CIBC Spring Meeting Minutes

Thanks to new secretary Curtis Rindlaub, C Skeeter INDIGO, for putting together these minutes. Enjoy!

Chickawaukee Ice Boat Club Spring meeting April 14, 2018 Damariscotta Lake Farm Inn Minutes by Curtis Rindlaub, secretary
President Bill Buchholz summarized the season as “catch-as-catch-can” and “day-by- day,” with plenty of ice for those willing to go find it. The first day of sailing was November 17th, on Lac St. Joli, Quebec, making the season a day or two shy of six- months long. The club’s concern in the late summer and fall about Damariscotta Lake access was assuaged by successful launches from the beach instead of the ramp and from the Vannah Road boat launch. It seems these options will keep the club on the ice without the need for contemplating the purchase of some access point.
A review of safety concerns and incidents this winter re-emphasized the need to never sail alone and for each iceboater to take it upon him or herself to ask about all hazards “known and unknown” before setting sail. We discussed the unfortunate incident of Breck Holladay sailing his Nite into open water of The Fangs on Lake Megunticook and suffering fractured ribs and fractured boat. He appeared to have been sailing with Chris Biggert in a DN. Chris had turned to sail to the pits while Breck continued on toward the danger. Clearly, Breck was not aware of the hazard. And while there were many iceboats on the lake that day, if Chris and Breck were sailing together as partners, which they may not have been, Chris’s return to the pits left Breck sailing without another set of eyes. Discussion ensued about whether forming formal “buddies” to sail together, rather that informal groups or packs that just happen to be sailing near each other, would lead to greater safety, and whether this is practical. Lloyd recounted once wanting to sail across Sebago Lake. Lacking a buddy, he spied a lone iceboater and suggested they do it together. When they got to the other side and turned around, Lloyd could not make out any landmarks that indicated the location of the pits. When he asked his buddy if he knew where they came from, the buddy said, “How should I know? I’m legally blind.”
Jory Squibb then lightened the mood with an outstanding poem about ice grading, culminating in a shared sentiment: when it is really good, there is no number good enough to describe it. A short discussion on the one-to-ten ice-grading system followed.
As for club business, after many, many years, Lloyd Roberts is retiring as club secretary and Curtis Rindlaub is taking over and will try to fill his boots. The Warner St. Clair Trophy was presented to Lloyd for all he has done to foster not only the club but also the sport of iceboating. Many club members present attested that they would not be iceboaters had it not been for Lloyd’s encouragement and guidance. Jim Gagnon, club treasurer, reported steady sales of Think Ice, a balance of $3,073, and a membership in 2018 of 88, with 14 of them new members.
Think Ice, Lloyd’s seminal book on iceboating, has been revised once. The club discussed and seems in agreement that it would be wonderful to update it and republish it if possible. Curtis has been able to open digital files of the original, Bill has begun somerewriting, and Jim reports that there are only two cases of 48 each, plus a handful, of the last edition left. Both Jim and Bill have been trying to get those cases sent back to CIBC from the Midwest so the club can continue to get them in the hands of iceboaters. It was agreed that the printed newsletter is very much appreciated by club members, particularly for the club roster and Lloyd’s great articles. Curtis agrees to try to continue the tradition.
The meeting concluded with another of Jory’s poems and a wonderful potluck spread. Thanks to all who attended.

Posted in 2018 Season

Iceboat Project: Free

As they say, it might be free, but it aint gonna be cheap. This old Yankee is resting in Rochester, New Hampsire.

Plank, masts, chocks, runners, no springboard, no sail.

Contact Paul Denero: 603-770-3310

Posted in 2018 Season

NASA Ponders Drain Holes

Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 8:56 – When NASA scientists come across something they say they’ve never seen before, it’s usually quite something.

Last month, NASA’s Operation IceBridge, the agency’s annual flyover survey mission of Earth’s polar regions, came across a series of unexplained holes in the ice of the Beaufort Sea, around 50 miles away from the mouth of the Mackenzie River.

The photo, below, was shot by mission scientist John Sontag while flying over in a P-3 aircraft.

“We saw these sorta-circular features only for a few minutes today,” Sonntag wrote, according to NASA Earth Observatory. “I don’t recall seeing this sort of thing elsewhere.”

After first posting the picture in April, NASA says they have some ideas as to what actually caused the holes, but the agency says it has no definitive answer.


One thing that is certain is the fact the ice in the area is likely new growth, making it thinner and easier to punch through. But as for what caused the holes, that is less easy to explain, though NASA has a few theories.

One possibility is that the holes were made by seals, potentially as surfacing and breathing holes for use while hunting under the ice, and NASA says they appear similar to holes caused by ring or harp seals.

“The encircling features may be due to waves of water washing out over the snow and ice when the seals surface,” Walt Meier, a scientist at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, told NASA. “Or it could be a sort of drainage feature that results from when the hole is made in the ice.”

Another option: Underwater convection.

“This is in pretty shallow water generally, so there is every chance this is just ‘warm springs’ or seeps of ground water flowing from the mountains inland that make their presence known in this particular area,” University of Maryland claciologist Chris Shuman, who works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, explains.

Posted in 2018 Season

Furry Fat Lady Sings Encore

She sings it in French just so Frank and Denis will understand. There’s also a bit of confusion in the eyes of the furry soprano because there’s supposed to be a shadow somewhere that will indicate if spring has indeed sprung,

They got just a tad more cold on Saturday night than Moosehead had, with a tad drier surface. Bravo, boys! Last sail of 2018 on April 22.

Posted in 2018 Season

She’s Sung

No one has accused the CIBC of not pushing conditions right to the limit. We’ve had some fabulous sails over the years on super marginal conditions. But today the limit pushed back. The plate took a hit from the sun yesterday and we didn’t get the cold we needed last night to firm it up. Fortier, Gagnon and myself plowed upwind through deep slush hoping to find some better ice. A few miles north of the pits, approaching Sugar Island, shades of grey did appear. In these hard spots the boat would accelerate, letting us head up higher until the slush hit again and we’d have to bear off a bit to maintain speed. A great game.

One of the hard spots. As long as you tacked on these you’d carry speed through the tack. It never would have happened without the 12-15kt. breeze.

I really need to apologize to Rick Bishop and his gang for failing to mention the importance of slush runners at this time of year. The plate was hard when checked yesterday morning, but things change quickly when it’s almost to May. They made the drive up from Cape Cod yesterday, got the boats nearly set up this morning when it became obvious their plates would work, and they probably made it home for dinner. Slush runners and storm sails are two of the most overlooked and forgotten bits of equipment that can usually mean the difference between sailing and going home. Call Steve Duhamel: buy the nicely shaped stainless angles. Make slush runners. Sailing slush is fun!

The run back down was more water sailing than ice. The boat would get airborne out off one slush pit and make a very soft landing in the next, feeling like soft water waves in a motorboat. There were a couple of very deep ones, but as long as the boat was going fast she’d pull right out in a fountain of ice balls. Dave Fortier, of all people, was caught going too slow and was swallowed up to the fuselage in one of them. Jim and I took a deep breath and actually sailed back out into the stuff to help him.

No regrets today, we had over two hours of very dramatic sailing, but this is SO what done looks like. There was no chance for tomorrow. Doug Raymond and Bryce showed up, but the Cheapskates’s runners finally net their match, and Doug was in a cautious mood. One of the guys from Mass was running a drone as we came blasting downwind and I hope he got some footage. I’ve never seen a slush sailing video, and today would easily qualify as the most extreme ever. As Lloyd always said, there’s no shame in pushing your boat nearly to the point of destruction on the last day of the season. I wonder if he feels that way even though it was with his old boat today!

It’s been a challenging winter, as we all know, and a long one. Our first sail was November 17, and today is April 21: six months of watching the forecast for countess lakes, calling spies and scanning web cams. We didn’t get in quite a few regattas, and even the mighty ISA didn’t happen. Well, not yet anyway. They are big on postponement; is has been postponed until November. Which is a great way to approach the off season: a mere six month postponement. So sharpen and oil the runners, take the sail to the sail maker and endure his abuse for for bringing him iceboat sails in May. They’ll never understand. Most importantly, it’s the start of the iceboat building season. Start now. Be ready. It’s only a short postponement.

Posted in 2018 Season | 1 Comment

Moosehead Ice

It ain’t pretty, but it’ll get ‘er done, as Dave says.

Up close, there’s a thin layer of fresh snow in places but the sun will be working hard on that all day. Will be interesting to see how it turns out by morning.

Sunday morning might be pretty good as well, given the cold temps forecast for Saturday night. Bring a tooth brush just in case! Kelly’s has rooms. Set up at 9:00 or earlier, Kelly’s Landing, Greenville Junction.

Posted in 2018 Season

Maine State Championship 2018

I have just received a call from Bill, and the report is that there is ice. With Bill’s experience, and measurements of the ice condition we are scheduling the Maine State Championship for Saturday. Bill has checked the North and South end, and the ice in Greenville is the best. It is even forecast to be a bit colder tonight and tomorrow so that is a good thing. Bill said the ice surface seems to be much as it was on Lake Memphremagog a few weeks back. Most everyone was sailing well with plates, and I sailed with angles on the third day and those worked quite well.  We think that racers should attempt to arrive at or before 0900 so we will have the best chance to get er done.

Dave US4690

Posted in 2018 Season