Pushaw Lake ON

Pushaw has recovered from the weather scattershot of the previous week. Bob and Carl skated it yesterday and today, top to bottom and crossed the lake three times. Bob reports that the surface is wind whipped in places; enough to irritate a skater but not a hungry iceboater. Best ice is in the north end, above Twin Islands. There are three depressed pressure ridges which need to be located, checked and marked. Goulds Landing is in fine shape, no issues there.

No other hazzards were seen. Ice is about 5″, very hard, and growing. Bring sharp runners. The wind forecast for tomorrow is about what it was today, which is nil. Friday looks fabulous, as does the weekend and into next week. Boats will be setting up at Goulds Landing Friday morning for checking, scouting, marking, racing, sailing, eating, socializing, welcoming new sailors, and everything else we do when turned loose on great ice for the first time. Hope to see you there.

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First Sail in Maine

Maces Pond, Rockport, has been frozen ever since the first cold snap a few weeks ago. Ice fishermen were drilling holes on it last weekend. But other local ice was coming and going, rotting and growing. It finally dawned on me to actually go have a look at it this morning. Found 3” of hard slush ice. Jory came a bit later and scouted the entire plate; might have taken him all of ten minutes. He went straight to Lloyd’s, helped him load the Cheapskate and scooted home for his boat.

The wind was on again-off again, but it felt great to play the shifts and get rewarded with that old friend Acceleration. The surface was excellent. The pond might be 1/4 mile by 100 yards, but in a breeze a handful of boats could have lots of fun.
Next possibility is next Wednesday, if the ice survives the coming rain. It’s been through hell already so maybe it’s made of something special. As they always say, it’s in the water.

The first boats on the ice prize couldn’t go to a more deserving pair. Congratulations gentlemen!

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Alaska Earthquake Rocks Ice

A couple of guys have been sailing Lake Lucille near Anchorage for a couple of weeks now. Unfortunately the recent level seven earthquake not only damaged the roads leading to the lake, but the ice itself is no longer reliable. Of all the elements that threaten the existence of a fine sweet plate we now need to add earthquakes? Can you imagine what an under-ice tsunami would look like?

If you can, have a look at these photos on the big screen. Here in Maine we have one little snowcapped peak that can be seen from parts of Moosehead and all of South Twin. Wonderful as that is, this scenery is mindblowing.

Nothing much happening icewise around here. Pushaw is still locked in but has drain hole through slush ice and not enough deep cold in site to heal it. If conditions hold for the ISA next weekend in Battle Lake I say the entire club leases a semi, loads boats and goes.

Thanks to Roger Burleigh for sending the photos. He reports that everyone is shaken, but not stirred…

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More Minnesota Ice

Yesterday these free skaters were ripping it up on Lake Winnebago. Apparently Minnesota is teeming with sailable ice right now. Winnebago is like a blend of Winnipeasaukee and Sebago but freezes earlier.

There’s no snow in the forecast there, so just head west on I-80 and hang a right at Chicago. Thanks to Will Tuthill for sending this in.

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The 2018 ISA, in postponement since last winter, has been tentatively called ON for next weekend December 6,7,8 at Battle Lake MN. This was the site of the previous ISA and is a terrific venue. Stand by for confirmation. We really should send an East Coast contingent!

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Plymouth Pond Today

At Plymouth now…noon on Saturday. Ice is tight to the shore with no obvious open water. Surface is horrible. 70% snow covered and windblown. In the good spots near the launch site there is 2 plus inches of hard ice covered by another 1 plus inches of crudy snow ice. Some patches are slushy (saturated) and sketchy. My guess…it will survive the warm front and smooth out. Will need to setup/heal for a couple of days afterwards.

Thanks to Kitewinger Scott Carlson for checking this out today.

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Maine Ice

Just to keep the juices flowing, here’s a shot of the narrows on Damariscotta Lake, looking north.

The ice is about 3/4”, and was strong enough to withstand the gusts of wind which caused it to heave up and down, crackling in the pebbles and bullrushes alongshore. The main body of the lake is still open. This might not survive the warm front moving through Sunday through Tuesday, but what that front might do is give Plymouth Pond a surface. It hasn’t been checked since before this deep cold snap but it’s bound to be a few inches by now.
Anyone close by there willing to go have a look?

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