Copyright John A. Sperr
Preserving and Sailing the Historic Gaff Rigged Ice Yachts of New York's Hudson River Valley
Wednesday 7 am -- March 4, 2015
JACK FROST wins the
first contest with ROCKET
New USCG Aerial photos -- Red Bank, NJ to Troy, NY
Snowed Out -- No Sailing on the River or Tivoli Bay -- More snow Tuesday thru Thursday
Active weather pattern this week -- Heavy Snow Thursday on the Jersey Coast?
right click and select "view image" to see photos in full resolution
Surfaces slowly improving, but more snow is in the offing
Snow, sleet, and rain fell Tuesday afternoon making a mess of the evening commute. The initial burst of snow accumulated to an inch and a half, but by Wednesday morning, the rain had reduced it to under an inch of heavy stiff stuff that needed to be shoveled from the driveway. More precipitation is in the forecast for Thursday, but the track and amounts have been hard to pin down -- witness the complete change in the model forecasts for Red Bank in the graphics above.
Cayuga Lake, the second largest of the Finger Lakes, is reported to be frozen over -- a rare event. Closer to home, there are ice floes in NY Harbor and people sailing on the frozen waters of Long Island. The USCG has all they can do just to keep the track open north of West Point to Albany -- there's a new set of very colorful aerial photos posted that were flown last Tuesday. NBC had a live feed out of Rhinecliff one morning with one of their weather reporters onboard the Coast Guard icebreaker working the track in the Kingston area.
The weather will stay active this week by most reports -- all locations may see more snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain. While the Miller type A storm is out of the picture in the short run for a blizzard or immense nor'easter this week, do not discount the near term possibilities for one more large storm. There is still plenty of cold air being delivered by the "Siberian Express" and there are a lot of moisture laden systems ejecting out of the Gulf of Mexico.
Arctic Cold Returned in Force Last Week
The headline picture demonstrates it best -- a week of cold weather with several sub-zero nights has hardened up the Hudson River from West Point north. The area of detail is the Hudson Anchorage, a place where convoys of ships and barges moving in opposite directions can pull out of the track and wait for the convoy moving in the opposite direction to safely pass. This is an important dance that the USCG choreographs -- there's a lot of volatile fracking crude being moved south on the river today in barges and ocean going tankers as well as the steady stream of gasoline, diesel, and heating oil flowing north. If you look carefully in the full Ice Flight compilation, you can see one of the big USCG Icebreakers working the track further north while a smaller cutter works the ice at the anchorage and monitors the passing. These daytime convoys are the rule today when the ice gets thick and get the cargo delivered safely without unnecessary delay. Years ago, we would routinely see underpowered barges get stuck in the ice when operating alone -- all movement in the track would come to a standstill until they were broken out and got underway again.
Bob Wills sends the following two aerial photos of Orange Lake he captured both outbound from Stewart Airport and then again inbound almost a week later. If you expand them, you can clearly see the the snowmobile tracks in the fresh snow.
Special thanks to Ray Chipault and Underwood Archives.
Recent Photo Albums
February 26 - March 1, 2015
With near continuous snow having shut down all the sailing in the Hudson Valley, Jack Frost and Rocket were dismantled last Thursday morning at Orange Lake and trailered to the recently formed up ice in Red Bank, New Jersey. Both boats were rigged and ready to go by Thursday evening and a great day of sailing was had on Friday. Saturday was rather windless -- but there was good energy on the ice amongst everyone -- the sailors and many visitors -- as word spread throughout the community about the big show going on down at the waterfront.
Sunday started cold and calm, but as the snow boundary approached late morning, the wind picked up, and the assembled fleet at the NSIBYC Clubhouse sprung into action.
The real action came Monday as the ROCKET and JACK FROST had their first formal duels ever on the ice. Both of these big ice yachts were built with the intention of winning the iceboating sailor's equivalent of the "America's Cup" -- the "Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America" -- a 30 foot long silk pennant endowed in the late 1800's. JACK FROST, a five time winner of the trophy, was the clear favorite, and under the steady and well practiced hands of the Lawrence family (Rick, Danny, and next generation Kevin), the "Frost" swept the contest in three races and earned the bragging rights to the handsome new trophy that the NSIBYC has created for the express purpose of fostering this friendly new competition. Do not discount the ROCKET -- this boat will be a force to contend with as they tune the newly restored ice yacht and hone their skills in sailing these largest of all ice yachts. ROCKET has 900 square feet of sail compared to the JACK FROST's 750 -- this will translate into an enormous horsepower advantage in light air when they get the kinks worked out in the coming seasons. I had the privilege to skipper the ROCKET this weekend and it is one very fine, well mannered, and capable ice yacht -- congratulations to John Holian, Robert Pulsch, and everyone at the NSIBYC who brought the project to fruition.
Web Page Archives
|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
Yahoo Group "IceReports"
Site Maps & Directory for the Eastern US
Galatea's runner plank failed at the hole for the gammon strap. Rigging carried the left side runner and plank across the boat.
With no gammon strap securing the backbone, the cockpit rolled with the mast and the rim broke.
Pilot and passenger were gently ejected into the sail. No injuries. photo Copyright Dock Shuter, Feb 2010
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 MMXV