Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. So says the ancient mariner. It might as well have been the ancient Mainer. Many of the critical lakes have wetted out beautifully. Moosehead and South Twin still are snow but Jordan Bay, Damariscotta, Chickie, Megunticook and possibly Great Pond (still waiting for intel). But the forecast is borderline for all of the above, punctuated with snow on Sunday. Temps and wind are maybe ok, but nothing in the bag.

Frank and Denis are sailing Lac St. Francois tomorrow based on local knowledge, not eyeballs on the ice. We will await their report. While we wait we’ll check Damariscotta Lake in the morning for access and recovery and report here what we find.

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A New Life for an Old Boat

Lance Bennet always wanted a bubble boat to add to his fleet, so when Pete Rochelle’s old A Skeeter came along he decided to cut it down into a more manageable C Skeeter size. The plank went from 22′ to 16′, the mast from 26′ to 20′, and the fuselage lost a few feet from the stern and the rear deck was re-shaped.

Here he’s framing up the new aft deck. The idea was to remove as much material as possible to reduce the weight and windage. The loads on the smaller C are nothing like what the A’s experience. The whole project revolved around the desire to be inside the canopy, warm and out of the wind. They are very precious, and difficult to build, so Lance carefully set it well aside where it would be safe. He didn’t notice the bundle of DN masts directly overhead secured to the rafters with some thin string. Yes, the string broke, and yes, the masts destroyed the canopy. Undeterred, Lance soldiered on and got the boat back on the ice just last month.

He reports she sails beautifully. We look forward to swapping tacks someday soon on a lake not too far away.

Ice is wetting out nicely around here, and if we get the predicted cold there could be sailing again on Friday and Saturday.

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Damariscotta Lake Web Cam is Back

damar.jpg 2,400×1,348 pixels

Thanks to Court Dwyer for hosting it for us and Ryan Haskell for the installation. Let’s all enjoy watching the snow melt this week as temps soar…

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Megunticook Today, 2/17

All we do here is report the facts; just the facts, ma’am. If the wind forecast isn’t so great you’ll hear it here. How could we have known that today on Megunticook wold defy the odds again and give us all the wind we wanted, first from the NW, then after a lunch break out of the SW. A solid 10kt all day. And without meaning to twist the knife in the wound, the plate graded out at a solid 9.

Only downside to the day was when one of us got into the thick of an icefishing pop-up field. The guy was definitely not happy and proceeded to drill a long series of holes halfway across the Northwest Passage, making a barrier to his field. It was obvious what he was trying to say, so we stopped to apologize. He vented, but hopefully it helped. Needless to say, give all pop-ups a wide berth, and if you do happen to hit one stop immediately and pay up. We don’t want those guys on our bad side.

Doesn’t look good as far as the forecast extends. Long term trends do say that we’ll have another arctic blast in early March. We’ll be ready! Thanks for the photo Paul Minor, new skipper of Icywood.

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Megunticook Tommorow

There appears to be a slim window opening for us as the temps drop to the teens and chills the wet-out surface, just as the wind begins to die. Looks like the earlier the better. Wind shifting to south after lunch could bring fun, who knows?
Plate is tight to the ramp, 16″ thick, launch at Bog Bridge. Not much joy in the forecast in the coming week unless some of the big inland lakes begin to wet out. Long term forecast offers a return to deep cold in March.

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Cool Iceboat For Sale

This is a Dolphin class C skeeter, one of fleet built in New Jersey in the 80’s. This one has had very good care over the years. The AwlGrip paint is in excellent condition. Mast 20′, plank 16′, hull and springboard 20′.

Aluminum Super Chocks, 5/16″ spring steel runners, original sail and new Bossett sail, foot and wheel steering. Travel covers for mast, boom, plank and fuselage. On-ice cover for fuselage. On trailer ready to go. Runners freshly sharpened and aligned.

Located in Maine. $2800.oo firm. Call Bill @207-975-6980.

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Lake Chickawaukee 2/13

Dead silent running grade ten ice covers at least fifty percent of the plate, punctuated by some ripply stuff, with two windrows of styrofoam crossing the lake about a third of the way down from Heron Beach.

Predicted SW winds blowing right up the lake promise spirited sailing tomorrow. Remember what Leo says: in light air know your boat (congrats today, Mr. Gagnon), in heavy air know the rules. Please keep in mind temps above freezing will soften Lloyd’s lawn, over which we drive, so plan your arrivals and departures accordingly.

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