Frozen world

Frozen world--bow

We came back from a weekend away to find the boat frozen in at the stern. We knew this would happen—the stern bubbler stopped working just before we left and we unplugged it, just to be safe. The bow bubbler was struggling to keep the ice away, but in this kind of cold, it’s a losing battle. Ice is creeping along the side of the boat, closer and closer to the solid ice at the stern. Many more days of this cold and we’ll be able to skate around the boat.

But we’re not the only ones. Many boats in the marina are completely frozen in, which is a concern for fibreglass boats, which could be crushed, I think, less of a concern for steel boats. In fact, there’s a steel boat here that doesn’t bother with bubblers, just freezes in every winter, and so far, no harm done.

I wonder how they stand the stillness. It’s strange to me to not be rocking with the wind. The oil lamp above the table remains perfectly still, no matter how strong the gusts. This winter, 20-knot winds have not been unusual, from the north, for the most part, with gusts to 30. That must be what was happening when we froze in—we are heeled over to port. Way over. I’ve had to latch the lockers on the starboard side or they hang wide open. It’s like we’re frozen in time.

Frozen world--geese

And we are, in a way. There’s no end to this cold in sight. I scroll ahead through the weather forecast, nothing above freezing as far as the forecast goes. You know it’s a tough winter when you’re excited to see minus single digits. Balmy by comparison to the minus 30s we saw on the weekend, the minus 18 we’ll wake up to tomorrow morning when this warm spell (it’s minus 8 right now!) passes.

This morning Bica and I came across a Canada Goose frozen into the ice under the bridge. Its companions had all flown to the safety of the open water at the mouth of the river for the day, but this one’s feet are frozen into the ice. How does that happen, I wonder? And why doesn’t it happen more often? Some kind soul had thrown a piece of bread on the ice so it would have something to eat, but I think the more merciful thing to do is leave it in peace. There’s no way it’s going to be able to free itself. It’s already weak from struggling, barely able to raise its head and hiss at us as we pass. I hope a coyote gets it—surely that’s better than a long slow death from starvation. Though maybe freezing to death in the night is a little gentler.

I think I’ll walk somewhere else tomorrow morning.

2 thoughts on “Frozen world

  1. This reminds me of a Canada Goose that was run over in front of the university last year .. laying in the road in the same direction as traffic .. It was huge and I could not help but wonder how someone could possibly have not seen it and run it over .. and then others did too until eventually it was flattened. That made me sad .. Apparently the Waterloo ducks are sacred but the geese not so much.

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  2. We were frozen in once in the early 90s and, because we were aboard most of the time and had the heating on, the boat developed a narrow ‘halo’ of clear water around it. When it got windy, all you could feel was the boat bumping against the edge of the ice – it was quite noisy too – especially when we were trying to sleep. We also didn’t like the fact that the decks quickly became lethal with ice, so we’ve hauled-out every winter since.

    Not wishing to rub it in but it’s back into double-figures here – plus not minus!

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