If a lake thaws, and no-one gets to enjoy it, did it still melt? I flew every day this week, and I didn’t lay eyes on the lake once. We’ve had nothing but wind and snow and cold. I have no trips scheduled on the weekend, so I might as well try to put Ice Patrol to bed.
For my records, I’ll be saying that this year, Lake of the Woods was ice free on Monday, April 24th.
Not a very satisfying way to close off the Ice Patrol, I admit. You may be wondering if all these below-freezing temperatures mean we could be making new ice. Short answer: no. It’s been too windy for anything but the shallowest parts of the most sheltered bays to re-freeze. Slightly longer answer: watch out for ice formed from spray on your shoreline, dock and boat. You do not want to fall in the lake yet.
It could be worse, by the way: you could live in Thunder Bay. They’ve had two days of horrendous freezing rain, and practically every flight in or out was cancelled during that time.
Let’s look at how it went this year. I describe the thawing of Lake of the Woods as a six week process, but I admit his is a rather rubbery statistic. While it’s usually easy to say when the thaw is complete, it’s more subjective to squint at the icy lake one day and whisper, “it begins.” This year, I started on March 14th, because that’s roughly typical. So if you’ll spot me that call, this year was just one day shy of the six week mark.
So that’s it for now. If I ever get to fly in the sunshine again, I’ll try to photograph some sparkling water. Perhaps one of my other contributors will be able to fly this weekend and get some pretty pictures. It’s been wonderful to have help from so many other pilots this year, by the way: some are complete strangers, some are casual acquaintances, and of course, all of my friends at Walsten Air pitched in to help.
In the meantime, I’ll post my usual spring reminder about floatplanes. When seaplanes are landing or taking off they have the right of way over boats. When they’re taxiing, they have the same right of way as other boats, but they have no reverse, no brakes, and limited steering, so I ask you give them a wide berth. Please keep in mind that the portion of Safety Bay from Bush Island along the north side of Coney Island is a designated water aerodrome. In other words, an airport for floatplanes. Be vigilant there, and if you do see a plane coming, try to give the pilot room without making sudden, last-second moves.
Last, I’m going to unashamedly plug my book. Five Rivers Publishing is releasing Avians this summer. It’s science fiction for young adult readers. The Converts have tech, the Naturals don’t. Raisa is the girl caught in the middle.
If you’d like some summer reading, Avians will be released on August 1st, and it’s available for pre-order now in either e-book or trade paperback format. You can find out more about it by visiting any of these links:
Five Rivers Publishing. Amazon. Kobo. Barnes & Noble. I’m also planning an appearance at Elizabeth Campbell Books this summer. If you’d like a signed copy, keep an eye on Timothy Gwyn Writes for further details on that as we work things out. Oh, and I’ll be in Winnipeg for Keycon in May. I’ll be doing panels and presentations and a reading there, and giving away one or two signed advance copies.
And now, back to the lake. The Coney Island bridge is being taken out as I write this. And of course, now that I’m finished flying for the day, the sun is coming out.
Have a safe and sunny summer.