Moosehead Lake Ice Report

Bob Lombardo skated from The Birches over to Farm Island, down to Kineo and then up to the north end. He reports an interesting ice sandwich. The top 6-8″ is hard black ice, as you can see in this video. Then he hit a layer of softer, wet ice and the hole slowly filled with water. He’s sure he was no where close to getting through the entire thickness.

Moosehead Spring Ice

We surmise it was all soft, but in the recent cold it’s freezing from the top down. Good enough for an iceboat.

There’s some styrofoam along shore, but the plate it tight to the beach and might even be drivable. Bob found the best ice out in the middle of the lake and he says he felt very small out there.
We have permission to launch at The Birches, and they are open for accommodations but we missed the bar and restaurant by a week. Kelly’s Landing in Greenville Junction is open and has both rooms and food, but the ice at the south end of the lake is not as good, so if we go the launch will be The Birches.

But there is a weather maker moving through Thursday. It’s bringing rain, and there’s a chance it will change to snow at some point as we begin the decent into colder temps over the weekend. So we know we have ice, we know we can get a drink at Kelly’s, and we know folks want to come sailing over the weekend. Winds seem on the lighter side at this point.

Hopefully we’ll know something conclusive late Thursday and will post an update here. If we get the go-ahead, all three days look great.

Tip of the hemet to Bob Lombardo, who hauled his skating gear out of summer storage to check this ice for us!

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Moosehead Right Now

Thirty degrees, smooth, hard surface, probably very thick. Appears tight to the shore. Just thought you’d like to know…

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Maine Ice Boating History

Sabattus Pond has been on the iceboating radar for many years, but up on the other side of the nearby city of Auburn is Lake Auburn. There’s nothing in the CIBC history about this lake, but according to the article below it was well sailed at one point. Are those big stern steerers still hanging from the rafters of lakeside barns?

Polish your reading glasses, enlarge the text if you can, it’s a good read.

The CIBC Spring Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, May 2, overlooking Damariscotta Lake at Camp Kieve. The plan is to have the meeting and pot luck on the deck, as we did last fall. Considering that most iceboaters, with a few notable exceptions, are old, we can assume that we’ll all be vaccinated by then. It doesn’t mean that we can totally cut loose, but it should make for a more relaxed event. Meeting at 11:00, lunch to follow. Talking and thinking ice till closing.

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Landsailing Regatta at Loring

Forgive to interruption to the ice reports; the ice is barely out, but there has been big interest in a spring regatta in addition to the one scheduled for September. Most of the folks from last time are planning to return, as well as more BloKarts. Here’s a teaser video from last September: It’s a dial up flying start to a downwind first leg.


Thursday, May 13- Sunday May 16 at Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, Maine.

Loring AFB is a closed base with two 2mi long runways that are 300’ wide with many taxi ways between the runways as well as several outpost taxi areas that are sailable, including a large pad area suitable for large fleet starts. It is likely the best asphalt land sailing location on the East Coast of the US. Our leasing of the facility for the weekend includes usage of a large hangar that we can store all the boats in with our masts and sails up! There are also restrooms nearby in a separate building.

Free sailing, tuning and touring Thursday, racing Fri-Sat-Sun. Combination of short courses and the 7 mile full tour long course. Starts to be dail-up or standing depending on wind. Bring a stop watch. Racing shall be governed by the NIA iceboat racing rules, as well as some that are specific to the BloKarts, below:

ibra_rules_edition_7_final- 2019.pdf

Two classes: Blokart one design and Unlimited. Awards presented for first three places in both classes. Depending on number of boats, classes will be run separately or together.


Bunker Inn, on the base, $50.oo/ night land sailor special. Breakfasts included with regatta registration. THE BUNKER INN – Loring › thebunkerinn

Caribou Inn. 25 minutes from the base, a bit pricier but has a restaurant and bar.Greenhouse Restaurant – Caribou Inn & Convention › greenhouse-restaurant

Registration: $40.oo
With the Bunker Breakfast (three mornings) $60.oo

Hopefully most of us will have been vaccinated by this time. If you came and are not, please be prepared to abide by those Covid protocols with which we are all now so familiar.

Please share this announcement around, and hope to see you on the asphalt!

Send in your registration $$ the old fashioned way:

Bill Buchholz
31 Gosses Hill Rd.
Camden, ME 04843

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Baikal Sailing Week

While there’s no mention of this week’s regatta on either the Baikal Ice Sailing or the IDNIYRA sites, the BBC and CIBC are right on it:

There are a few videos showing up from most of the British press. Why the BBC presented it in their business segment is just one of those mysteries that Russia is so adept at creating. It appears from the sail numbers that a few Dutch and Germans made the trip. Considering our conditions, it wouldn’t be a bad pace to be right now.

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