Despite being more technically prepared than ever, ahead of the ice season, the weather has just not cooperated this freeze.
After the snow and rough ice of last year, I had counted on the smooth ice of the first freeze to give us the best chance of high speeds. By the first freeze, I mean the time between when the ice gets thick enough to sail on (6 inches) and when it snows.
However, it froze last week during an arctic storm, meaning that some parts of the lake are very rough. A few days later, it snowed, effectively putting a stop to the season before it had even started. To add to the problems, a few pressure ridges have now also formed that are very difficult to cross and divide the sailing area into smaller sections. All this means that Canyon ferry is probably out of service for the immediate future, but may well get better again later in the year as the air temperature warms up during the days and can smooth the surface back to perfection.
If the surface never recovers, there are other lakes further east, forming part of the great lake region of America, that will become sailable in Jan and Feb.
We will just have to sit and watch for the time being, waiting for an opportunity to arise. Any ice reports from sailors across the country are gratefully received.