Copyright John A. Sperr
July 14, 2012
Montgomery Place, River Road, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Historic Ice Yachts VIXEN and WHIFF displayed for the event
Iceboats in July at Montgomery Place
We had many visitors to our exhibit at the Red Hook Bicentennial Celebration. Montgomery Place opened its buildings and grounds to the public for the day where a small fair was organized exhibiting life as it was in the past. Friends and members of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club transported two historic ice yachts to the grounds on Friday evening and completed the bulk of the primary assembly work by dark. By mid Saturday morning, VIXEN had sails bent on and hoisted -- an hour later WHIFF was taking young passengers aboard who were eagerly manning the long tiller, tugging at the sheet line, and enjoying the luxury of the large cushioned cockpit. WHIFF was built in 1875 with no expense spared for display at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. Commodore Irving Grinnell of New Hamburg commissioned George Buckhout to build the finest example he could of a state-of-the-art ice yacht. After languishing briefly at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club reclaimed the historic yacht and restored it to its current condition. The boat is still sailed on the Hudson River when we have good ice. VIXEN was constructed by the Merritt Brothers near Low Point on the Hudson River. It was a novel lateen design and a very fast boat -- when it arrived in Poughkeepsie it quickly dispatched all challengers. FDR's uncle, John A Roosevelt, an ardent ice yachtsman, purchased it on the spot and campaigned it successfully for many years. In the mid 1970's, Reid Bielenberg, a long standing member of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club, acquired and restored the boat. It sails almost every winter that conditions allow us on the ice.
Many people were surprised to learn that we still actively sail our fleet of historic old yachts and that the Hudson River still does freeze with a regularity that makes our sport possible. When you look at the evidence, it is hard to deny that global warming is occurring -- but there will be "normal" winters and "colder than normal" winters for many years to come that will continue to fill the river with a foot or more of ice for weeks or months and allow us to keep the tradition of ice yachting here in the Hudson Valley alive.
Wild Blueberry Farming in Maine Update
By early June, the field of wild blueberries that we burned this spring and that was showing little recovery in late April, was nearly filled with rapidly growing new stems and foliage. During my recent work stint, I cut the bulk of the stragglers from the field -- woody brush, creeping juniper, and stands of black huckleberry we missed or passed over during our initial round of clearing last summer. The new wild blueberry stems gained an inch of growth during my nine day stay and appear to be doing very well. I think we will have a very good crop to harvest next year.
Mary's Graduation Party
Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival Festival
Web Page Archives
Rhinecliff Day at the Town Dock
More Festival Photographs
|Stevens Tech SSWS & NYHOPS||Zone Forecast Tivoli Bay||15 Image 5 Day GFS Forecast|
|Northern Hemisphere 850 Temp||Regional Summary -- NY, NJ, CT, MA||5 Image 2 Day Forecast Maps|
|USA Radar from Intellicast||Jetstream 4 Panel Forecast||Snow and Precip Type Forecast Loop|
|NE US Radar from Intellicast||Current Snow Depth||Water Vapor Forecast Loop|
|Albany Storm Precipitation Totals||SailFlow Wind Forecast for Kingston NY||3 - 7 Day US Hazards 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"
photo Copyright Brian Reid, December 2002
Email John Sperr
HRIYC.ORG is neither the official website, nor am I the webmaster, of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. I am a long standing member of the Club and during the sailing season I frequently post photographs and information on this, my own personal website, about current iceboating activity in the Hudson Valley and beyond. I am the sole person responsible for the presentation of content and the opinions expressed herein. Interesting photographic contributions are welcome and appreciated -- I spend most of my time on the ice skippering and far too often fail to capture the best images the day has to offer. ŠJohn A. Sperr MMXII