It hasn’t been all that warm, but it’s certainly been windy. Strong winds from the east today meant we had to circle to land on Kenora’s runway 08, which was all the excuse I needed to swing south of the airport and grab a few quick pictures to show how the ice is going.
First, Longbow Lake. Click on these pictures to see more detail and zoom right in.
You can see that the ice on Longbow is mostly floating free. At the left of the photograph, the light isn’t as good, but if you zoom right in on Bigstone Bay you can tell that it’s all ice there and around Hay Island.
Here’s a closer look at the area around Smitty’s Camps and Northern Harbour.
Northern Harbour is at the right edge of the picture, and Pine Portage Bay is still frozen. The long point near the middle of the photo is Heenan Point, with Thunder Bay just below it. All frozen there.
But wait, what’s all this between Scotty Island and Copeland Island?
Town Island is in the center of this shot, with Scotty Island at the left edge: you can see the distinctive arc of the beach. It’s not barbecue weather yet, but it looks as if you could just about set foot on Scotty Island if you weren’t caught by ice drifting in the wind. That water between Lunny’s Island and Bare Point (below Town Island) is new, too.
Ice is retreating in the Devil’s Gap area, and it looks as if Matheson Bay is set to go next.
Connor Island and Gordon Island are just above the nose of the King Air in this picture, and Matheson Bay is the water in the right foreground. The ice looks thin and weak there.
Powerful wind made a big difference today, even though the temperatures have struggled to get close to seasonal norms. When I walked around Rabbit Lake on Sunday morning, it was 90% frozen with just a narrow belt of water along the shoreline. As we landed this afternoon, it looked open, and so did Laurenson’s Lake. Round Lake still had about 50% rotten ice.
There’s only five days of April left, so I don’t think we can get the whole lake clear this month. It looks to me as if five weeks of cold snowy weather has pushed us back to ice-out in early May. That’s normal, but kind of a let-down after the hot weather we had in March. Oh, well.
Lastly, a note to all you Clearwater Bay folks. I’m not ignoring you, but I’ve been arriving from the east lately, and I can’t justify taking the plane that far to the west. When there’s real progress out there, I’ll try to find a way.