Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stillwater and Rap-Shaw, December 2013

As of yesterday, I've visited Rap-Shaw, a little island fishing club we belong to, 32 straight months! It has become an interesting drill, and the sights are always always fresh and beautiful. 

Camp is officially closed in winter, though one can stay over, self serve, in an insulated cabin.

Getting onto the reservoir in December is always dicey. 

I paddled over in November. Right after that, cold set in and the lake froze up but with a big load of snow on it. Snow is insulation, as you will see very clearly illustrated in tomorrow's post.
The cold held into December, and it almost seemed like time to give it a try. But "giving it a try" where ice and deep water are concerned is, well, incompatible with life. So I waited. There is a cam trained on the landing, and there had been no evidence of anyone else becoming the first to give it a try.
Then came a big strong thaw late in the first week of the month! And lots of rain. The snow melted, and the ice became covered with a significant amount of water.

Additionally the level rose, which always means there is risk along the edges.
Finally it got cold again, went to minus 1 on December 12, and stayed below freezing for most of the next two weeks.

This morning I saw ice fishermen on the reservoir via the cam. This was the day! The weather is better today than it will be tomorrow. Off we went!
The ice is 9-10 inches thick except along the edges. All of the landmark low water stumps and submerged eskers are covered now, and one must choose entry and exit carefully. It was a good day.

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