Long Pond MDI, No Foolin’

text and photographs by Bill Buchholtz

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What magic there is in the beauty of a distant unknown lake. The five of us today had never been on Long Pond MDI before, so the vistas were fresh and awesome. There are three arms to this lake. The launch is at the top of one, another one parallels this a bit to the west, and there is the bottom. This is where the action is. All three connect at a large bay where the wind takes a deep breath and howls down into the bottom arm, it velocity doubled by the two cliffs on each side. Sailing deep and fast through the pass, looking up at the mountains, just wondering how your life could be so perfect when the ice runs out and you need to pay the piper. Back hard on the wind, pinching to spill gusts and bring down the hikes.

Back in the arm leading to the pits the wind was a bit more challenging as it tumbled over the tall trees alongshore. It was a challenge getting downwind through there at first, as the wind was a bit lighter in the morning. We had two novice sailors, Dave Godin and Bill Wiegmann, who managed to master the art of light air downwind sailing. They both made the trip twice. Well Done, Gents!

Unlike Damariscotta and Sebago, this ice was perfectly smooth. There was one frozen ATV track made when it was slush, but aside from that it was flat, which is why they call it “sailing flat out”. Curtis and I found a pair of coves that might have suggested breasts from the air and we soared from one to the other, cutting fast figure eights with Indigo and Whizzard, nursing them until we were full.

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Fresh from the New Englands, Doug challenged Indigo to a race but capsized half-way through. It’s great to see Doug back in action, along with his rich vein of CIBC history. He and Bunting are planning to sail Damariscotta tomorrow. Wind should be moderate and blow from the WSW which will give a whole new take on the lake. Rain moving in late in the day should not bother at all. Bunting, Wolfie, Dan West and Bob McCowan sailed all day until the ice went soft at 3:00. Bob and Wolfie were way down the lake and hopefully enjoyed a nice walk home, a long walk full of hope, that is. Chris Connary snapped the mast on the Yankee, and is no thinking about a Nite. Bill Bunting is thrilled…

Boats are set up on Damariscotta, looks like a nice day. Come early for the best ice and least rain. Next possibility is Sunday, with most of the following week “unseasonably cold”. Need we say more? Dave Godin will do a flyover of Moosehead soon; the web-cams all show white, but look at we’re sailing on here. The weekend of the eleventh could be the one.

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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.