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A Tad Chilly in Camden, Maine USA

Good morning everyone. It has been a tad on the chilly side here. Our southern correspondents tell us that below freezing temperatures have been noticed as far south as Alabama. As you can see from Jim Dugan’s photograph the harbor froze over… literally overnight. Salt water freezes at just a little over 28 degrees, depending on the salinity of course, and the top 4-6 feet of Camden Harbor up near our berth is brackish meaning that the salinity is greatly reduced by the outflow of the waterfall. The day before this picture was taken there was no ice to speak when I walked down the beach to get aboard the schooner. I remember standing on the shore looking over at the schooners and marveling at how ice-free the harbor was. The stiff northwest wind and the waterfall stirred the harbor enough to keep things open but as soon as the cold Arctic air came in behind and the wind stopped blowing the stage was set for ice.

The air temperature was 12 below zero both Friday and Saturday morning. The steel Coast Guard vessel pictured here came through late Friday afternoon and we watched as she shouldered her way through ice 1.5” thick in places. Very slowly she made a single swath down the east Wayfarer side passing just astern of Mary Day at the head of the harbor and then out the west side by the town docks and the yacht club. I am not sure how many boats are actually trying to move these days but we do see the occasional lobster boat coming and going. In another week all that ice may be gone as quickly as it arrived.

Our dear friend Maggie tells us of the days when she was a little girl in Camden. Her father would not let her go skating on the harbor with the other kids. Daring young skaters and fisherman checking their boats would walk across the ice carrying long poles held horizontally. Were one to break through you could catch yourself from going all the way through. I have walked on the ice around the schooner holding tight to the cover skirt. If only we could paint during the winter working on the schooner’s topsides from the ice would be so much easier than standing on a paint float.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

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