Saturday, February 28, 2015

Line Up at Red Bank

At least nine old stern steerers grace the frozen Shrewsbury River off of Red Bank NJ, Saturday.

Looks to be little wind, hope the afternoon picks up!
Impressive display of Stern Steerers on Jersey ice!
Photo credit Robert Wills 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sailing to the South

Snow continues to plague any sailing here in the Hudson Valley. Incredible that in the midst of the coldest winter in recent memory, most all the fleet of ice yachts here have yet to set runners on the ice. The cold weather has slowed the melting and saturation of the snow. Drifted, packed snow is too dense to sail through right now.
So what to do? Head south! ( if you can).
The two big boats, Jack Frost of the HRIYC and Rocket, of the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club were dismantled on Orange Lake and taken by trailer south to the Shrewsbury River at Red Bank, NJ. Both ice yachts had been snowed in on Orange Lake for several weeks.
The salt ice of the Shrewsbury has built enough thickness to support the weight of the big 50 foot ice yachts. This is the initial launching of the Rocket on its home ice since its rebuild. It first sailed last March on the Hudson River at Barrytown.
This weekend could see the historic event of the two largest ice boats ( traditionally rigged) sailing across the home ice of HRIYC's long time arch rival. Sailing competition between the two clubs dates back to the  1880s.    Long Live the Stern Steerers!                                                                                (Photos courtesy of Robert Wills)

Rocket, sailing on home ice at Red Bank.

Rocket, with Jack Frost beyond, pushes off on the Shrewsbury River.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day... More snow

Lots of ice, but snow continues to plague the surface. The upcoming week is predicting 3 sub-zero morning temps. We may look to March to sail. Keeping an eye on River possibilities.
Today I looked out over the River towards Hyde Park Landing. Ice is wetted out, somewhat. No idea how thick though...
Valentines day 2015:
Grey'd out snow ice; Looking east toward Hyde Park Landing from West Park.
Archie Roger's boathouse was just south (to the right) of this location.

That ice looks intriguing! 

Off Hyde Park Landing, circa 1939.
(Allons, Kris, Sweet Marie, Hawk L-R)
Snowed in at Orange Lake. Plenty of ice with a thick layer of slush, topped with a layer of snow.
Boats were re-blocked up on saw horses or wood blocks.

A light snow began this morning, adding, eventually, another 1-2 inches on the surface of the ice.

A long month! Snow! Cold! Snow! Cold! More Snow....

It has been about a month since my last post and it continues to snow. Back on January 17, I thought I was a week away from launching Cyclone on the River, or Tivoli South Bay. Instead a series of snowstorms has stymied any attempts.  Here's the tally - to the best of my recollection:
Jan 25- 3";
Jan 26 - 5" (the non-blizzard);
Feb 2 - 11"
Feb 5 - 1"
Feb 9 - 5"
Feb 15 - 3"
scattered between those storms were at least 3 mornings of below zero temperatures.
The ice is thick, but buried beneath a blanket of snow.   Following, a snapshot of images over the last few weeks...

Cyclone, ready to go, on the trailer.
Looking out from the garage,
in the middle of the 11" storm of Feb. 2nd.

Aft end of the cockpit. with too much snow just outside the garage...

Just south of Mid Hudson Bridge Feb. 6,  -3F;
 smooth ice across the Hudson at Poughkeepsie.

Looking West at Highland, 2/6/15.
That's Black Ice off of the East Shore in Poughkeepsie.

South toward Trap Rock 2/6/15. Got me thinking..
When was the last time this section of the river was sailed??
see next picture....

Kaal Rock, Poughkeepsie. Feb. 14, 1887
 Eskimo approaches the stake in the race for the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America.
Note windward runner is in a slight hike. How close are those spectators actually??
Archie Rogers, sailing Jack Frost for the HRIYC, won this race for the Challenge Pennant. Eskimo, built by Jacob Buckhout for  Phillips Phoenix, of Tuxedo Lake, came in seventh. She sailed for the Poughkeepsie Ice Yacht Club. Eskimo is likely the boat referenced in this NYT article of 1886. 

Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge - Walkway Over the Hudson.
Valentine's day picture of Eskimo, above, was shot just south of here
 along the eastern shore.
River ice is locked in shore to shore here. 
Walkway Over the Hudson, 2/6/15 Ice solid across to the channel.

Mid Hudson bridge to the south, Walkway Bridge to the north.

Looking south, from Marist College waterfront

Lots of ice, drifted snow on top.

Panorama looking west to Highland from Marist College in Poughkeepsie; 2/6/15.