Freeze-up

Image: Freeze-up

We’ve been in for a bit of a suprise – on January 3rd, the end of the Port Neville Inlet froze up.

We were very worried. We couldn’t get our little row boat out to the float to check on the Moody Blue and the Awen, and we were very concerned about the impact of the ice on the float and the boats. Freeze-up also means we can’t leave the inlet, and will have to remain here until things melt. At the moment, this is not too much of a problem as everything is well with us, and we have lots of supplies, but it is hard to know how long this weather will continue and the ice will remain.

At first the ice was quite soft, slushy sea ice. This broke up and washed out with the tides a couple of times. Then, on January 6th, the ice thickened up. It was now mostly freshwater ice, probably from surface fresh water from the river at the head of the inlet, and very hard and sharp. We tried to “ice break” our way out to the float by cracking the ice ahead of our little row boat with an oar, but had no luck. Later in the day, some breaks in the ice opened up, and Ken was able to wend his way out to the float. He got the Moody Blue running and out into a clear channel, then proceeded to roar around at full bore. This created a large wake which rolled towards shore under the ice pack. With a loud, but strangely musical roar, like thousands of glasses breaking, the ice started cracking. It broke free from the shore in large floating chunks and was carried towards the narrows by the tidal current.

We got the ice broken only soon enough – just as Ken tied up the Moody Blue and shut her engine down, our friend from Ransom Point arrived for a visit and to bring some yellow cedar trim he’d just planed up for us. He was rather surprised to find huge floating ice islands moving through the narrows as he came in!

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