It was probably half-way through the ice-sheet I thought perhaps I had pushed the kayaking a little too far….But let me explain. I like to paddle Hay Lake until freeze-up. Our bay is still open, though the narrows are now iced in. My friend Vicki lives across the lake, boat access only, so I thought I’d paddle over with a book. She’ll be at her place till the ice is strong enough to cross on foot – which will be around Christmas!
There was one band of ice between us. I was prepared: neoprene boots and long underwear – check. life jacket – check! kayak spray skirt- check. Moving through the ice is a matter of momentum and chopping with the paddle’s blade. At the edge the ice was quite thin. You can actually watch it undulating with the waves. About the point where this picture was taken, though, the ice was a bit thicker, requiring more force with the chopping.
So why did I chop and paddle through the ice, with wind blowing snow into my face? For the challenge, but also the beauty. Water, waves and cold do fascinating things. The shoreline becomes a thicket of icicles.
The closer you paddle, the more intricate the design:
The bigger challenge is crossing the ice's edge. As the wind blows, the waves keep breaking up the ice into sheets, which then become stacked:
But steady paddling pulls you through, and off I went to visit Vicki. A lovely visit, and the return had the wind at my back. Best of all, the ice had not re-frozen- and the path brought me home. Probably the last for the season!