We’re now about about two months away from the Summer Solstice, and it looks like late August with the chill of April. Makes sense of course, as the sun is exactly where it would be in late August. The differences range from the water temperature (brrr!), to the absence of leaves on the trees. It will be nice to be on the water when it’s warmer, but don’t tarry. The boating season is too short not to be enjoying an August sun in April. This is a view of Parry Sound’s Big Sound from the Rotary Algonquin Regiment Fitness Trail with Two Mile Point to the left. (April 2016)
Life is good, the water is cold but that isn’t deterring some boaters. We had a strange front roll in across the Big Sound mid-afternoon yesterday. The sky was partially cloudy and patches of blue showing through with a fog like condition hovering over the surface of the water. A few minutes later it passed; the sky didn’t clear up but the fog/mist lifted.
Boating into Mid-Day Mists.
This photo was taken a few hours ago and shows the extent of the open water. We received a considerable amount of rain in the past 48 hours and today it’s above 10°C (50°F), so things may move quickly. Commander Mason at the last meeting of the Parry Sound Squadron Bridge promised the Big Sound would be clear by April 21st, plus or minus one week. It won’t be a week early, but hopefully no later than the 28th. If you can’t play on the ice it may as well be gone.
‘Clic on the Pic’ for a larger view.
Cold and crisp, full ice coverage, all with gorgeous shades of blue. There have been a few snow machines on the ice but discretion is the better part of valour, and a little more cold will ensure safe travel. This is the view from the ground at Waubano Beach in Parry Sound looking to the northwest. That black ‘blight’ to the upper right of the photo is the salt pile on Smelter Wharf. Parry Sound provides the only practical deep water harbour on Eastern Georgian Bay for the marine delivery of road salt. The shipments start in the Fall and are gone by the time Spring arrives. It was a tough season this Fall with deliveries delayed by wind and waves.
The ice coverage has meant the daily dump of snow, largely lake effect snow, has eased and temperatures have dropped. Time to get out and play on the trails.
‘Clic on the Pic’ for a closer view.
Both 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
Not to be confused with the State of the Bay report (recommended reading) from the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve. As of yesterday evening, the Big Sound was icy white and thinning (much like my hair). The water is open from Parry Sound harbour to Three Mile Point in spots, but that’s about it. The photo below was taken yesterday evening from Monument Point on the North Shore Rugged Trail just north of Parry Sound looking west.
It’s that time of the year when we are able to walk on water. I’m able to confirm that the Big Sound is frozen over. In some places the ice is a bit ‘mushy’, while in others it’s ‘rock solid’ which is why it’s a good idea to head out on snowshoes So if you decide to wander out, take care. With the deep freeze forecast for the next few days the mushy spots should be solid by this time next week.
The Squadron’s Boating Essentials course being held at Canadore College in Parry Sound is now in session with a total of nine students. Coming this Spring will be the VHF course. Advanced courses are also by arrangement. If you are interested connect with John Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a sunset shot from yesterday of Parry Island taken ‘off shore’, with Zhiishiib Rock to the right. ‘Clic on the pic’ to see the bigger picture. (JB – Communications Officer)
I was provided information by Gerry Shipman of Sound Boat Works and a squadron member concerning ice coverage maps for the Great Lakes a month ago, and promptly forgot about it.
With a little bit of digging I’ve managed to find the site the map was sourced from at the NOAA (US – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency). This site has lots of other information that will be of interest to squadron members including winds, waves, surface currents and much more.
There is also specific information on Lake Huron including Georgian Bay. I’ve pasted a screen clipping from one of the composite Lake Huron pages. If you go to the page you will be able to click on the individual maps for a larger image and more detail. It’s worth a look. I’ve placed a link directly from the image below to the corresponding web page in case you want to take a closer look.
This may be old news to some but the International Upper Great Lakes Study – Summary of Findings and Recommendations is available for download and review. Here is the link. (Thanks to the Moose-FM for mentioning this in a Tweet.)