You can hear it on the coconut telegraph

Published on March 10th, 2021

As the commodore emeritus for the New England Ice Yacht Association (NEIYA), James “T” Thieler is an enthusiastic cheerleader, a handy attribute when the sparsity of good ice is more the norm than the exception. Here’s his latest missive to the tribe


Okay folks….hope springs eternal, even for us chronically pessimistic and cranky New Englanders.

Ice reports are coming in from up north and it sounds like a matter of quality vs quality. As is fairly typical for this time of year, there are some fairly good base plates of ice on Winni, Dammi, and Sunapee BUT with warm temps and sun there can be some quick degradation and rapid changes such as thin spots getting thinner, cracks appearing and widening rapidly, and pressure ridges forming almost instantly as ice sheets expand and heave.

None of this is conducive to safe sailing; the thickness is there but the surface leaves a lot to be desired in terms of sailability and safety.

On the other hand, we see all kinds of strange things on the ice, and even those of us who have been at this for a while still get surprised.

The next few days are fairly warm and sunny all over the region and the nights will be chilly but not cold enough to tighten things up until Saturday night. Maybe there is a chance of a good Sunday morning this coming weekend. Or maybe a good day to hang out in the parking lot. Who knows?!?

All we can do is wait and see what the scouts report as this week grinds on… many thanks to them…I know a few have really been all over the map looking for the good stuff. On the subject of scouting ice, if you know of a decent sailing prospect, let it be known; the karma points will be generous! So don’t mothball the ice toys just yet. Ya nevah know….

As always exercise extreme caution if you are venturing out on the ice; this time of year can be especially hazardous. Spikes, throw ropes, life jacket, thermal gear, spotters, and partners are a MUST.

Think ICE!!

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