Author Archive

2014 Swap meet Recap

NEIYA_swap_meet_2014A good time was had by all.  There were lots of tails ice stories from past seasons as well as fresh ones from the recent Western Challenge Wisconsin. Behind the chatter, real work was going on.

A three man team attacked the rows of dull and some lacking any edge at all blades.  Eben looked over each blade with a keen eye and light box and made recommendations as to how best sharpen it.  Many were sent upstairs to Steve.  Where for the first time at it’s new home in the Lamb shop’s crows nest and Whiz construction platform the Leonizing/Healyomatic runner profiler, sharpener and re-conditioner was used to grind an initial edge in preparation for the final sharpening.  Eric once again manned the grinder and smoothly drew each blade across the belt for most of the day.  A big thank you to Eric and the rest of the runner sharpening gang.

Thanks to Linda Lamb everyone was well fed with a great assortment of food and goodies.  Every time I turned my back the onion dip bowel was filled again.  Sour cream and onion, one of my favorites.

Steve thanks for opening up your shop to the hoards of ice boaters.   Hope to see your new and very own Whiz hitting the ice soon.

Won’t be long now.  Keep your eyes open to reports coming in from our friends in Maine at  We could have some New England sailing before Christmas.

Sail Fast and Sail Safe,

John Stanton
NEIYA Vice Commodore

2014 Annual Tune-up Saturday Dec 13th, Clinic Canton, MA

Saturday, December 13th
11:00 to 3:00pm
Arthur C. Lamb Co
85 Jackson St., Canton, MA 02021


It’s that time of year, once again.  Gather up your gear, roll up your sleeves and come down to the fourth annual Lamb Tune-up Clinic.

Returning once again for encore performances are Eric Anderson on grinder, Steve Lamb on alignment and of course Linda Lamb with an assortment of good eats and drinks for all.

To help defray costs we will be charging a nominal per runner fee this year.  Fees are as follows:

  •  Free – Up to three (3) blades to new members joining or rejoining after a few years
  • $5 per blade for members in good standing for the 2015 season
  • $10 per blade for non members – yes you should just join

To help maintain order please sign up upon arrival at the shop and one set per person while others are still waiting.  This is a first come first serve event and our gracious volunteer grinders only have so much time.

If you have any interest in the sport of ice boating, this is a great place to learn more. Informal discussions on alignment safety, runner sharpening, racing, cruising, whatever, will be going on.  And there are no helmets, face masks or gloves to get in the way

Open to members and non members.  Bring a friend that might be interested in ice boating.

There will also be an Indoor swap meet, bring gear for sale.  Steve Duhamel of North Wind Ice boat will be there with lot’s of new and used stuff.  Contact Stevel to be sure he is bringing what you need


Take Rte.95 to exit 11A (Neponset St., Canton)
Follow up to light, take left onto Chapman St.
Travel less than 1/4 mile to top of hill look for signs (To Jackson St) Turn right and right again 180 degrees onto Jackson St., “Do not go over railroad bridge”
Lamb Co. will be on your left ( Beige block building)

Some pictures from last year here.

See you there,

John Stanton
NEIYA Vice Commodore

P.S. Questions leave a comment below or email

Ice Circles – Another Ice Wonder

While some lucky folks got out sailing over the Thanksgiving weekend, most of us did not. This video caught eye earlier today.

I believe it’s real purpose is to serve as an iceboat tread mill. Think about it, you can sail on a much smaller plate in one direction. Just like sailing into a foul current.

WDAZ News at Sheyenne River near Leonard, ND video by George Loegering of Casselton, ND.

Stay tuned and come to the Lamb Tune Up in two weeks (Dec 13th)

John Stanton
NEIYA Vice Commodore

NEIYA Crew Gear

Greetings on the day after Thanksgiving and we all have lots to be thankful for. I may be a little behind some of the hard core and our friends up in Maine, who have actually sailed, but today is annual set up the boat in the driveway day. The day I discover that some of those little things has fell into a rat hole over the summer. A harken block, bob stay nuts for plank. Hopefully this year will be different. Regardless West Marine is just down the road and always happy to take my money.

As discussed at our meeting last month we will be selling club logo clothing via. I have put up a few items and waiting on proofs for a few others. We will also be putting together group orders to take advantage of volume discounts and customize with your sail number if you want. Look for the email with product info. If you have any feedback on the items you want do let me know.

Our Gear Store is located at It is Black Ice Friday, do take a look and remember more items are coming. Sorry for perpetuating the Black Friday hype but couldn’t help the Black Ice pun.

Remember, our upcoming Tune Up Clinic at Lamb’s shop in Canton, MA on December 13th (that’s two weeks). More details shortly.

See you all at the Tune up or on the ice that follows,

John Stanton
NEIYA Vice Commodore

Stu Nelson New England Sailing Legend

It is with a heavy heart that I must forward the news of Stu Nelson’s passing. Our sympathies go out to Judy, family and friends.  Stu will be missed on and off the ice.

Stu was one of the  NEIYA founding members and served as our third Commodore.  I pulled a  couple documents from the very early NEIYA years,  click NEIYA_1973

Via our friends at the CIBC

Thanks for sending this in, Don:

Stu Nelson, 88, died last night in Laconia, NH. He was one of the most energetic and knowledgeable of our skippers. He knew how to set up a nearly perfect boat and handle it by feel. His knowledge of the history of our group will be missed and I hope I remember half of what he told me over the years. Some of my best days iceboating were spent with Stu….the days that were gifts that keep on giving.

As you may know he was sailing coach at MIT for many years and has a collegiate regatta named for him (it was run 2 weeks ago). There will be a service in a few weeks. I will pass on details as I get them. I told Stu many times, he will always have a seat in my iceboat.

Fair winds my friend,

Don Kretchmer
Gambit, Freeskate

Please share any memories you have in the comments below. I will compile and publish at a later date.  Also, please send pictures to

John Stanton
NEIYA Vice Commodore

The Buffleheads Return and Ice is Close Behind

Aside from all the phone calls the ice boat chatter, my own trying to get things finished and our annual meeting I really know winter is upon us when the buffleheads return to my mill pond (tidal) down the street.

Unlike the mergansers, golden eyes and other winter ducks, the playful little buffleheads seem to love winter as much as we do.  They come to play each winter and so do we.


Enough bird talk for now.  Time for some ice boat business.

As I discussed in our meeting we will have a club logo gear webpage, clothing and other items available shortly.  Getting the right quality logos has been a little more complicated than expected.  Fear not though we will have our online store up and running well before “Black (ICE) Friday”.  Be sure to borrow some online shopping time from your employer on “Cyber Monday” to selfishly buy something for yourself and show your colors on and off the ice.

Next weekend we will be initiating our new ice finding messaging system.  All members will be notified via email  If there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Switching to a more serious topic and tone.  Many of you have not paid your 2015 season dues.  Please do so soon.  No, make that now as your thinking of it.  Just a click away.

2015 Membership $30

Looking forward to seeing everyone on December 13 at Steve Lamb’s shop for our annual off ice tune up clinic.  Eric Anderson will once again roll up his sleeves and expertly sharpen members runners.  If anyone else has access to a grinder and would be willing to help please let me know.

More on this event as we grow closer.

The weather hyping media is calling for a polar vortex next week.  Could this possibly bring sailing before Thanksgiving?  Let’s hope so.  Remember we still have the New Englands to run before New Year’s Eve.

Get ready to sail fast,

John Stanton
NEIYA Vice Commodore

2014 Swap / Luncheon / Meeting Recap

2014_swap_montageMore Swap Meet pictures here.  Thanks to Jeff Soderholm

Saturday started out early,  like any given weekend during ice boat season.  With the sun rising over the Mass Pike in front of me, I knew the 2015 season was underway.

Rolled into Westbourgh just before nine grabbed a box of Joe and donuts from Dunkin Donuts and headed over to find the parking lot already and things were in full swing shortly there after.

There was the usual assortment of old and new equipment and this year there seemed to be more than the usual decent starter DNs.  They looked like decent boats to be sailed as is or add inserts and a bendy mast for racing.  More than a few items changed hands and and we look forward to seeing the new owners, a few new to the sport, on this ice this season.

I spoke with many of you in the off season and the consensus was to shorten the meeting portion of our event. Well, you asked for it and we delivered. Members were ushered into the hall for lunch in record time.  Thanks to everyone for your cooperation.

Like the meeting, I will keep it brief here as well.

Thanks to Steve Duhamel and NorthWind Iceboats for his generous contribution to the door prize pool.  I’m not a conspiracy theorist but carpet baggers from from NY did seem to take away more then their share.

Your 2015 Season team
Commodore – Jim Thieler
Vice Commodore – John Stanton
Treasurer / Secretary – Robert Haag
Race chair – Oliver Moore
Cruising Chair – Bill Buchholz
Ice Report Chair – Rick Bishop

Information on our new hotline email forwarding and NEIYA logo clothing will be forthcoming.  Watch your email and this site.

We all look forward to a great season including, conditions depending, hosting the DN Worlds in our back yard.

Next up, the annual off ice tune up at Steve Lamb’s shop Saturday, December 13th.  See you all there.

Happy gear prepping and thinking about the cold weather to come.


John Stanton
NEIYA Vice Commodore


P.S. if you have not paid your 2015 dues please do so today.  2015 Membership 



One Week till the Annual Meeting, Lunch and Swap Meet


We are one week out from our annual meeting next Saturday.  In this sport we are constantly waiting on last minute condition changes before committing.  Well this one is locked in so no excuses for not committing NOW!

Saturday October 25th – Knights of Columbus Hall, 17 Willow Street, Westborough, MA 01581 Directions

Before you come think about what you might bring to the table besides an appetite for the now infamous Swedish meatballs.

The club needs:

  • Photographers (in addition to Bill Converse who has carried this load for years) Take off your gloves and snap a few from your smart phone.
  • Website/newsletter article contributions believe it or not want to read about anything on the subject of ice boats..  No web knowledge needed just an email address and for the right article I will pick it up even if written in crayon.
  • Ice scouts we won’t have a season without your help – special attention needed for the upcoming Gold Cup
  • Email me with what your willing to do and we can discuss next Saturday

This year we will be giving away valuable prizes at the meeting.  So this is not the year to skip.

Renew your membership and come to the annual meeting, swap meet and lunch.   Just a couple clicks away.

Description Price
2015 Membership and Lunch * $50
2015 Membership for one and Lunch for two * $70
2015 Membership * $30
Lunch Only $20
* As a condition for membership I have read, understand and agree to the NEIYA liability waiver as passed in the 2014 by-law amendment.

Annual Meeting Agenda

Saturday October 25th

Knights of Columbus Hall, 17 Willow Street, Westborough, MA 01581 Directions

9am to 11:30am – Swap Meet

If you have anything to sell please
list it in the classified section communicate with interested parties and bring it to the Swap Meet.
Listings and swap meet space are free for NEIYA members in good standing.

12:00 – 1:00 – Buffet lunch in the K of C hall, followed by the annual meeting.  Once again we have ordered extra servings of Swedish meatballs.  A perennial favorite.

1:00 – 2:30 – Annual Meeting

2:30 – ? – Round two (because people tend to hang anyway it’s now official) Swap and parting lot activities

Please register today our treasurer and the caterer will be much happier.  Looking forward

Think big, fast and safe ice!

John Stanton
NEIYA Secretary

P.S. Please don’t put it off pay pay your dues and for lunch if you are attending today!

Saturday October 25th Annual Meeting, Lunch and Swap Meet


It’s that time of year again. Post Labor Day, Baseball playoffs, football is in full swing, it’s getting colder and of course the NEIYA annual meeting, Swap Meet and Luncheon.

Renew your membership and come to the annual meeting, swap meet and lunch.   Just a couple clicks away.


Description Price
2015 Membership and Lunch * $50
2015 Membership for one and Lunch for two * $70
2015 Membership * $30
Lunch Only $20
* As a condition for membership I have read, understand and agree to the NEIYA liability waiver as passed in the 2014 by-law amendment.


Annual Meeting Agenda

Saturday October 25th

Knights of Columbus Hall, 17 Willow Street, Westborough, MA 01581 Directions

9am to 11:30am – Swap Meet

If you have anything to sell please
list it in the classified section communicate with interested parties and bring it to the Swap Meet.
Listings and swap meet space are free for NEIYA members in good standing.

12:00 – 1:00 – Buffet lunch in the K of C hall, followed by the annual meeting.  Once again we have ordered extra servings of Swedish meatballs.  A perennial favorite.

1:00 – 2:30 – Annual Meeting

2:30 – ? – Round two (because people tend to hang anyway it’s now official) Swap and parting lot activities

Please register today our treasurer and the caterer will be much happier.  Looking forward
to seeing everybody again and prepare for the upcoming season.

Think big, fast and safe ice!

John Stanton
NEIYA Secretary

Time to pull out and ready your gear


Steve Duhamel our local ice boat, equipment, and all things merchant sent in a few things to think about while the days are still long and the leaves are not down just yet.  Steve will be at the Swap Meet on October 25th with his trailer full of goodies.  He usually brings a ton of stuff reach out to him at North Wind Ice Boats before hand to be sure he brings what you need.  I can tell you from experience, it is a whole lot easier to buy a bob-stay or two from Steve before the season starts than going to Home Depot at 10:00 pm and fabricating one the night before you leaving for VT.  Even worse, finding out you need one while setting up.

2014 Swap Meet/Meeting
Saturday October 25th, 2013
PLACE: Same as last year Knights of Columbus Hall, 17 Willow Street, Westborough, MA 01581 Map
TIME: Swap Meet 9:00 am with Luncheon at 11:30 followed by the Annual Meeting with more swap time for the die hards

Steve, thanks for your your pre-season prep advice.  Take it away Steve…

Once again iceboat season is upon us, time to dust off the equipment and get ready for the upcoming season.  Now is the time while it is still warm to get all the gear out for inspection.

Simple Check List.

Pay attention to:

Hull to plank hardware, rougher ice at the end of the season adds additional stress to screws.  If loose but not damaged, remove and clean surfaces and add a few dabs of 3M5200 adhesive. Flexible enough to keep the hardware bonded to the hull or plank. Takes shock without fracturing like epoxy.

  • Check chock caps and bolts for tightness. Another area of high stress and for 3M5200 if loose re check alignment. Like epoxy, 3M 5200 parts can be removed with a little heat if necessary.
  • Check rigging for damage or frayed wires. If you see a black or discolored stand it most likely has a wire broken internally.
  • Check mast and hardware.  Hound and halyard hardware for wear and frayed wire.
  • Check sail batten pockets for wear and windows for cracks or holes as this material becomes brittle over time.  Also look for missing and broken battens. Tell tails do work if they are there. Are they gone, worn or frayed?
  • Check steering post, rod and chock for wear along with the bushings for play.
  • Look at hull side panels for cracks. These can easily be repaired before the get worse.
  • Clean and inspect blades.  Dull blades on black ice is dangerous to others as well as yourself.

If everything is in A1 shape than  how about going to the next level in detail! Find a comfortable place to work, flip the boat upside down, put on the plank, and remove the front chock and steering tube. Make a dowel bushing for the steering chock bushing and then attach a long thin scrap of wood and swing and ark from inner center hole of the plank chock from one side to the other. Is the plank on the boat straight? If not, you know what needs to be done. You will be faster for it.

Did you think to yourself, while you were sailing around last season,  I would like to change, modify, add, adjust this or that before I get the boat back on the ice next season. Boy wouldn’t a hiking rack, sheet line nose picking devise be nice? Basically anything you would do before the season arrives that makes things easier, nicer, and safer for a good ice boating experience. Spend a little time on the boat before you get to the ice, instead the projects I see going on in parking lots at the launch site. Now is the time to haul your gear out and give it a once over

Have a happy and safe ice boating season.

Steve Duhamel
North Wind Ice Boats
Phone: (781) 724-0648

Many Miles to the 2014 DN North Americans

From 2014 DN North American’s

This past season’s (2014) DN North Americans originally scheduled for Lake Senachwine near Peru, IL in the Western region ended up 1000+ miles away on Lake Champlain Plattsburg, NY. So goes the great sport of ice boating. It has been eleven years since the class put on a “big dance” (NA or Worlds) in the Eastern region. And what a dance it was, but im getting ahead of how we got there.

Before we hit the road in search of a championship regatta worthy plate, let’s take a look at what we’re looking for. A DN NAs or Worlds site requires a racing area of 1.25 -1.5 miles in all wind directions. This allows for a 1-1.25 mile course, with pits below the start line. Basically if you can fit a 1.5 mile circle on top of a good plate of ice you’re good to go.

New England primary sites include Sebago, and Moosehead Lake in Maine, Lake Winnipesaukee and Sunapee in New Hampshire and Lake Champlain as well as Memphremagog in Vermont. Of course we have plenty of other choices but size as well as local support facilities are both a factors.

Follow along with the relentless folks responsible for scouting the NA venue, Their tireless journey across seeking that perfectly frozen lake brings them 1000’s of miles.  Without their efforts, it would have never taken place.

For purposes of our timeline the first day of scheduled racing will be represented as R 0 and the beginning of our story takes place two weeks prior or R -14. Days designated with an R+1,2,3… represent the days after the (1st) original regatta start.

Eben Whitcomb and myself started the preliminary scouting, with a 750 mile RT drive to Lake Memphremagog and spent the day scouting ice and access locations both in the United States in Newport Vermont, and also several locations in Canada, near Owls head, and in the town of Magog.
Meanwhile in Vermont, Bob Schumacher Bob Dill, Don Brush and Paul Gervais were keeping an eye on Lake Champlain, and David Fortier and others were keeping an eye on Jordan Bay on Sebago Lake. Chad Atkins, who is the hotline coordinator for the NEIYA did a great job of keeping in touch with scouts on all the potential race sites throughout the whole scouting period.

On January 9 Steve Madden and David Fortier drove up to and sailed Sebago Lake on Jordan Bay. Based on their scouting Eben Whitcomb decided to call on the Eastern championships for Sebago Lake on January 11. The weather was expected to be fairly lousy, but he felt it was worth a shot at holding the regatta. Saturday morning when we got there it was raining and there was already a lot of water on the ice.

On Sebago after the favorable report Eben and I spent 4 hours pushing and sailing in light wind, and heavy rain, to further examine the plate of ice. Based on the amount of water on the ice we decided it was not likely that the Eastern’s could be held there and he postponed the event. That evening the lake received 1.5 inches more of rain.

Eben Whitcomb and I drove from Sebago Lake to Memphremegog (again) which was expected to get less rain. We spent Sunday kicksleding and skating near Newport Vermont. It was blowing about 30 miles an hour and we were unable to sail.(it was kind of scary going downwind on the kicksled!) We also identified a potential host hotel and gathering venue in the area.

Meanwhile the Vermont gang was actively looking at Lake Champlain after the rain. Monday, January 13(R -6 days) the IDNIYRA conference call indicated there was very little sailable ice in the Western region, so we redoubled our efforts in New England scouting for ice.

Wednesday, January 15, Eben and I left my house at 4 AM and drove to Burlington Vermont to help the Vermont guys scout ice on Lake Champlain. Eben and I, with advice from Bob Dill scouted and sailed inner and outer mallets Bay, and Bob Schumacher and Doug Merrill scouted the area called the inland Sea. We determined outer mallets Bay had too many drain holes, so we de-rigged our boats drove to the launch area for the inland Sea, and rerigged and sailed there also as the sun was setting. At the same time as the 4 of us were on Lake Champlain, David Fortier drove from Maine and Oliver Moore drove from Rhode Island to Lake Memphremegog and sailed it and confirmed the launch area was still acceptable. Wednesday evening during the IDNIYRA conference call, we had identified two viable sailing sites in the Eastern region. At the same time Andre Baby had identified a good sailing site on the St. Lawrence seaway in Montréal. In the Western region the only salable ice was Lake Senachwine near Peru, Illinois. The decision was made to delay the location decision until Thursday evening, with a tentative primary site of Lake Senachwine and a backup site in Montréal. Bob Schumacher and his wife were kind enough to put Eben and myself up overnight. Thursday morning Eben and I drove up to Montréal and sailed at Lac St. Louis with Andre and Jasick.

Thursday night the governing committee decided to call the 2014 N. Americans on for Peru, Illinois, despite a forecast calling for 2 to 4 inches of snow on Saturday.

Eben and I left Montréal at 4 AM on Friday bound for Illinois. We got there around 10 PM on Friday and crashed out at the hotel.

Saturday we got up and left the hotel around 10 AM drove down to the race site and started rigging our boats, it was already starting to snow. By the time we were ready to sail there was at least 4 inch drifts and building. Most boats did not even bother to set up. We packed our boats up put them back in the trailer and drove back to the hotel as both of us thought we would not be able to race at that location. Now the race committee was stuck with 80 competitors in Illinois, with no sailable ice in the Western region. The decision was made to hold everybody at the host hotel, until a new location could be found.

Ice checkers were dispatched to possible locations at Pymatuning Reservoir on the Pennsylvania Ohio and Lake Clinton in Illinois.
Early Sunday morning Bob Schumacher Don Brush and Louise Racine drove eight hours straight through to Pymatuning. They were met by DN racer Ben Shavits, who already had his boat rigged and waiting. Bob and Don Brush sailed Pymatuning and concluded the snowdrifts were too high for fair racing.

That same day sailors drove one and a half hours south to evaluate Lake Clinton a small lake in IL This venture did not turn pan out.

Andre Baby had stayed behind in Montréal and had been sailing every day. He was reporting excellent snow ice. With no closer options available, Sunday night the regatta was officially moved to Montréal.

Eben and I left Sunday evening for Montréal. We drove till about midnight and stayed in a hotel just before the Canadian border at Sarnia.

The next morning we started driving around 7:30 AM and on the custom line when we got the word from Andre Baby that Montréal had received two inches of snow the night before and it had drifted making it unsailable. Eben and I crossed the border, had a great breakfast and scouted the western shore of Lake St. Clair in Canada. We were in the area anyway but found it fit only for snowmobile racing.

Meanwhile, Jim Theiler and Oliver Moore stopped and scouted Hamilton Ontario, desperately looking for a good race site.

Eben and I then spent the day at a truck stop in the boonies of Canada on the phone talking to various people across the East looking for ice. We were very fortunate that Louise Racine had stopped in Plattsburgh NY to visit with her mother, on her way back and called in early Monday morning to say that the Plattsburgh side of Lake Champlain was snow free. This was the best news we had had in a few days and experienced eyes needed to evaluate conditions.

Bob Schumacher and Don Brush had driven straight through back to Vermont the night before. Bob then drove to Plattsburgh Vermont with Bob Dill. There they met Louise, as well as Rich Crucett and friend that were driving from Long Island to Montréal. Collectively they sailed and found a suitable plate of ice on Cumberland Bay north of Plattsburgh New York.

Remarkably just ten hours after being snowed out in Montréal, we had already found an alternative site. The DN North Americans were moved to Plattsburgh and called on for Cumberland Bay, with racing to start Thursday morning, about 45 boats made the drive from Illinois.

The New England gang spent Tuesday and Wednesday sailing the site in Cumberland Bay. There was some snow on the site, and it was brutally cold. By late Wednesday the drifts were getting very stiff and Styrofoam like. With lighter winds expected for Thursday we were getting nervous about Cumberland Bay.

Bob Dill had crossed the ferry from the Vermont side and had indicated that there was a new plate of black ice in Plattsburgh Bay itself.

Thursday morning four sailors from New England (Chad, Oliver, Don Brush, Eric), plus Andre Baby scouted the new plate in Plattsburgh Bay. Racing was delayed that morning anyway due to extremely low temperatures.

Plattsburgh bay had beautiful black ice with an interesting layer of Hoar Frost on top. After pulling some strings we received permission from the City of Plattsburgh to launch at the public pier. We moved the boats from Cumberland Bay to Plattsburgh bay and racing got underway with the silver fleet qualifier just before dusk. Racing had finally started!

Friday we had a great day of racing and ended the day with four races in each fleet. By the last race it was blowing over 20 with lots of spin outs and lead changes, very exciting racing!

Saturday morning we got up, but the race committee had decided that due to wind conditions the North Americans was finished. After the award ceremony, we went down to the ice to de-rig our boats, the wind was howling through the rigging. A wise call by the race committee. It was nice to have a short five hour drive home after the regatta.

And that folks is what it takes to find ice for a big event. I was extremely proud of how hard everybody in the East worked to make this happen. A big round of applause goes to all the sailors who helped make this happen and especially to Eben Whitcomb, the IDNIYRA Eastern Rear Commodore.

Guess what? Next year we get to do it all again. The Eastern region in conjunction with the Canadian region will host the 2015 DN World championship January 25-30th. It’s going to take a herculean effort by a lot of people to pull this off. Join me, Eben and the rest of the DN, New England and Canadian ice boating community in helping to put on a world class international ice boating event. It all starts with ice.  Hope to see you all there.

Eric Anderson
US 5193

A Season in Front of Us

With shorter days and cooler nights we are all thinking about ice boating and the miles of black ice we hope to find this winter. Just as there are a few months till we sail again, a number of things MUST happen and individual efforts MUST take place before groups of pilots can safely congregate and sail.

Most of you know what occurs prior to setting up your boat in the pits and pushing off toward a nice plate.

Someone watched as the lakeside trees shed their leaves.

All manner of boat building advice and help is freely given.

Boats and equipment is bought, sold, traded and loaned by fellow sailors prior to first ice.

Runners are sharpened individually and en mass by skilled sanding volunteers.

Someone watched as fog and mists wafted over the body of water in the early morning hours.

Eyes were on the lake while morning frosts crept toward the water from the shore.

People gazed upon the first mirror black ice to skim out from shore.

Occasionally taking the long way to work or home to check on ice conditions.

One or more people poked at the new ice with a stick even though they know

Swung blunt instruments, a wise man from Rockport swears by the blunt end of an axe, and drilled test holes.

Talked to ice fisherman who are generally happy to break their solitude for a conversation about fish and ice.

Scouted off shore with skates, or sailing carefully stopping periodically to check grade and thickness.

People reporting back whether positive or negative. Insufficient ice or unsafe conditions change a bodies history plays an important role for future safe sailing.

Who where those someones? Who were those eyes? Who spent countless hours helping to others get ready to sail? Who communicated observations so that others would benefit?

The answer is simple. Heed the call. Members of the NEIYA. Please remember this when asked to contribute time, knowledge and skills toward club activities. Ice may form all by itself but it’s a team effort to bring people a group to the ice.

To follow is a first hand account by former Commodore Eric Anderson on the herculean efforts that he and others made to find (big) ice for last year’s DN North Americans. Eric thanks for all your contributions over the years.

Ready to help out? Contact me or any of the other officers

As we come into season let’s all sail fast, sail safe and think ice,

John Stanton
NEIYA Secretary
508-377-6100 aka the hotline

P.S. Our annual meeting, swap and lunch are ON for October 25th Westborough, MA Knights of Columbus Hall. More on that shortly.