Monday, June 11, 2007

Melting the ice

With the temperatures going up, the ice that has been present in the harbour and outer bay is finally starting to take a bit of a hit.

When I came up here, the perception I had on the way ice must work up here was not in touch with the reality of it. In my lifetime, when ice happened around St. John’s, it was never formed there. The temperatures simply never got cold enough. Instead, ice was something that happened in the spring of the year. Ice packs would come down from the arctic, the wind and currents would blow it ashore and they would gum up the works until the wind would shift and the ice pack would blow off shore. And somewhere out in the middle of the Atlantic, all that ice would shift back to water.

And for whatever bizarre reason I assumed the same mechanics must work up here as well. It was a bit of a shock my first winter up here when the mysterious pack ice didn’t blow into town and stay, the bay simply froze solid. Ta da! And it stayed that way for the better part of six or seven months when the bay simply melted. Ta da!

No winds or mystery currents needed. The bay freezes. The bay thaws. I’m sure some of the ice gets blown out to sea and makes it’s way south, but around town, not so much.

Anyway, we’re in bay thawing mode right now. The ocean beneath is starting to warm up. The air temperature is above zero and we had a fair bit of rain on the weekend. So we’re starting to see small lakes forming out on the ice. It’s also a very nice shade of blue. I know that’s an odd thing to say, but it is. It’s a shade of blue I haven’t seen in awhile. It just catches my eye.

If I had written this blog on Saturday, I would have said the ice is also getting to the point where it’s getting too dangerous to go out on it in snowmobiles and the like. I hadn’t seen one zipping across the bay in days at that point. And yet, Sunday evening Cathy called out to me and pointed to a snowmobile towing a kamitik. He was close to shore, but still. So the ice is apparently still thick enough, but I’ve got to think that’s not going to last much longer.

Anyway, on a lark I grabbed the camera and drove to a couple of different spots around town last night to get some shots of the bay. And tonight we took Boo for a walk at Sylvia Grenell, a park just outside of town. I’m not sure it really conveys the colour out there all that well. The sun was a bit hit and miss the last two nights. But here are a few shots.

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