Old man Winter was a sore loser this year. When the ice finally went out, he sulked in fog so thick I could not go flying to make sure. No one has reported significant ice remaining on Lake of the Woods for a day or two now, and I think it’s gone. Just to make sure that there were no massive ice jams, I drove out to Northern Harbour today. I could not see any ice in Pine Portage Bay.
So Ice Patrol ends without a final set of photographs this year. It’s always tricky to catch the last day or two, and this year, poor weather made it impossible.
I dropped in on James Hendy at River Air’s Kenora floatplane dock this morning, and he tells me that not only is there no ice on Lake of the Woods that can be seen from planes flying near town, but also that many of the northern outpost lakes are opening up now.
I heard from Garry Hawryluk, and he reports that the Manitou is open all the way down to Crow Rock, finally blowing open in light winds on Monday the 19th.
I have not had any reports from Shoal Lake, Just got this from Matthew:
Shoal lake 80% clear to dominique island from Holmstroms landing 2 pm.
East track from clytie bay to narrows is pretty much open from what I could see.
From the reserve out to cash island and farther had the majority of ice. was where the flow was heading.
Cannot speak beyond south of Dominique island, will have a aerial view by 8 am.
Majority of ice should be gone by Friday pm. Take your time, wear polarized glasses.
but I did hear that West Hawk opened up a few days ago.
I think we can get on with Summer. I have planes to fly and books to write. I hope you have fun lined up, too.
One last thing. Please remember that floatplanes have the right of way when landing or taking off. I’m not making that up; for those critical phases of flight, that is the rule. Please keep an eye on the sky, especially in Safety Bay, which is a Licenced Water Aerodrome. When airplanes are on the water, you may treat them like any other boat, but I urge you to consider that they have no brakes and steer poorly, especially on windy days. I advise giving them a wide berth.
This blog will now go dormant for the next ten months or so, but it will come back to life in time for next year’s thaw.
Have a safe summer, Lake Dwellers, and thanks for all the support.