Iceboating on Orange Lake
Impatient for ice on the Hudson River, I’d been hounding Dock for the past few days about going to go to Orange Lake where the water is already frozen thick enough for iceboating. Finally, this morning, he phoned to see if I wanted to go. Iceboating is a “drop everything and go when you can” kind of sport since the ice is here for only a short while. So, I left the breakfast dishes in the sink, canceled lunchtime and dinnertime plans with friends, suited up in my warmest clothes, and drove to Kate&Dock’s house in Glasco. Dock & I loaded the iceboat on the car-top while Kate prepared some sandwiches and a thermos of hot chocolate. Neighbor kid Tyler also came along with his own thermos of hot chocolate. After an hour drive, we arrived at the shoreline of the frozen lake. A half-dozen other iceboats were already on the ice, including the newly refurbished Ariel, an antique stern-steerer from circa 1910. Dock set up his single-person DN iceboat, the Red Barron. Iceboaters are usually generous in giving rides to others, so Tyler and Kate sailed on the swift Ariel. I got a ride in a tandem “gambit” iceboat dubbed “U2.” I also took Dock’s DN for a spin when he wasn’t using it. Historically, Orange Lake used to have its own iceboat club, which since folded into the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. The sun dropped below the horizon and the wind started to wane before we even thought about leaving.