Big Sound

State of the Sound Report – 2015-03-12

Not fit for skiing, ice fishing or boating, the Big Sound is a mess. We’ve had about three days of above freezing daytime temperatures and it has basically turned the snow on top of the ice into slush with a crust. It’s pretty much impossible to walk, ski or snowshoe on the Big Sound and snow machines send up a spray as they shuttle around trying to get the ice shacks off the ice. The ice is still nice and thick so it will still be too many weeks before the Big Sound is fit for boating. This the time of the season where you wished you had a hovercraft or one of those air boats used in the swamps of Louisiana.

Making Tracks on the Big Sound (2015-03-11)

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State of the Sound Report – 2015-03-06

Redwood189020150306-_DSC9432_DxOThe Big Sound still pretty much looks like Antarctica. We are expecting a few days of above freezing by the beginning of next week. It could be a cruel hoax, but the thaw has to arrive at some point. It promises to be a slow start to the boating season. Out at Hole in Wall last Saturday the ice was about 60 cm (24 in.) thick, great for sledders and skiers.

What I haven’t seen yet on the Big Sound is snow skiing, in the style of water skiing. Not only should it be possible it should be reasonably safe. A quick internet search turned up a couple of images of sled skiing but not much else. Hmm, I may need to make friends with sledders if the snow and ice insist on hanging around.

JB – Communications Officer

 

State of the Sound Report – 2015-01-28

Redwood1890-20150128-_1281700_DxOThis is a photo from the 28th. Clear skies, below average temperatures, and little snow have been the norm since the Big Sound and Georgian Bay pretty much froze over earlier this month. The Sound is basically ice with a bit of hard packed snow which makes it easy for walking, but perhaps not that great for X-Country skiing. I spoke with a fisherman today and he estimates the ice is 12 to 14 inches (30-35 cm) thick in the Sound. (January 2015)

State of the Sound Report – 2015-01-14

Redwood1890-20150114-_DSC7207_DxOBoth the harbour and Big Sound are frozen over as of January 14th. It likely ‘came together’ the night of the 13th or early on the 14th. I was out very early on the 13th, a very cold day with the mist still rising from the slightly warmer water. The ice coverage may mean less snow for Parry Sound and colder temperatures without the moderating effect of the open water, and perhaps a little more sun. I have seen hovercrafts but not yet snow machines on the Big Sound. The brave ones will be out before long.

JB – Communications Officer

Training / Executive Officer’s April Update

On April 22, 12 boaters graduated from the Maritime Radio Course held at Lakeland. This is important for boaters since a certificate is needed when operating a VHF radio.

This is the time of year when boaters harass marina operators to get their boats into the water. Four or five calls per person is common. The local saying here is that the Sound is clear of ice within a week of April 21st. 2012 broke the belief with an early break up. Some boats were in the water on the first day of Spring. It looks as though 2014 will break it the other way.

So: Before planning on early season boating remember: The early bird gets the worm. The second mouse gets the cheese.

The early boater gets to boat alone. Silence and still water can be delightful but first boaters can be subject to the floating debris left after the ice is gone. This can range from planks and trees limbs to docks that have broken free.

The first mouse, the one who gets onto the bay before a strong wind has blown it clear of this debris, can have some dangerous experiences. Planks torn from docks, their four inch nails sticking up, can damage the smooth underwater hull of a boat. There is nothing like skimming along through an early Spring fog and having a tree, branches and all, loom out of the mist in front of you.

Then there is the ice. It doesn’t all melt overnight. An invisible skim of ice can do quite a number on a boat too. And if it does and your boat is sinking, who are you going to call who can possibly get to you any time soon? I do boat in the early season. My rules are simple. Carry the seven or eight items you must as demanded by law. Boat like you will never need to use them. Boat carefully, one hand for the boat – one for yourself, and make no mistakes. Or wait ’til things warm up some.

 Early Season ‘Boaters’ on the Big Sound – No WorriesParrySights-6905-2

 

 

December on the Big Sound

ParrySights-3374Looking out from the Smelter Wharf you can see Parry Island and Three Mile Point in the distance. taken December 23rd, the Big Sound is still wide open, while the Parry Sound inner harbour is iced over. I don’t expect that this will last for long. The nights have been clear and cold, and the Sound is rapidly losing its heat.

If you look closely you can see a sun dog a little left of centre.

Click on the photo for a larger image with more detail.

JB – Communications Officer