Copyright John A. Sperr


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rhinecliff Report

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February 13, 2011 Archive


Wednesday Morning Update

We suddenly have ice everywhere following the visit by The Great Zamboni -- Rhinecliff to Crugers Island is the largest sheet of ice, but people reported in with good ice at Cheviot, Tivoli Bay, Port Ewen on the west side of the Hudson, Newburgh, and Mahopac Lake.

We'll squeeze out a few more hours late this morning and afternoon as the southwest flow builds bringing in the warm air. Then the plan is to move the fleet north into the cove up by the water filtration plant to ride out the thaw which will last through Friday or Saturday morning. I'm not sure the access to the ice will survive at the Rhinecliff Dock -- two warm days and a bit of rain could start to break things up and set the sheet in motion.

We had a terrific late afternoon yesterday at Rhinecliff -- after a wild start to the day, the gusty and variable wind steadied out to a good breeze out of the north and a half dozen boats had some of their fastest and best sailing to date. The ice measured 14 inches at a test boring near the dock -- under the Rhinecliff Bridge, it measured 11 inches but it was rather soft due to the salt and sand that rains down from above. Two boats portaged over the railroad tracks at Tivoli Bay and made their way south to join the fleet at Rhinecliff.

Reid Bielenberg sent this report:

Hi John,

The mild temperatures and sun of Monday fixed the ice at Germantown. After the heavy North winds had a chance to abate some, I enjoyed some powerfully fast, but manageable, sailing on Vixen Tuesday afternoon, February 15. The Inner ice to the north is quite bumpy from the remnants of snow drifts from the first snows of early January. The channel down Green Flats towards Tivoli afforded a wonderful down wind run and I went past Clermont, almost opposite the Saugerties Lighthouse before I "hove-to". Beating back to Cheviot, I crossed over the tidal ice on the Green flats to the beautiful crescent of ice near the channel. Not knowing if there were turnouts from the ice breaker, and being alone, I didn't explore the outer ice much. Returning to Cheviot, I gave rides to three residents from our Triform community and their co-workers. Overall, it was a good afternoon sail.

If the Rhinebeck ice holds through this brief thaw, the weekend could be really good. I think we should hold a big Regatta for the Washington's Birthday weekend. Rokeby could be a good base of operation. Does anyone have connections with the Red Hook Boat Club?

See you soon,


Monday Afternoon Update

The Great Zamboni performed its magic today -- tomorrow we could be sailing almost the entire sheet from Rhinecliff to Crugers Island. The water should freeze and the surface should firm up tonight -- once the high wind gusts diminish in the early or late morning, I expect we will have some terrific sailing.

Monday Sailing

There will be a break in the action today as warm, sunny weather softens the ice surface. This brief warm up will improve the surface for Tuesday and Wednesday as the temperature will drop back sharply and below freezing late this afternoon or evening. If we can find a place to tuck the boats in further north, we will likely leave them on the ice through the next warm up expected Thursday and Friday. A return to colder weather is currently forecast for the weekend and beyond -- this may keep us on the river for another week or two.

Sunday Sailing Report

The morning started with a brief snow shower as a warm front pushed north through the Hudson Valley. By noon it had cleared Kingston and nearly a dozen boats saw action on moderate to gusty south winds. Ice Queen, in the hands of Kevin Lawrence and Paul Squires, won the only race of the day by a half lap, while Spider (yours truly) had a good battle with Hound (Glen & Emerson Burger) and managed to wrest second place away from them on the final lap. It looked like there were a hundred people or more on the ice Sunday -- we gave dozens of rides to people from all over -- Clearwater winter crew, lots of kids, softwater racing sailors, and several video production teams. Thanks to everyone for the photo contributions.

Setting up in the snow                      Photo copyright Anita DeFina Hadley

Snow starting to clear       Photo copyright Anita DeFina Hadley

Fleet in action out on the good ice                         Photo copyright Erik Lokensgard

Julian Davies, woodworker, with his authentic, all wood, DN

Bob & Casey Wills with their recently acquired Orion, a boat built years back for
the owner of the Malden Brickyard in Saugerties.

Current Jetstream Forecast and Surface Conditions -- Image by Environment Canada

GFS Temperature Forecast Animation


Ice Queen and Hound both flying runners           Photo copyright Kate Shuter


On the starting line -- Orion, Cyclone, Spider, Ice Queen      Photo copyright Dock Shuter

Ice Queen in a Flying Finish      Photo copyright Dock Shuter

The Winners                  Photo copyright Dock Shuter

Spectators watching the finish of the race

Cold front pushing through with snow showers.


Sunset masked by squall line


Ice Flight Photos

There have been no new photos added since February 11. Slides (15) and (17) from February 6th show the potential of the ice sheet on the river. Cheviot is the current focus of activity, but if we get more cold weather and then a thaw, it may be possible to sail an extended length of the ice sheet that has formed along the left bank from Rhinecliff to Greendale. There are nice photos of Rhinecliff and Tivoli Bay in the latest February 9th flight album.


2011-02-11 Ice Flight Photos     2011-02-09 Ice Flight Photos

2011-02-07 Ice Flight Photos     2011-02-06 Ice Flight Photos

2011-01-31 Ice Flight Photos     2011-01-26 Ice Flight Photos

2011-01-20 Ice Flight Photos     2011-01-17 Ice Flight Photos

2011-01-13 Ice Flight Photos     2011-01-04 Ice Flight Photos

2011-01-10 Ice Flight Photos     2011-01-03 Ice Flight Photos

2011-01-06 Ice Flight Photos     2011-01-02 Ice Flight Photos


Recent Photo Albums

Weather Links

Composite Weather from UniSys Zone Forecast Tivoli Bay 15 Image 5 Day GFS Forecast
Northern Hemisphere 850 Temp  Regional Summary -- Albany & VT 5 Image 2 Day Forecast Maps
US Radar from Intellicast Jetstream 4 Panel Forecast Snow and Precip Type Forecast Loop
Albany Radar from Intellicast Jetstream Map -- Environment Canada Water Vapor Forecast Loop
Albany Storm Precipitation Totals SailFlow Wind Forecast for Kingston NY 6 - 10 Day Threat Outlook
Day 1 Quant Precip Forecast Map  Wind Speed and Direction Map 10 day GFS Forecast
Day 2 Quant Precip Forecast Map Northeast Wind Speed (Kts) & Streamlines 31 Frame Forecast Animation
Day 3 Quant Precip Forecast Map Northeast Temperature 5 F Contour Quantitative Precipitation Discussion

Links to Field Reports of Ice Conditions

IDNIYRA Ice Conditions Reports

Saratoga Lake Ice Report

Yahoo Group  "IceReports"


Brakes On? 
photo Copyright Brian Reid, December 2002



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