Around 7:30 AM, the Coast Guard cutter Wire got underway for daily ice breaking operations. The Wire is a 65-foot, 500-horsepower ice breaking tug that is capable of breaking through 18-inch thick ice. This section of river is mostly drifting brash ice, which are chunks of broken ice refrozen into irregular conglomerate masses. With overnight lows in the single digits for the next few days, the ice breakers will be kept busy.
Looking out the kitchen window, I can see in the distance five or six ice fisherman on the creek above the Coast Guard station. The first one was out at dawn this morning. Crouching or leaning over small holes drilled in the ice sheet, the fisherman are trying to hook yellow perch. This is the first weekend for ice fishing this winter around here. The ice sheet must be at least inches thick to safely support a persons weight.
Now that the ice has taken hold of the river, members of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club are scouting the bays and coves for a smooth continuous ice sheet on which to sail. Ice season is underway!