day.

Note the storm sail and the boom half-way in a whip. Way to go Denis! That sail, by the way, is a Henry Bossett design and gives a nice combination of power in the narrows and flatness when flat out.

Posted in 2019 Season

Sabattus Lake, Friday the 13th

      Wednesday afternoon the news started to flow via text messaging and email at about 1230. Lee was in the vicinity of Sabattus lake and said he “had to check it” he said it was looking good. The next day even though other skaters failed to arrive, Lee went skating solo on the “friggin” awesome ice” and found melt holes solid, and everything groovy.
       Jim was able to post the good news on this site, and we communicated that we would arrive at the site early, as the wind forecast earlier was best. I had no Thursday night date so early to bed for me with hopes of getting to the lake by 0800. Indeed I made it to the boat launch by 0800, and all looked as advertised. Soon Jim arrived and we were both setting up when our miniskeeter contingent arrived. Soon there were five of use all set up and digging the semi-adequate wind reaching across the lake. We went back to the launch after an hour or so, adjusted gear, snacked a bit and headed back out. Sailed all over the lake hitting semi-iceboat speeds on that black ice for another hour or so, then back to the launch site for snack, fix, adjust, lunch. Some sailors from MA had arrived and they were completing their setup as we went out for another cruise. We sailed the length of the lake, stopped and talked to some ice fisherman, then decided to line the boats up for a photo, and then wasted a bit more time. When we started to sail back to the launch site the wind had died. There was just enough for me to push, jump in, push, jump in a half dozen times before I just decided to walk and push the boat, and shed a bit of outerwear. 
       We all made it back after walking much of the length, finding that the sailors from MA did get a bit of sailing in, though not legendary. We all packed up and were off the ice driving down the road before dark. I am doing my best to write a readable synopsis, and wish that I were more able to recall names to include. Cheers all, as I sit here typing I hear medium strength rain on my roof.
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7 boats showed up at the launch and sailed on the morning breeze. Lee Spiller, Dave Fortier, Jim Gagnon, Bob MacEwen, Bill Grenier and two others enjoyed easy sailing in 6 knot winds on smooth ice. The boats glided effortlessly. We stopped for lunch, then after, we went out for one last run down the lake only to lose the wind suddenly which made for slow sailing and walking back to the pits. We were all loaded up by 3 and on the road. Everyone agreed it was a good day.

Rain and warm temps in the forecast leave us with a ? as to when and where our next adventure will occur.

Posted in 2019 Season