Photo: Sean R. Heavey

Good morning again from below Fort Peck dam near the Missouri River. We had a long but fun day on the ice. We decided to move base camp from the marina landing to Duck Creek, the 2020 DN North Americans’ launch site. There was a rough ice area between the launch and the black ice that would have been difficult for the C Skeeters to push through. (DNers who used the south launch on Black Lake in Michigan at the U.S. Nationals will understand. It was challenging moving a DN through the minefield; imagine pushing a C Skeeter.)

We had plenty of willing and capable help to figure out the logistics of the move. Sean and his friend Dave carefully towed Daniel and Pat across the rough ice and around a heave. Once on the black ice, the sails remained rolled up on the planks, and they sailed using only their masts to the new launch.

The wind finally subsided enough later in the afternoon for some sailing and photography. A line of snow squalls on the other side of the lake provided an artistic backdrop.

After a dinner at the Gateway, we went back to the ice so that Sean, Dave, and another friend of his, Carlos, could experiment with lighting effects for night photography. Underwater flares were cool to watch, but they didn’t provide enough light for these photographers’ vision.
Sean, Dave, and Carlos brought out a host of specialized lights and rigging. We’ll be on the ice again tonight and hoping for a clear night sky with visible stars.

The winds are conducive for C Skeeter sailing at 12-18 mph with a 30F temperature. Pat is cooking up some eggs, and I’d better get ready to go to the ice. We are also expecting some Montana sailors to arrive this afternoon.

Here’s how Lake Mendota compares to Fort Peck Lake.