Ice breaking mission successful

Submitted by OcracokeWaves on Thu, 01/13/2011 - 22:51.

Early this morning, I found one of my favorite great blue herons standing on the iced over water behind our home in Bluewater Cove.

He didn't look very happy, and I watched him all morning.  I even made a movie of his skating efforts.  When I saw him think about trying to get a fish through the ice, I decided that I would try to help out my feathered friend.

Just before 3:00 PM, I got the skiff ready and tried to get it off the lift to break a channel into the gut leading out into the White Oak River.  We have been having some really low tides, and in spite of the time I chose for my mission being within an hour of high tide on the river, the combination of heavy ice and low water made me give up on my first try.

We made a run to the Swansboro Post Office, and my wife finally decided on one of the Vera Bradley bags on sale in Swansboro for our youngest daughter's birthday present.  We also made a stop in Starhill to inspect a listing that I will doing. Then we headed back home.

It was a little after 4 PM when we got home, and we had picked up a few inches of water.  My great blue heron  buddy was feeding up the gut and had been joined by a second one.

The second try was the charm,  I managed to get off the lift and head out on my ice breaking mission. I found that backing up was not very easy. Backing pushed the ice sheet instead of breaking it.

Once I got going forward, I made it down around our day dock to the point where you turn and go out to the White Oak.  The trip was a noisy, slow one, but it was an unusual experience.

I decided not to push my luck and turned around where there was a six feet circle of ice free water that gave me just enough  maneuvering room for our 20 ft skiff.

The trip back to our dock let me widen the channel, and turning round to get back on the lift also crushed a lot of ice.  I suspect it will freeze over tonight, but I plan to go after it earlier in the day tomorrow so perhaps my great blue heron buddies will have a better day fishing.

More pictures of my adventure are located at this Picasa Web Album.

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