Heather reports the creek which had been frozen over is open again. Bob has been out drilling, on foot, and yesterday got 4 inches of ice about 300 feet out from their dock. Today, in the same area different spot found a six inch hole. With these discrepancies, he won’t be trying to walk over the big open areas towards Copelands to check yet as he feels it’s not safe and I agree. Now in Indian bay, when chopping a hole for water, our hermit got 3 inches of ice on Saturday, 3 days ago, hence he feels no need to go on the ice, especially with a quad.
Now as much as this sounds like positive news, it is not. Von and I went checking down the west side, on snowmobile, scratchers out, and with the sciff of snow we received last night. Why today you wonder when tonight is forecast -16C. This is because Wednesday is supposed to warm way up, and with a huge temperature change like that, safe practice is to stay off the ice for 24 hours to let the ice temper/adjust to the different temperatures. At the ice thickness we have been getting, that fell under the heading of common sense. Lets start with the ice itself. We had the melt last Friday and all that snow we got melted and the top 1-2 inches of ice is the white stuff which is deemed to be 50% of clear blue. We travelled close to shore, about 50-100 feet depending on the area. We were finding mostly 6 inches, occasional 51/2 and in a couple of spots 5 inches. Lets think about that, 5″ of which 2″ is white ice and what do you have, Maybe the strength of 4 or less? Once again the inconsistency was the troubling part. At the N point of Indian bay, walked about 300 feet out onto the lake from shore, drilling and the ice depth kept decreasing till 5 inches, again with the white on the top. In a couple of spots when drilling, we would break through the white layer, find a water layer, then ice again, sometimes just a dead air space. The ski-doos never broke through the upper crust in these striated areas but I wouldn’t bet on a quad. Another issue was overheating due to a lack of cooling, insufficient snow. The Skandic has a radiator so did OK, with just the tunnel cooling on the other machine, not so much. Made it over the narrows and carried down the S lake. We found a quad trail sucked right up to the shore going to the landing and travelled beside it as it was a rutty mess. Stopping in a couple of places, walked out towards the middle of the E channel and found 7 inches, again with at least 2 inches of white ice. Made it to the landing, high fived and headed back home, stopping to cool down a couple of times.
Conclusion, with the forecast Thursday being +3 and 0 overnight and Friday +1C we are cancelling our plans this weekend and staying home and rescheduling for a future date. To risk heading out pulling the boggans with the dog and cat, not to mention ourselves is just stupid, sorry for being blunt. I will keep checking ice for those who were planning Christmas out here. There may be a sliver of hope. Next report unknown, lets see what the temperatures do.