Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ice Buildup on Great Lakes Causing Shipping Delays

We have been dealing with a very long stretch of extremely cold temperatures for the past four weeks, as have many in the northern US and eastern Canada. Currently, we are suffering through what is being described as a 'Polar Vortex'. As I write this, the current windchill temperature is -30 Celsius.

 I just call it all more reason to spend next winter in Florida!

 This far reaching and long term weather is resulting in excessive ice along the Great Lakes shipping routes, with some areas not seeing conditions this bad since the 1930's. At the Soo Locks in Sault St. Marie, there are four US Coast Guard Ice Breakers working around the clock to keep the shipping lanes open, according to an article on the Up North Live web site.

A bit farther south, CBC News has reported a number of ships stranded on the Detroit River at Windsor. The Canadian Coast Guard dispatched one of their breakers to get the traffic moving again. The story quotes US Coast Guard Petty Officer Ross Flowers as saying "It's potentially something that's only going to get worse in the next couple of days," He also adds that ice that forms a little further up on the St. Clair River is harder to break up, referring to it as a giant frozen snowbank.

 We purchased our current #boat on Lake St. Clair in 2010, where it was berthed at MacRay Harbor marina. The seller recounted that a few years prior, winter ice upstream on the river clogged the water flow so much that the level of Lake St. Clair briefly dropped significantly. Some of the boats stored there are housed in funky, covered and heated wet slips and when the water went down, so did these boats. Some of the big ones were actually sitting on bottom before the water levels returned.

 Here's a shot of our newly adopted 'Boogaboo IV' in one of those covered slips. They offer in water storage, complete with overhead, natural gas fired radiant heating. Some folks actually live on their bots there for the winter. Cost? About $10 G's.
MacRay Harbor Marina slips, Lake St. Clair, Michigan.

 So let's bundle up folks. Good news is that we're more than half way through the off season!