April 28, 2015: Town Island

It’s time for an update on conditions close to town. With the Coney Island footbridge removed this morning, the waterways are clear from town through Devil’s Gap.

My Walsten Air friends in high places were flying today. Dave Murray and Justin Martin grabbed some pictures between Route Bay and Treaty Island.

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Route Bay, Storm Bay, Longbow Lake

This photograph looks west, and shows Route Bay and Storm Bay at the left, while Longbow Lake dominates the right side of the picture.

Click on the pictures to see a larger, zoomable version.

Storm Bay has melted, catching up to Route Bay, which went last week. Behind them, Bigstone Bay still has ice, but it is visibly rotten. Longbow looks to be entirely ice-free now. Next, a look at Pine Portage Bay.

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Thunder Bay, Pine Portage Bay, Bald Indian Bay

Thunder Bay, at the left, is where Smith Camps is located. Still frozen, but weakening fast. The deep water of Pine Portage Bay, extending to the right side of the picture, makes Northern Harbour home to many keelboat sailors. It can be late to thaw, but the ice there looks weak now, and it seems to be letting go along the west shore.

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Middle Island to Quarry Island

Lots of ice in the foreground of the picture above, but check out the open water between Scotty Island and Middle Island, near the left side. Just above the center of the picture, a wide stretch of open water connects Scotty Island to the Keewatin Channel. I see pan ice on Scotty’s beach when I zoom in.

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Town Island to Matheson Bay

Water stretches from Devil’s Gap to Gordon Island, near the center of this picture, and the ice is melting between Gordon and Town Islands.

Town Island has water on more than one side today.

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Town Island

This last shot shows that Devil’s Gap and Keewatin Channel have met at Rogers Island.

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Rogers Island, Galt Island & Matheson Bay

It looks like you could get a boat to BB Camp on Town Island. Also, the entire shoreline of Treaty Island looks clear.

Today’s satellite pictures are slightly cloudy, but you can see that Big Traverse is down to about 50% ice cover, and it looks thin. The strongest, whitest ice is on Shoal Lake, and the thin grey ice in the aerial photos above is also visible from space.

Speaking of different points of view, and I mean different vantage points, not different opinions, I ran into someone who does drone photography yesterday. I was guest speaker at the Kenora Rotary Club lunch on Monday. I had a great time, by the way, the audience was friendly and engaged and I got to talk about how Ice Patrol came about and then evolved. If you are interested, the gist of that process is described in the very first post on this blog.

After the meeting, I got talking to Duncan Carmichael and found out that for Duncan Carmichael Real Estate Brokerage, which specializes in waterfront properties, he has a fleet of drones that they use to photograph cottages and lots. Drones are much more suitable for low altitude, low speed work than the planes I fly. If you are one of the people who has been hinting that you’d like a picture of your cottage, you could contact Duncan- he takes pictures all over the lake.

Warm weather is expected to continue. The Weather Network outlook for Kenora is for highs ranging from 15ºC to 18ºC during the next week. Many cottagers will be able to reach camps close to town by this weekend, and the rest of the lake will not be far behind.

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