March 16th, 2012
Looking North toward the Bay of Green Bay
Crazy warmth this week, 60’s even touching 70! On Monday the Coasties were out in the AIR and on the SEA after a report of two 4 wheelers abandoned on the ice near the Old Stone Quarry…it turned out to be two sunk and busted up ice shanties…chalk that run up to practice. Almost 20 fishermen have been rescued this winter because of the unstable ice conditions. Two weeks ago, after a strong 30+ mph wind from the SE blew for a few hours, an open lead started from Egg Harbor down to Dykesville, probably 30 or 40 miles long in what was solid ice…it is amazing what the wind can push.
I been watching the weather and waiting for the wind to die, but I’m almost finished planking the Trap Skiff…just the Shear Plank left and I want to finish this weekend, so what to do? Paddle; walk, or work on the boat? The weather was too perfect and the ice is melting fast so I went over to Potawatomie State Park looking for ice late Friday Afternoon…Sawyer Harbor was Ice free, but there was pack ice floating a quarter mile off shore between Potawatomi Park and Sturgeon Bay.
I launched on a cobblestone beach just North of the old boat ramp
on the East side of Potawatomi State Park and headed toward the ice.
Red Nun #26 in iceWarm, bright sun, the air was 60 degrees and the water 33. I pushed into a few leads, they were mostly so rotten the ice just crumbled under the hull, on some I rode up out of the water, and then sank back in. A Red nun buoy was cleaving the pack ice as the light wind moved it down upon the buoy. I Paddled about an hour, just poking around, the water was extremely clear, a lack of debris with no algae and lots of sun shining right down to the bottom …I could make out every detail on the lake floor 10, 12 feet below.
Looking toward Sturgeon Bay and the Ship Yard
That was refreshing, sometimes May isn’t this warm!
The next day...the ice was gone.