John Sweeney and Andy Zabloski flew today and returned from the north in the afternoon, so they helped me out with some pictures of the Minaki area.
Big Sand Lake, north of Minaki. Wind has driven the last of the ice to the shore.
You can click on any of these pictures to see a high-resolution, zoomable version.
The south end of Big Sand Lake and all of Sand Lake, with Minaki visible near the left side.
Sand Lake, with Minaki closer to the center of the picture. That white streak near the horizon is ice on Shoal Lake.
Winnipeg River, with Kenora in the distance, above the center of the photograph. The narrow lake near the top left corner is Lower Black Sturgeon, and the white patch at the top right corner is ice on the south part of Lake of the Woods.
In other news, the footbridge to Coney Island came out this morning. That’s scheduled when the waterway from downtown Kenora is otherwise open all the way to Devil’s Gap.
A quick glance at the start of my own flight at twilight revealed that there are some boats in the water at Northern Harbour. We didn’t look at more distant parts of the lake, because there wasn’t enough light to distinguish ice from water.
Satellite images from the last two days have not been good. I’d like to see what’s going on with ice on the southern parts of Lake of the Woods, but cameras on both Aqua and Terra satellites have been thwarted by cloud cover. Some parts of the lake can be glimpsed through gaps in the cloud, and do show the ice darkening, but we haven’t had a really clear image since May 7th.
Tomorrow I’m scheduled for a training flight, so I hope to get a better look around.
My flight today didn’t take me over the lake or close to Minaki, but we did briefly fly north of Kenora, so I did manage a couple of shots of the Winnipeg River from the south end.
The first picture looks north west from over the north end of Dufresne Island. The white stuff near the nose of the airplane is just a wispy little cloud. Locke Bay and Muriel Lake are in the middle distance. Still some ice there.
For this second shot, we’ve turned more north, so you can see Big Sand and Gun Lake near the horizon. Both are frozen. Closer to the foreground are the mouth of Locke Bay and Laurenson’s Island. The streaky bits at the bottom are the same cloud as in the previous picture.
That’s as close to Minaki as we went before we needed to turn towards the airport.
This is Lower Black Sturgeon, seen from the west. The ice there is melting along the shore and looks like it could go completely in the next few days if we stay warm and sunny. Silver Lake, visible in the distance, is a deep lake and will take much longer.
Kenora has three suburban lakes: Rabbit Lake, Round Lake and Laurenson’s Lake. I photographed Laurenson’s the other day, and it was starting to go. Today Round Lake, the smallest of the three, went completely in a matter of hours. In the morning it was icy. By lunchtime it was opening up, after lunch there was only a small patch of candled ice at the downwind end.
I will be out of town for the weekend starting tomorrow, so there will be no fresh pictures for a few days. I won’t have access to my desktop computer, only my tablet, so I will be limited guest photos, if there are any, and updating the satellite links.
I expect the thaw will carry on without me.