Walking on thick ice

Making landfal
Making landfall on the island

Across from the tidal inlet near our house is a small island which is a symbolic destination for us, depending on the time of year. We celebrate spring, and the ice breaking up, by canoeing to it. In winter, if the ice is thick enough, we walk or skate to it. Today the ice was over 6 inches thick, the required minimum, and we walked there.

The days are getting a little longer

… I think. At least the sun has come out as the temperatures dive well below freezing. After several days of hovering around the 0°C mark, the sun rose to -14°C. Time for a walk.

Steam rises from the water of Mahone Bay in the early morning sun
The sun rises behind islands in Mahone Bay
Pine tree
The rising sun kisses the snow

Songs and poems about the ocean

My husband has just posted a video list of his favourite music and poetry about the sea on his French sailing blog, “Voile pour tous”.  The videos are in both French and English, but his introduction is in French.  Here’s my translation:

Sea, winds and boats weave a symphony of poems, music and popular song

Here is a collection of videos in French and English about the ocean, the winds and boats.  I welcome you to suggest others in different genres.

I am very grateful to YouTube for enabling me to post this modest collection.

Isn’t our planet amazing?  A big “thank you” to the artists, poets, composers and singers who have found ways to express their sense of wonder.

He has included a favourite of mine, “Je voudrais voir la mer” by Michel Rivard which Linda Morrison arranged for us in the Yellow Door Tabernacle Choir when I lived in Montreal. Even if you don’t understand the words, you can feel the rhythm of the ocean in the music.

Here’s the link to his blog post. Enjoy!

MERS, VENTS ET BATEAUX s’entrelacent dans une symphonie de poèmes, musique et chansons populaires

First time in a canoe this year

We did it because we could. The ice is gone, the tide was high. My son and I dipped the canoe in the ocean and paddled out to a nearby island. He hiked around it and then we paddled back again.

Ashore on a small island near home
Ashore on a small island near home

Watching the sea ice float away

Great sheets of ice have broken away and are ready to float out of the cove with the wind and tide.
Great sheets of ice have broken away and are ready to float out of the cove with the wind and tide.

The powerful north winds of the storm earlier in the week pinned the ice to the shore, even while driving cracks into it. Now there is no wind, and much of the ice that we walked on in January seems poised to float out to sea.  What will it take for it to leave?  A south wind?  Repeated tides?

The sea ice nearby is keeping the temperature down in our yard.  Much of it is still covered with snow and ice, while up the road, further away from the water, the ground is bare.  It has been a hard, icy winter.  So I’ll be glad to see the sea ice go.

The edge of the ice

The tidal inlet on January 2, 2009
The tidal inlet on January 2, 2009

Ice always builds up and stays in the inlets where it isn’t easily carried out to sea.  At low tide it just sits on the bottom, on the mud. There’s always a dynamic edge out there forming, melting, breaking off depending on the wave action, with pieces getting carried out to sea.