Copyright John A. Sperr

Preserving and Sailing the Historic Gaff Rigged Ice Yachts of New York's Hudson River Valley


October 2014

Woodstock Film Festival

Against the Wind

directed by
Tomasz Gubernat, Christopher Nostrand

"Against The Wind follows a handful of practitioners of the almost forgotten sport as they take advantage of one of the coldest winters the Hudson River Valley has seen in decades. These yachters are intent on taking full advantage of one of the deepest, longest ice sheets on the Hudson in years, knowing they might not see its like again anytime soon."

View Trailer

View Trailer

Woodstock Playhouse Friday, October 17, 2014  12 noon

Upstate Films Rhinebeck Saturday, October 18, 2014  2:15 pm



Sedgwick, Maine

The sunset that would not quit -- more pictures below.

See the Archived Pages for news of recent Iceboating activity

Weather  Links

Check out the new WTEN Futurecast product
(I've made it very easy to customize this link to suit your own preferences)

Iceboat Launch Site Maps & Directory for the Eastern US

Email John Sperr      On-the-Ice Cell # Request

AIS Ship Tracking

ADS-B Aircraft Tracking


right click and select "view image" to see photos in full resolution

Thundershower moving across Blue Hill Bay as viewed from our wild blueberry field.


I have switched this page into "Summer Mode" --
See the Archived Pages for news of recent Iceboating activity.

In Maine, we have been steadily recovering the wild blueberry land that was once managed for commercial harvest. Of the potential 6 acres that were once farmed, we have cleared about 2.5 acres since the summer of 2011 when we acquired the property. It's rough and rocky terrain -- granite boulders are strewn everywhere, left by the retreating glacier of the last ice age some 16,000 years ago -- and all the large woody plants need to be cut, stacked and burned on the patches of bare bedrock. We're slowly figuring out the layout for the houses and infrastructure -- soon I hope to have a small shed built where we can run the berry packing and jam production operation. This year's work started in March when we burned most of the brush piles we created last year. Good snow cover on the ground when burning this amount of hot material keeps the fire contained.

7 am start in Maine to burn brush

Another pile fires up -- they make a lot of smoke for a few minutes-- then they get very hot and burn cleaner.


Dinner at the cabin -- new lighting over the sink...

...a 20 x 30 LED array that draws a mere 25 watts.


A new meter allows us to monitor our off grid electrical use and PV production.



A beautiful blossoming of the wild blueberries in the commercial field below us.

Students from the WoodenBoat School enjoying after class afternoon sailing.

Newly transplanted spruce trees will form a nice stand in 20 years.

The start of the sunset that would not quit...


Zak's Graduation Day

A beautiful spring day in New York City.

Zak's turn at the head of the queue.


Rhinecliff Waterfront Day 2014

Marie setting up the "Fish Printing" tent.

Serious work painting the fish.

Clearwater Revival Festival 2014

USN Destroyer Escort SLATER heading up the Hudson River

Lush foliage and a good fruit set can be seen in this field of wild blueberries.

Perhaps we will build a cabin here soon.

Homemade custom thermometer wells and inexpensive electronic
thermometers for our pair of solar hot water batch heaters.

More friends arrive at the cabin.

Hog Island -- the beach near the head of land is a large slab of granite.

Hog Island outing.

Wooden Boat Magazine's fleet of student boats.

Another Christy Hill Sunset.

Summer Garden Flowers.

Waterford, NY tugboat roundup.

Kline Kill fall fly-in -- 1931 Waco QCF-2 NC11478 -- one of 12 still flying.

Kline Kill fall fly-in -- 1934 DeHavilland DH.82 Tiger Moth N3529.


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


The big pile awaits -- about 200 small spruce and pine trees

We insert a bag full of empty cardboard milk cartons when we build the pile...




...three minutes after lighting the match, the pile is in full conflagration.


Rounding up the stragglers 45 minutes later that survived the initial flare.

The summer season in Maine comes to life in late May -- boats are moved back into the water and the presence of people from "away" is recognized with a huge surge in the local economy. Most of the benefit of the 5 billion generated by tourism comes in the summer and early fall.

The harbor in Rockport is getting busy.

Rockport Marine Park is a favorite stop.

Rented honey bees do the bulk of the pollination -- they travel the country -- these arrived from California almond orchards -- next stop, Nova Scotia.

Evening view across Penobscot Bay to the Camden Hills.

Looking East across Blue Hill Bay to the Mountains of Acadia National Park.

Wild Lupines were flowering everywhere on the top of the hill. the rain clouds pushed off...

...and a nearly full moon rose in the East.




Rhinecliff Waterfront Day 2014

Mary paints a new sign for the "Make a Button" booth.

Casey studying the button making options.

Clearwater Revival Festival 2014

Bumble Bees are 2.5 times more effective pollinators than honeybees

Nonnah's painting in the pile of granite boulders.

The July "Super Moon" rising in the east.

The Eggemoggin Reach Regatta fleet of about 100 boats gathers in Brooklin, ME at the Wooden Boat Magazine waterfront for the post race dinner.

Fog working in off the Eggemoggin Reach closing out the crest of the hill.

A very long tailed Woodland Mouse.

Another sunset.

Supercell thunderstorm -- mesocyclone rotation vortex in center of frame.

Strong hail falling to our north -- 100 acres of the wild blueberry crop were lost.

Cold front pushing east through the Hudson Valley...

..followed two hours later by the September "Super Moon".

Kline Kill fall fly-in -- 1931 Aeronca C3 NC15729.

Kline Kill fall fly-in -- the Waco's 7 cylinder 220 hp Continental Engine.


Web Page Archives

September 1, 2014 Archive

April 20, 2014 Archive

February 5, 2014 Archive

January 18, 2014 Archive

January 3, 2014 Archive

December 8, 2013 Archive

September 22, 2013 Archive

May 24, 2013 Archive     August 1, 2013 Archive

April 14, 2013 Archive     May 1, 2013 Archive

February 20, 2013 Archive     March 17, 2013 Archive

 September 23, 2012 Archive    December 22, 2012 Archive

June 4, 2012 Archive        July 14, 2012 Archive

January 16, 2012 Archive

Wreck of the Galatea Archive

December 26, 2011 Archive     December 15, 2011 Archive

October 2011 Archive          Early Summer 2011 Archive

May 2, 2011 Archive                    March 1, 2011 Archive

February 24, 2011 Archive     February 19, 2011 Archive



Weather Links

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 Forecast Snow and Precip Type Forecast Loop
NE US Radar from Intellicast Current Snow Depth Water Vapor Forecast Loop
Albany Storm Precipitation Totals Saugerties Lighthouse Live Image US Hazardous Weather Outlook
Day 1 Quant Precip Forecast Map  WTEN Interactive Radar and Futurecast 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



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 of the day.                    ŠJohn A. Sperr MMXIV