Caroline Armstrong texted me this morning to say the floating bridge to Coney Island has been taken out. Here’s what it looked like from the Waterside dining room at the Clarion Inn.
This is a significant Sign of Spring, because the city removes the footbridge when the waterway is otherwise open from downtown Kenora through to Devil’s Gap.
This morning I departed from the Kenora airport without passengers, so I seized the opportunity to fly west to look at Clearwater Bay before turning on course.
You can click on any of today’s pictures to see a full-screen, zoomable version.
I’ll start with my standard shot of Rat Portage Bay and Safety Bay.
The only ice visible anywhere near the Kenora Harbourfront is that little patch by Gun Club Island, seen here in the distance above the windshield wiper arm.
We climbed westward, following the Trans-Canada past Woodlake Marine.
In this photo, White Partridge Bay is tucked in by the aircraft nose and wiper. Above the centre of the picture is the ice of Clearwater Bay, with Shoal Lake on the horizon.
This is as far west as we went, with the aircraft coming up on Corkscrew Island. Clearwater, at the right, is mostly ice-covered, but the shorelines are opening up. Zoom in for a look at Deception Bay, near the blurred propeller blade, or Woodchuck Bay, beyond Deception; they’re both open. At the left, by the wipers, Ptarmigan Bay is frozen all the way to Copper Island and Victoria Island.
As we began our turn on course, we got our best look at Shoal Lake.
Off the nose of the King Air are Echo Bay and Rush Bay; both are open, but if you zoom in, you can see a little floating ice pan on Rush Bay. Shoal Lake is top centre, and the ice isn’t covering the whole lake any more. North of Cash Island, Shoal Lake is open. Clytie Bay is partly open. Zoom in and look for the three finger-like points on Clytie’s north west shore; there’s ice to the south of them, and also on Bag Bay, next door.
We turned east to look at the Barrier Islands.
In this picture, the nose of the plane is on the Western Peninsula, with the Barrier Islands leading left. The big patch of water has spread out from The Elbow, between Mather Island and Allie Island. However, in this northern part of Lake of the Woods, there’s still more ice than open water. Whisky Island is at the left, partly chopped off at the edge of the frame.
We didn’t travel towards Sioux Narrows, but I did aim the camera south east.
This picture is centred roughly between Shore Island (half surrounded by water) and Ferrier Island (iced in). Beyond them you can see Long Bay stretching off to the left. It’s mostly open, although Yellow Girl Bay is still full of ice. At the top centre is Whitefish Bay, which is almost all ice.
That covers it for this morning’s pictures. I did take a couple on the way home. Yesterday’s pictures of Dryden weren’t very clear, so here’s a better shot of Wabigoon Lake.
As we approached Kenora, I was on the lookout for any significant developments, but it had only been about ten hours, and there really wasn’t much change.
So I’ll finish where I started, in downtown Kenora. Here’s a picture of where the bridge is not seen.
As you can see, although there are some remnants of ice road floating in Rat Portage Bay, just above the wing tip, the water’s open all the way to Devil’s Gap now.
Let the boating begin. Don’t forget to check your safety equipment.