Chill Time

text and photographs by Bill Buchholtz

With all our ice under snow throughout the east, we have time to reflect, catch our breath and sharpen runners. One of the great joys of this sport is finding the ice, but you never really know what to expect until you get there. Bob Lombardo sent this photo from last Monday as he and Karl approached Schoodic Lake, north of Milo, for a little skating. This is what quickens the pulse, sets the butterflies loose, sends warm blood to the extremities: rounding the last turn or cresting the hill for the first look at the object of your devotion.

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All that ice peeling off into the distance. It’s what you see from Indian Hill in Greenville. After hours of trees and small towns the road rolls over the top and there’s Mooshead, offering ice to the horizon. All the favorite lakes share this kind of approach, even Chickawaukee from the downhill on Rt.17.

So, yes, it’s only been a few days since the end of time, but the best of the season is yet to come. We’ll probably hear from southern New England or New Jersey first. There might be a regatta at Red Bank soon. If you have any interest in iceboat history then make a point of showing up there and having a drink at the yacht club after the race. North Shrewsbury, NJ Ice Yacht Club.

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The Chickawaukee Ice Boat Club was founded in the early sixties by Warner St. Clair and Paul Wolter to promote the building, racing and cruising of iceboats by. Lloyd Roberts entered the scene in the eighties and has been a driving force in the club ever since, co-authoring with St. Clair the definitive DN manual “Think Ice”. Building and racing DN’s were originally what the club was about. We built our boats and trophies, organized regattas, and sent the best sailors to regional and nation races. We still run a few regattas each season, but cruising and touring have become the dominante activity. We offer prizes for one hundred miles sailed in one day, and for exceeding sixty miles per hour.