It’s one month past the Winter Solstice and we seem to have finally developed a skim of ice over the Big Sound. (That’s ice, not water.) There still seems to be open water further out when seen from Belvedere Hill. Things will continue to be cold, but it will be many days before people can get their ice huts and sleds out on the Big Sound. The Walleye season ends March 1st, so there may be little incentive to get the huts out, once the ice gets thick enough to be safe. There may be an early start to the boating season.
Commander Mason, John Mason, was pretty much on the money when he predicted April 21st for the Big Sound to be ice free, although he did qualify it with a possibility of it being a week earlier or later. I haven’t seen anyone out on the water yet but the contractors will want to get started as soon possible with projects on the islands and areas accessible only by water.
JB – Communications Officer
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.
A familiar benchmark for the condition of the Big Sound, PS2 is now ‘bathed’ in ice rather than snow. We have had a few days a little above freezing followed by quite a bit more below freezing at night. Add in a little rain, not too much, and the Big Sound is turning into a skating rink. It’s been too cold to suggest there is much thinning of the ice, but the insulating layer of snow has been removed. It’s still weeks until boating season. The creeks and rivers are starting to open up so there will soon be some cold season kayaking possible.
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)
The 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
As I joked in a post a couple of weeks ago, this is not part of a disguised Parry Sound missile defense system. Since then we’ve had a fair bit of snow ice and the buoy is getting buried. I’m told the ice on the Big Sound a couple hundred meters from the shore is between 45 and 60 cm thick.
This 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)
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.