02 January 2015: Extraordinary skating on Clary Lake, and a word of caution

IMG_4437 (Custom)The ice skating on Clary Lake has been extraordinary this year, and a good many people have taken advantage of the fabulous conditions. This afternoon I was out skating and encountered 4 people from Waldoboro (at left) who’d heard about the excellent skating conditions on Clary and came by to see for themselves. They were suitably impressed. Unfortunately the snow, sleet, and freezing rain storm coming in tonight will likely put an end to skating this winter. Here’s a video I shot this afternoon.

IMG_4421 (Custom)A word of caution: despite the low temperatures, there is still a considerable amount of open water out in the middle of the lake, (see video above) and a few open or mostly open leads around the shore where you wouldn’t expect to see them. This condition is due to a combination of the relatively high water level (2′ below the top of the dam) and a strong current resulting from the dam’s gate being wide open (the lake level is dropping about 1″ per day now). The current flows in a generally straight line from the inlet by the State boat launch passing close by the point at the end of the Duncan Road, to the outlet channel at the northwest end of the lake. The channel itself is ice free as well. The picture at left was taken New Years Day and the open area has gotten considerably larger since then.

This condition has occurred several times in the past few years. These open areas will probably fill with slush from the coming storm and skim over without getting really solid. Snowmobilers and skiers beware: if you don’t know where the safe ice is, you’d best stay close to shore or off the lake altogether.

xDSC_5451I’ve also posted a few pictures in the Winter 2015 photo album that Tony Marple sent me yesterday, including this one at left that almost could have been taken on a calm summer day. The clouds reflected on the ice show just how smooth it really is. Thank you Tony.

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