Ice Report, Conflicting Reports! And a report of ice!

At 0900 Wednesday a Rookie DN sailor reported Lake Christina, Ashby, MN was open water,

A seperate call indicates 10 -12 DN sailors are planning to sail this weekend. and preparations for the Great Western are vigorous.

Forecast Today: A slight chance of flurries. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 24. North northwest wind between 13 and 18 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 6. North northwest wind between 8 and 11 mph becoming calm.

Assessment and plan: Reports from unranked sailors are greatly appreciated, although racers tend to discount their credibility. There's Ice out there, somebody needs to go find it.

Saturday: I'm thinking I'll put the DN on the roof Get on the road Early, Breakfast at Ruby's in Ashby around 0900, then go piss on Christina, if she'll bear me, and then go find some ice to talk about. I hear there's a regatta in a couple weeks

Carpe DN



at 10:00 Thursday Nov 20 I recieved this report...

"Dead and Long are froze over right now which just happened yesterday or the day before so I would expect Christina is now froze over..........I will be in touch with Ruby's cafe in Ashby to get the heads up and let you many do you expect would drive up if the conditions are good? "

I see enough to justify a trip up north, bringing my boat, and after a 0900 breakfast at Ruby's go find a place to sail, starting at Lake Christina, where I expect to find 4 plus inches on Saturday...

If somebody gets there sooner, or sees something better, please chime in, I imagine others will want more detailed reports to make a decision, I could be way off base on this, based on the information at hand.


Icemaker -- Don't be so tough on this guy. Open water is open water. You're so-o-o-o-o-o-o experienced, tell us what you want in an ice report and hopefully more people will report in. Here's a starter.

1. The date of the report should be a number. Don't say "Tuesday" or "yesterday."
2. Measure what you can. Such as, "50 feet from the launch area, the ice is clear and 5" thick. 200 yds straight out it's re-freeze and 3" thick. If you only check a part of the lake, don't give the impression that the entire area is safe.
3. Report how long the ice has been there. Give a brief history of the temps since the ice has formed, such as, "The lake froze over on the 15th, and the temps have been in single digits each of the last three nights." This gives an idea to a regatta organizer whether the lake is a possibility, but it still requires an eventual physical check.
4. Describe the condition of the surface. This becomes more of a factor later in the year. Is it smooth ice? Pebbly? Snow covered? How deep?

I'll keep my suggestions to a minimum. Icemaker, the floor is yours.


Ice Report Content Requirements Suggestion

I record observations;
- When did it appear to be substantially frozen?
- Observed Hazards, (migratory waterfoul???)
- Does it bear your weight? (if no, record observations and reschedule ice checking)
- Length of Ice Crystals (best seen by pissing on the ice surface)
- Go to Freshest Ice and test to see if it bears your weight and record thickness and compositon observations. (I particularly enjoy doing this alone at about sunset).
- Take a picture of the ice, and of your dry shoes, and email it immediately.
- In the case of Christina, I'm particuarly interested in knowing if that little blue portable fish house is set up in the narrows on Pelican lake, yet... every time I see that, sailing happens.
- Consult
- Conclude yes no. I can yes/no set up and sail right now and go check further, ( in this case, a process I propose to populate on Saturday.) and put your sail number's credibility on the post.

(c)2008 World Ice Racing Circuit, LLC. Excelsior, MN All Rights Reserved

follow up on ice reports

I think the most important thing ice reporters need to have in mind is the hazards, at all times... most of the ice checking tests, (if the ice fails the suitablilty test) involve your cold water immersion, an event that if you're lucky enough, er prepared to survive, will be among the worst experiences you've ever had in life, ok, very memorable, some guys like that stuff.

Tread lightly, keep your eyes open, be safe, stay in good company, and let us all know what you saw.

p.s. the second time swimming was much worse for me, because I knew how bad it was about to become.