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.
Spring is coming – we know it from watching the ice disappear. Martins River down the road is completely clear now, but outside our sheltered inlet there is a large, solid sheet of ice that goes up and down with the tide but hasn’t yet broken up, except around the edges. When it does, the tide will carry it away. It’s preventing the ice pans in our inlet from leaving for the open sea. So they’re melting, and leaving a large open space of water.
It was about 8 degrees Celsius today, and sunny – a gorgeous day that drew us outside. We went for a walk along Martin’s River, which flows into Mahone Bay between the towns of Mahone Bay and Chester.
We saw quite a jumble of ice from upriver blocked by the two bridges: the former railway bridge that is now part of the trail system, and the road bridge. The tea-coloured water was rushing around and under the ice floes.
We walked past the bridges down one the east side of the river. The ice is thinning but still intact.
Canada’s Derek Hatfield (who makes his home in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia), was forced to retire from the Vendée Globe round the world, non-stop solo sailing race in December, due to damage to his boat. He nursed his Algimouss Spirit of Canada to Hobart, Tasmania, where he fixed the damage, and on February 27, he left Hobart, determined to complete the course of the race, even if he is no longer officially in it. Thus he will gain valuable solo experience and the knowledge of his Open 60 equal to that of anyone who completes such a race. He will not get the support from the race organizers that he would have had were he still in the race. However, he will be sailing along parts of the route in the company of some other major offshore races.
The Vendée Globe is gradually wrapping up with the final three boats now in the North Atlantic and due to reach France in the next couple of weeks.
Fair winds, Derek. Hope to see you back home safe and sound in a couple of months!