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Docks are in! All of them! With the help of my son Sanford, Jake Rideout and I made pretty short work of them. Then they put the boats in, moved a log that the ice had moved to right out front, and brought batteries and fishing gear out of storage. The rain held off, and started about half an hour after the kids left. It would have taken me days to do what we accomplished in 5 hours!
On another note, the family in Cabin 2 caught five salmon in one day in the lake!

Two boats in the water. Hoping to get docks in this weekend--if the weather cooperates.

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Opening day! The lake is like glass. Fish are rising; loons are swimming out front. Still have a little work to do on Cabin 2 (just got the water on yesterday) and yardwork to do, but we're ready to roll. First guests arrive this afternoon.

It doesn't take long for the loons to return once the ice is gone!

Friday night, we went to bed thinking that the storms that were causing tornado warnings in VT were going to pass south of us--though we did see some lightning, heard some thunder, and it was raining lightly. But the ice still looked firmly on the pond and there was no wind. We woke up in the morning to no power, no clothesline tree (which saved us having to cut it down), and no ice! Power didn't come back until 10:30 this morning (Sunday), so I couldn't start working on Cabin 2 until this morning, only to find four leaks when I turned the water on. So replacing split pipes and the kitchen floor will have to be done next weekend. The good news, according to Jim Calyer, is that the fish are biting!

Water is on in Cabin 3! The valve under Cabin 2 that's still frozen in the mud must be shut. But it can wait. I'll have two cabins ready to be occupied by Sunday!

Tom has started on next year's firewood. That means he's all better, but the yard is not getting cleaned up. He did do some cabin cleaning yesterday, I have to admit. Still no water in Cabins 2 and 3. The ice looks noticeably weaker today, but not going anywhere yet.

The water is on in Cabin 1! Cabins 2 and 3 take longer to thaw out, but at least I can get one cabin cleaned this week. And I dug my summer tires out of the snow, too.

Four weeks from today, I need to have all the cabins ready. Since I can't hook up the water until the ground thaws out, I keep searching for some sign that the ice is beginning to break up and the ground is beginning to warm. No such luck. I haven't even been able to get to my summer tires yet. I guess I'm not going to be spending my April vacation cleaning. 😕

Ice fishing is closed. The ice is still two feet thick but rotting fast. It's looking like I will be spending April vacation cleaning cabins for about a May 1st opening.

The Magalloway Plantation Town Report arrived today--and Tom was back out on the ice. Spring is in the air.

No news because it's Town Meeting season. Tom is buried in paperwork, and the lake is buried in snow. Luckily, this next storm is supposed to miss us, so the snow will settle and he should get out on the ice next weekend. With this cold, the ice should last quite a while longer.

The ice is at its best, but for some reason, the fishing is really slow the last few days. Just one pickerel and 3 perch yesterday. But it was a beautiful day.

Tom has returned to the ice! We went out yesterday for a test run, to make sure it wouldn't be too strenuous. He is soooo happy to be out of the house! It's actually easier to walk on the lake than around the house, because it is flat with just enough snow to make it not slippery (we wear cleats). Spring seems to be arriving a little early, and reservations are beginning to come in at a faster pace. Life is good.

Sorry to have been so out of touch. Ice fishing was going great--a salmon every day, and Tom's daughter-in-law caught a 16 inch brookie last weekend--until Monday when Tom had a heart attack. No, he was not on the ice when it happened, but after the pain subsided, he did go out and try to fish! (I was at school). Another attack on Tuesday sent us to the hospital. He had a triple bypass on Friday. He is doing fine, and the thing that upsets him the most, he says, is not being able to fish. Hopefully the ice will last well into April so he won't miss the whole rest of the season. And our neighbor has already offered to take him out in his side-by-side so he can jig, at least.

So Facebook wants to "update" Sturtevant Pond Camps to a "sports team" and tells me that they have "verified" the new category with three viewers. I don't know who those viewers are, but they don't know who we are! Meanwhile, when I try to tell them not to change it, they tell me that the requested page is "unavailable." So I guess I'll have to get my grandchildren to start a hockey team for us!

I think I finally successfully updated the website. But if you can't get in (or it didn't update or you didn't get a card because we don't have your mailing address), here's Tom's year-end letter:
Our last guests left on December 3. That week we spent time closing up the cabins, draining water and preparing them for the cold winter ahead. It is a melancholy time of year for us because, as we go about these chores, we realize that it will be almost 6 months before the cabin...

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