Time for the first pictures. Not many, because there’s not much water to see.
First up, a glance at the Bigstone Bay and Manitou areas. As always, you can click on this picture to see it full screen, and that larger image should still be zoomable.
Apologies for the weird floating propeller blade, but I had to work fast today. This photo looks west, with Hay Island dominating the picture, and Scotty Island toward the upper right of the frame. The main reason I included this shot is to illustrate the pure white snow cover. Those few darker patches are not slush, they are cloud shadows.
Onward to Keewatin Channel, where there’s some open water.
In the distance, Keewatin at the left, downtown Kenora at the right. In the foreground, Channel Island. At the right, Shragges Island. By the nose of the plane, Anglican Island and Crowe Island. Note that the water in Keewatin Channel is nowhere near hooking up to the water in Safety Bay.
Lastly, Devil’s Gap.
Open water has reached Goat Island and Johnson Island in Rat Portage Bay, but that’s as far as it goes for now.
Not captured in any of my pictures, the open water by the Clarion Lakeside Inn. It looked to me as if the pedestrian bridge to Coney Island is floating in a fairly extensive patch of open water.
By the way, if you haven’t been checking out the comments on Ice Patrol, you’ve been missing some interesting remarks on the effects of snow cover and current. Stu Everett checked how the depth of snow remaining at the Kenora airport in late March related to ice-out, and noticed a strong tendency for heavy snow to correlate to late thaws.
Mike wondered if flooding on the American side was going to lead to high rates of flow through Lake of the Woods, and if that would affect the thaw. So Stu went to the Lake of the Woods Control board data and found that water flow didn’t seem to have a strong influence.
Brian went out on the lake in a tracked vehicle and found the deep crusty snow was covering slush so bad that he turned back. He’s hoping that warmer temperatures will turn the snow cover to darker slush that will offer less insulation and reflectivity.
I’ll be flying again tomorrow. Temperatures were quite mild this afternoon, but I don’t expect to see drastic changes overnight.