Saturday, December 28, 2019

Clocking Ice Time

The wind was up a bit more than expected, but in truth it was out of the NW and there is little to interrupt any breeze for a couple miles other than some low treeless marsh islands.  It should be calmer up in the higher reaches of the cove. There was also a good chop on the water as the flood tide was opposing that wind.
I set the canoe down among a few small slabs of ice that had been windblown against the shore.  Then, I paddled my way north following the east shore where there was a bit of stagnation buffer from the wind.  A flock of about 20 Buffleheads flushed from the bottom end of Goose Island while I was a good hundred yards distant from them.

Spotted a male Red Breasted Merganser in the calm behind a finger ridge.

Goose Bay
There were two large smooth patches out in the chop of Goose Bay that could be nothing other than ice.  Ice from the nearest of those patches was up against the shore just around the point of the third finger ridge.  I picked a spot that was about 3 canoe lengths long to push through, swapping to an older paddle with a reinforced tip - reinforced because I'd split it a few times in the past.  I got halfway through, a process of pushing in and rocking the canoe side to side to bust the ice into smaller slabs.  It wasn't going, so I backed out and tried again right up against the shore, which went easy.  And, I have a paddle to repair when I get home.
The tip of one of the finger ridges
I stayed on the east shore until I got up to the small wooden bridge.  It was iced in with a thin skim that didn't slow the canoe.  Then I turned and headed toward the next cove up where there is a large Eagle nest.  The usual route was too thick with ice to make the passage, so I headed the long way around Coute's Hole.  Flushed about ten Common Mergansers on the north side of the hole and then four Canada Geese from the cove itself. 
The small wooden bridge
That was enough and I turned to head out.

Spotted three Hawks slope soaring upriver from Goose Bay, flushed twenty Canada Geese from behind one of the finger ridges.  The ice that had been on Goose Bay was nowhere to be seen - no slabs, no chunks.  The chop and wind seems to have dissolved it in the hour and a half since I passed.

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