Elk Lake March 23rd

We have had some good sailing the last two days. This morning and early afternoon the winds were 9-13 mph , but the snow was crispy so I only sailed for about 1/2 hr. A couple of the local club boats had started to set-up, by then the wind was a little less. With the crispy snow sailing was tough. We went to lunch waiting for the temps to rise. When we returned the snow was MUCH softer, but so were the winds. None of the 10 minute wind averages from 1pm to 5pm went over 7 mph. The wind meter ranged from 2-8 mph...So even though the snow was fine to sail the wind wasn't cooperating. I got a couple short rides in the skeeter after lunch, but the winds were mainly ranging from 3-5 mph. You couldn't hardly tell which direction the wind was coming from some of the time it was so light. The wind was considerably higher right against shore, but that doesn't do us any good it just tricks us into going out.
After 2 pm you could easily sail with winds above 8mph...( last night was in the teens so we needed till 2 for the snow to warm up.)
Snow cover today is 1" to 1 3/4" and the forecast is
44 degrees of Thursday , 41 Degrees on Friday and low to mid 40's this weekend, so the sailing should only get better.
We have 12-14" of ice still.
There was a truck parked out in the middle of the lake 3 days ago, so trailers are definitely OK.
Today the lake is sailable, but not raceable without 10 mph winds, by this weekend that should change.

March 30th

I've been so tempted to set up a boat since the ice is not completely gone, so we walked out to check it. It is badly honeycombed and very weak. When you jump on it it flexes. We put the 6 wheeler thru the ice at shore and one of the club members up here had their trailer break thru at White Birch 2 days ago and we haven't been back below freezing since. When I read a great article on the INDIYRA website about ice safety I was surprised by several things, but the biggest was that 12" of dark colored honeycombed ice may not even support a DN. I also learned that if the surface re-freezes and you desperately feel the need to sail on the newly frozen surface that you should not sail on it once the temps go above 32 degrees. I know we have probably all broken these rules, but I have decided to keep the boats in the garage and stay safe, not "lucky"
See ya next year.


Elk Lake March 28th

As far as we are concerned the season on ELk is over. There may be a few people out there braver than me that may sail a little longer, but 2 days ago we spudded thru 15 inches of ice. This evening at 7pm we brushed aside with our hand 12" of slush and then used the spud to punch thru the 2" of ice under it. We couldn't even see to tell what color that ice was. I would guess all of the white areas on the lake are like that. There are spots on the lake that still appear to be thick black ice, but the are alot of really big white areas of slush. We drove the 6 wheeler around (because it floats if it breaks thru) and on about 25 % of the surface we were sinking in 6-8" of slush and it has big balloon tires. I wouldn't want to walk on those areas. The shore is also going away, we broke thru the ice with the 6 wheeler about 4' from shore. It's only about 6" of water there so no big deal, it's just going to be hard to get the trailers off the ice.
Oh well can't complain 51 days of sailing this season.
See ya next year.


I saw you

I saw some iceboats out there everyday this past week while I was up there visiting my inlaws. You were flying yesterday!
I was surprised you were going that fast without much wind.


We had a great time yesterday...winds were light and variable, but there was enough, It was later in the day, so the snow didn't hurt us much (even though we had more yesterday). We cut right through it. It's the same way this evening, but we don't have any wind today. Earlier when we did the snow was stiff from the unusually low temps we had last night. Tonight is the last night for lows like that. Tomorrow it should be 40 degrees by noon.
Next time you see us come on out.




Where are you located again?


Elk Lake

Northwestern lower peninsula of Michigan....Elk Rapids
We should be able to sail this weekend, but I am not sure about next weekend. They keep changing the forecast. Right now it doesn't look great for the 2nd and 3rd of April, but you never know...April 1st, 2nd and 3rd it doesn't go below freezing at night and highs are in the mid 50's. This is not a lake that gets sailed in April. I have lived on this lake for 15 years and it hasn't happened yet, but this year could be the first !!


Friday and Saturday the 25th and 26th

We had some great sailing Friday, about a dozen boats and winds 7-16 mph.
The sun has melted almost all of the snow and when we measured we still have 15" of ice.
We got some slow sailing in after 3pm on Saturday, but winds were only 4-7mph...so no great speed records were set, but we cruised for awhile.


Easter Sunday

We had 6 boats sail today, 2 J boats, 2 Dn's a skeeter and a sprinter. We had alot of fun and still have alot of ice and a good shoreline!