The predicted SW wind filled in early on Lake Megunticook today, and six iceboats showed up to sail on this, the last day, we thought, before major snow. The track and timing of the storm has been shifting. But today was full sun spring sailing with the warm SW wind twisting and swirling its way through the nooks and crannies of the lake. It was intimate sailing at its best. Chasing the shifts and puffs along shore, deep in a cove, getting wound up on that nice smooth patch next to the dock or between those two rocks. Then back out to the broads where the big wind blew, usually 8-10 with gusts.
The only major hazzard was an ice fisherman firing his gun. We all checked our sails for bullet holes. A little too much second amendment in our opinion.
A quiet lunch on Fernalds Neck was more to our liking.
Depending on the track of the storm this will either be white of remain grey for most of tomorrow. By Monday it will definitely be wiped out. Saturday and Sunday are a crap shoot. Any gamblers out there?
Advancing snow tomorrow will force a postponement. Three of the lakes we’ve been sailing are very close to the edge of the projected storm track, however. Should this one miss or merely dust us and we dodge to second blizzard on Sunday we’ll be in good shape. We’ll post an update Monday.
Stand by for spring sailing.
It just gets better and better. The wind forecast for today was not inspiring, to say the least. But what’s wrong with setting up boats on a glorious sunny day and pushing around chasing puffs while chatting with buddies. What wait: there’s wind. Buckets of it. With the entire lake recovered and locked in it was top to bottom touring. Chaney’s Narrows was solid for the first time this season. It was a bit rough in places, but there were also lovely sheets of smoothness that one can gybe across with silent runners. Lamb’s Folly is exceptionally smooth. The only hazzard observed were two drain holes in the passage between Crane Island and Fernald’s Neck.
There are a couple of boats still on the ice hoping to sail tomorrow. Saturday, the MIT Ice Boat Sailing Team will come to Lake Chickawaukee. We’ll set up marks and give them a regatta. All DN’s welcome to attend. Launch at the public beach at the south end.
The entire lake has recovered very nicely. No shell ice, pressure rides still navigable, and no drain holes. March, however is right around the corner so signs of spring are blossoming. Widening pools around rocks and shoals; lengthening leads at points and islands.
Another sign of a maturing plate are snowmobile ruts laid down on warm days of deep slush. But with enough wind and reckless abandon a well found boat bashes and crashes over them. The narrows are particularly bad, but with the fine wind today we managed to get through in style.
We made the pilgrimage to our old launch at Damariscotta Lake Farm. The ice heaving up along the shore would have required chain saws and axes to get access, so we all agreed that the Vannah Rd launch is very satisfactory. Out of the photo, stalled, is Paul Tropea from New York City. He drove up late yesterday for his first sail of the season. Way to go, Paul!
Tomorrow, Lake Megunticook offers better wind so we’ll de-camp to the Bog Bridge launch.
Our new web cam is out of commission, again. It was quite a shock to see all the white on the ice this morning when all signs pointed to a massive wet-out. Thankfully, Jeff Dick went to have a look this afternoon and sent these photos.
Looks nicely wet out, and the temps are dropping through he floor tonight and tomorrow. High winds tomorrow will keep us at home but by Wednesday it should be splendid. Bill Bunting reports that the north end has styrofoam swirls; sounds less than ideal but if we can make it up through the narrows we’ll find out for sure. Last time we were blocked by massive snowmobile ruts made in the previous slush event.
See you Wednesday!
We’ve moved the web cam to the south end. Check it out. The resolution is pretty good so you can zoom in to get a better look at the ice.
Bill Green caught up with the CIBC on Lake Megunticook a few weeks ago. Here’s a link to the episode.
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Available until Mar 21, 2019
Magnificent. That’s the only word that captures the feeling of pushing an iceboat to the limits in half a gale with snow scudding along the ice.
By the end of the day there was perhaps 80% ice showing, with what drifts were left becoming compacted. In the lighter air tomorrow, one could probably sail around them in the main body of the lake, but the coves are still snow packed.
In the lee with full sun; it was an absolutely stunning day. The sun is beginning to show its strength. Spring sailing is right around the corner.
Boats are off the ice awaiting the next recovery.
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