photo credit

Very important to credit our photographer today: Jackie Mushinski! Many thanks.

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Presidents Day Cup

In honor of the holiday and past presidents, the NEIYA inaugurated The Presidents Day Cup and held it at Quabog Pond today. The hard core of eastern DN racing showed up, with a few notable exceptions, and seven races were run. Secretary Karen Binder did an excellent job of organizing and running the event. There were a handful of cruisers as well, who took their laps while the DN fleet rested between races. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to share such a small plate of ice with both groups. Happily, this is usually how it works out.

Here’s a perfect example. The Pocket Skeeter is flanked by a pair of racing DN’s. For the DN’s he becomes an element in the course, no more no less. He or she sees you, you see them, and you maneuver accordingly.

Breaking down at the end of the day. There are still a few boats on the ice planning to sail tomorrow. The ice is just about perfect, and probably safe to say the best known ice in the USA.

Stand by for race results.

Light snow here in Maine this morning didn’t do too much damage. Still hoping for rain Tuesday and cold soon thereafter.

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Quabog ON

This just in from bob:

7 boats sailed today, light winds in morning, good wind after 11: 30. Good hard ice, 5.25 inches and below freezing all day and tonight.
Wind tomorrow 10 plus. Hazards are marked, putting in on right side of parking lot. My boat is there and will stay till Monday afternoon.
Someone asked what I would rate it, only ice is always a 10, its the only ice we have. Hope to see you tomorrow. Bob S

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Close Yesterday

With just another few degrees of cold Tuesday night we’d of had a wonderful surface on Dammy. The ruts were filled in and the ice was thick but the wet shell was still to fragile to sail on. Unless you are a 100# boy with a mini DN.

Our mentoree Milo had his maiden sail in his new boat in a shifty gusty breeze. The shell would speak back to him but it held. He said it didn’t sound good, but found the speed intoxicating. We went through a set up and take down with an active geriatric peanut gallery offering advise, so now he’s ready for the big time. An adult took the boat for a spin (like taking candy from a babe) but the ice wouldn’t put up with it and sent him tip-toeing back to the pits where Milo was waiting.
Then he was gone:

Nice surface, n’est pas?

And speaking if ice, take a minute and a deep breadth, turn off all sound making things and give a deep listen to this:

Icy Winter Soundscape

Bob Lombardo made this and gives the context:
2/4/20 Long Pond MDI. Temp at 6am was about 28F and by the time the recording was made perhaps 10am with sun shining bright fractures were traveling from west shore over to east shore. Ice was black, about 1 week old and 3-4″ thick.

Lastly, congratulations to everyone who went to Sweden for the Gold Cup. That regatta is now in the books and the European Champs are coming right up. Check for T’s excellent coverage and photos. Meanwhile everything is snowed under with deep cold coming. That means you can give your loved ones your full attention tomorrow, without one eye on the weather forecast! Happy Valentines Day!

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Long Odds Tomorrow

Damariscotta is almost there, but temps tonight don’t appear to be cold enough to finish the job. There’s some wet shell and standing water, and about an inch of softer ice in places. But the launch it still tight and there is twelve inches of lovely black ice under this marginal surface.

That said, a couple of us will give it a shot in the morning. Worse thing is we pop around for a cup of coffee at the new bakery and get home in time for lunch.

On another subject, the Boston Science Museum has contracted with Cosmic Productions to do a forty-five minute Imax film about winter in New England. They’d like us to provide iceboats and sailors for a day of filming whenever the conditions are good. More on that later, but be prepared for some choreography: this will be fun! And just imagine the power and drama of iceboating on the big Imax screen.

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Iceboating Kids

High schooler Milo Stanley caused quite a stir some years ago when he showed up at Dammy with his home made iceboat. He arrived late, well after the fleet had headed down through the narrows to Muscongus Bay. But he found his way down, his boat held together, and he was the hero of the day.

Now we have eighth grader Milo Fleming following in his ice steps. One of the most remarkable traits of this Milo is his navigation ability. Most people, on their first sail on Damariscotta or Megunticook get hopelessly disoriented by all the crooks and turns. But he knew right where he was all the time.

We’ve seen Bella Langley on the ice ever since she showed up at Long Pond some years ago in a BDX Ice Stroller. If I remember, it was her second or third birthday and Brian was passing out the cake. Time flies when you’re having fun, or old, (hopefully they are one in the same) and now we see Bella in her own boat, ripping it up on Winnipesaukee a few weeks ago. Note how relaxed she looks, and how she hauls that sheet. Give her more blocks, Brian!

Some wetting out is happening along the immediate coast at the tail end of this storm. The power is out in many places but by the morning we should know if there is good ice.

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Last Day Before The Snow

Not that we have anything against Snow. My pal and I spent some time on the ice today discussing our needs and wants. We both agreed that it’s a matter of life and death for both of us.

He’s been hanging out in the same place down the river for a few weeks now and loves watching us sail by. But he’s nervous about all the weight he’s lost and is looking forward to the next two days. We are forecast to get some snow.

But we sailed the entire lake yet again top to bottom. Pressure ridges have formed across the South Broads (2) and one across the bay leading to the river. All were successfully crossed.

Steve and James Lamb were up from Mass, the usual gang of local Whizz and Mini Skeeters, Wolfie, and a gaggle of Lockley Skimmers rounded out the fleet. One of the Skimmers was very ably sailed by Milo Fleming, a thirteen year old new to the sport. It was his second time out ever, and he drove that perception of pipe all over the place. When you see a kid hiking a Lockley and then hauling in the sheet as soon as it touches down you know he’s got it. Great job Milo, and we look forward to seeing more of you on the ice. Sorry about making you sail up the Narrows through all that crud, but you did it!

Unless we get very lucky, it’s bye bye to ice for a while. So take advantage of the brake and be sure your boat is tuned up and ready to go for the next round. There’s a chance some ice will turn up this weekend for the Doc Fellows Regatta. Stand by for updates. Speaking of which, the ISA has been postponed yet again. Good new for those who are out of the country and looking forward to the regatta,

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