Sunday, January 30, 2011
Ah, another beautiful day in sunny, Southeast Alaska. For the third day in a row we've had the most delightful, bright sunny days; absolutely glorious. The only drawback to the sunny days are the cold, clear nights. Whatever moisture is in the air settles on everything during the night and by morning frost has turned the landscape into a white wonderland. A frosted landscape, unlike Frosted Flakes, is a delight to observe, and, it's not fattening. Apparently there wasn't a breath of wind the other night, so the little bay behind the Icy Straits Lodge as well as a few other spots had a pretty good coating of ice on them. I think the fresh water freezes on top of the salt water when it gets really cold and there isn't much tidal or wind action. The ice can get surprizingly thick too. Years ago when I was still living on the farm, I decided to take my fourteen foot fiberglass skiff back into the bay where the Whitestone Logging Camp was located. It was February and we were having a stretch of cold, clear weather like we're enjoying now. I don't know what I was thinking, I guess, as usual, I wasn't. I decided to bust through the ice with the boat to get to the shoreline. The closer I got to the beach, the thicker the ice got. I was going along fine, happy as a clam at high tide when I looked down at the deck of the boat and saw water coming in on both sides of the bow. The ice had sliced right through the fiberglass just like a saw. I see now why they don't make ice breaker ships out of fiberglass... or wood either for that matter. What a revelation! Of course at the time I just wanted to get out with my life and my boat intact. Fortunately, even though I was in panic mode, I had enough sense to put the boat in reverse and move the gas tanks and whatever other extra weight I had to the stern of the boat and was able to get the bow lifted high enough to stay out of the water. I ran the boat into town and up onto the beach. Needless to say it was yet another adventure in a life filled with foolish decisions and boneheaded ideas. I'm living proof that there is a God, and he's incredibly compassionate. Plus He probably likes to have a good laugh now and then too.