As always, things change on the Lake. There was great skating before Christmas and that extended for a few days. Then, on New Year’s Eve, there was snow and then rain. Apparently, there was enough rain to make the skating good, or even better than before. Today, Jan. 2nd, the lake was smooth for about 85% of its surface with it basically smooth on the entire western half. Ice boaters, and a parasailer were having a great time and the ice skating was delightful.
One amazing thing that was observed was the way that ice froze initially. There were parts of the lake that froze and then turned to slush when the temperature rose. Then, there was a gentle east wind that blew when the lake froze. In that process, buoys were obstacles in the way and caused the slush to break apart which then this froze. You can see, here, the “wake” of the buoy frozen in the ice.
But the ice moved a lot. The trail of this “disruption” went for over half a mile. The buoy was off of Turtle Island and the trail went half way to Mink.
Today, on the 2nd, there were ice boaters out on the lake. It wasn’t a great wind but the ice was smooth. These boats were stopped with the captains talking, probably telling tales about their adventures. At the same time, the ice is so smooth that it makes reflections.
A bird’s eye view of the Sister Islands shows there are places with solid ice and others that are melted. The snow and then rain made areas where water on the surface “fell off” and this helped to melt the ice around rocks and shallow areas. Presently, there is open water between Stamp Act and Cate Islands and this is not the only place with open water. As always, be careful when out on the lake. Most of the lake has 8+ inches of ice but where it isn’t that thick, you can get wet.