I didn’t go flying today, but my co-workers at MAG Aerospace did. They had a long day, arriving home just in time to catch some pictures in the evening light.
First home were John Sweeney and Andy Zabloski. Andy flew, John took pictures.
Blindfold Lake shines in the foreground of this picture looking west at Bigstone Bay with Hay Island in the distance. To the left, Andrew Bay looks open, but south of the Barrier Islands looks like there’s a huge area of ice remaining. Click on these pictures to see the high resolution version that you can zoom in on.
In this second shot, the plane has moved closer to Route Bay. Bigstone Bay is almost entirely open. The most ice is between Hay Island’s Needle Point and the mainland’s Heenan Point, and it’s just soft pan ice.
Hay Island, Moore Bay, Bigstone Bay. More water than ice now.
Scotty Island is just above the aircraft’s nose, and beyond that is the Manitou. Whiskey Island is still ice-locked, but all the ice looks soft and ready to disintegrate. Ptarmigan Bay and Clearwater look open, and I had a comment from scowtan2015 this morning to say that Clearwater’s ice blew out last night.
The next batch of pictures came from airline pilot Matthew Render, a regular guest contributor. He supplies me with pictures of Shoal Lake.
Matthew took these at six o’clock this evening; the pictures look north. The first one shows the west shore of Shoal Lake: everything is clear north of Twin Points including Rice Bay, Snowshoe Bay and Indian Bay. I’m not so sure about the north shore: cloud cover makes it hard to see if there’s ice or not.
Matthew’s second photo has Dominique Island in the foreground, and there’s still plenty of ice in view, but Matthew says it retreated a lot in the twelve hours between his morning flight and his evening flight today.
Caroline talked to a guy from the Sioux Narrows area this morning, and he said Long Bay cleared out last night.
Summary: vast areas of Lake of the Woods are open now, and the remaining ice is weak and floating loose, but cloud cover blocked the satellite cameras today, so we can’t get an overview of the whole lake.
More pictures are coming from my co-workers. Two other MAG Aero crews landed after Andy and John did. They’ll send me pictures this evening, and if their photographs cover different areas I’ll get them up late tonight or early tomorrow morning.
Thanks to everyone who pitched in to help with Ice Patrol today!