It’s been a winter of extreme weather here in Harpswell – we’ve definitely had our share of snowfall and sub-freezing temperatures. The ice covering Orr’s Cove has caused even the old timers to scratch their heads, trying to remember when the last time the ice was this thick, and so far extended out of the cove and down the bay. It’s also frozen to at least a foot thick in our neighboring coves – Mill, Brickyard and Rich, and all of the other little cuts into Sebascodegan Island, completely surrounding Snow, Center and Ben Islands. For the first time in a long time, there’s ice covering Quahog Bay all the way to the north end of Pole Island. South of Pole Island, the water begins to double in depth, and you start to run into the year-round fishermen who will regularly break up any ice in the way of getting out to sea.
Back in the day, our crane operator Jeff used to drive his car out on the iced over cove. Not this year however. Do we chalk that up to wisdom that comes with age, or common sense, or just plain disinterest? Two of our crew – John Goodwin and Mick Polakowski – took a walkabout on the ice last Friday during morning break and captured these photos. With the “warm” (40°) weather we’re having today, just five days later, the ice is already starting to slush and puddle and turn into cakes. The inevitability of spring is right around the corner!
So, just for fun, we’re running an “Ice Out” contest: crew members are picking only one date each, when they think there will be open water all the way across the cove, in line with our flag pole. Today, March 4th, is the last day to write in your choice. Stephanie came up with a couple of rules to keep us in line, and Steve will be the judge on who wins the guessing game. The prize is a $100 gift certificate to the Dolphin Marina Restaurant, so we’re all motivated! Stay tuned for the final verdict…
March 16th – UPDATE: one of the locals was out breaking the ice in his boat this morning…and it’s working! As of this afternoon, there’s clear water all the way across the cove just a few doors south of the yard.
March 18th – CONTEST OVER: our local “helper” was at it again this morning breaking ice, and within an hour he’d created the winning situation – open water across the cove in line with our flag pole. The strong Northwesterly wind today blew the ice cakes clear out of the cove within a matter of minutes. Congratulations to Matt Meader on the best guess! Tomorrow we’ll be having a crew lunch in celebration of Spring, sponsored by one of our customers who wanted to show their appreciation to the crew. And we’ll have a drawing during lunch for a runner’s up $50 gift card given to GIBY by Dolphin Restaurant as further celebration of the ICE OUT!
So, the “coast is clear” for the Southern end of Orr’s Cove – and Friday is the first day of Spring. Now we’re all speculating when the docks (which are frozen together and frozen to the ramp) will experience their ice out!