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
That’s Parry Sound Harbour. Remember yesterday’s photo of the Big Sound, wide open and with just a bit of ice on the far shore? Well here’s a photo taken the same day with Parry Sound Harbour to the left and the Big Sound to the right. Quite a contrast. Tucked in to the lower right you can see where the Seguin River flows into the harbour.
Despite the apparent complete ice coverage I didn’t see any snow machine tracks, but there was a hovercraft heading away from the Champaigne Street dock. By the weekend with the big freeze there should be a virtual highway for the snow machines as they head down the South Channel. The Big Sound will doubtless be iced over but perhaps not yet thick enough to support the weight of a snow machine and rider.
The Big Sound – Parry Sound.
Clear sailing as of yesterday (January 5th), but cold with a guarantee of ice in the next few days. But don’t try and enter the harbour (more on this tomorrow). The Big Sound was frozen over on January 1st last year and I suspect it will be ice covered by the weekend with the cold weather we had yesterday, and the forecast for the coming days. It will soon be possible to walk on water.
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)
If you are wondering about the big picture, here’s a plot of ice coverage over the eastern Great Lakes as of January 15, 2014. I found it yesterday after posting the photo from Belvedere Hill. Click on the image and you will be able to see the legend which makes things pretty clear. Here’s the link to the site from where the map was taken. (The map you see below is #5 on the list if you follow the link.)
When you click on the image below you can see the Big Sound is in what’s considered ‘Medium Lake Ice’, which thins out until you hit the larger part of Georgian Bay. Lake Erie appears to be ‘blessed’ with even more substantial ice coverage than Georgian Bay. (JB – Communications Officer).