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January 26, 2020 - 5:30 a.m.

Fishing was no hell yesterday although those who really applied themselves did ok.  It’s like the whole lake was dead.  Lots of fish being marked but they just weren’t feeding.  The winds were easterly all day but they are currently west and the pressure very low so I’m hoping the fishing is really good today.  We’ll find out soon enough.  There are conflicting reports on when the winds will shift to the north so here’s hoping not until everyone is off the ice tonight.  Moats have now formed around our huts which we were hoping to avoid but this mild spell aka January thaw, has been prolonged with temperatures well above zero.  One good thing though...we shouldn’t have a spring flood this year like we did last.  The flooding was mainly due to no winter thaws so I’m happy to see things back to normal this year.  Dan is jacking some huts today as the mixed bag of rain and snow yesterday combined with the mild temps has sunk them about 6 inches into the snow.  I’m hoping he’ll get some help but he’s a stubborn cuss.  I’ve laundry to do once some guests check out but most of them are staying until Monday.

January 25, 2020 - 5:34 a.m.

It was a day yesterday and quite a busy one.   Dan was running all day and I spent my time in the office.  I managed to get all the data entry done for my year end books so this morning I’m just dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s and that will be another year finished.  I don’t know where the time has gone.  It seems like yesterday that I started this blog and that was in 2007.  I’ve been recording the weather for longer than that so this weekend is about par for the course.  Just amazes me that every weekend since we’ve opened for the season, we’ve had some kind of nastiness thrown at us.  This morning it’s freezing rain which is suppose to turn to snow shortly.  We did get a little rain overnight but thankfully it doesn’t appear to have been enough to deteriorate things.  The temperature is currently just above zero with the pressure steady but the winds are out of the east.  Our guests were catching some fish yesterday even though the conditions weren’t favourable so that gives some hope for today.  One of the blokes had a camera down the hole and said they could see the walleye but they were just sitting there without taking the bait.  Not even nibbling, so it looks like they aren’t in a feeding frenzy and people are going to need to work at the jigging today.

January 23, 2020 - 6:35 a.m.

I hit a wall yesterday.  Not literally but figuratively.  I was having problems in the office with the internet and as my patience was weening I decided to zip into town as I had a few errands to run.  I did a few things when I got home and then laid down on the couch and was out cold until it was time to get our guests off the ice.  I also was in bed by about 9:30 and didn’t wake up until 6:00.  Dan and I haven’t had a day off since December but this coming Monday is the day.  No guests, no staff, no phone calls.  I’m not even going to get out of my pajamas.  Lol.  So I say now.  We have a full house again starting this evening and Lori is coming in to clean but for the most part, I’ll be in the office for the next couple of days.  Once my books are completed I’ll be able to relax a little and maybe even find some time to myself.  Dan is badly in need of rest also as his knees are really giving him grief.  When he was picking up the porta-john he stopped in at Shoppers Medical and ordered two braces.  Hopefully they arrive quickly.  He keeps falling when on ice but says now, he just lets himself fall because it’s a cushy landing in the snowbanks.  What a pair we are.  The fishing hit pretty good last night.  One gentleman was fishing by himself and caught six walleye just as Dan was picking him up.  Fishing should be good this weekend if people are paying attention to their lines and it’s going to stay mild for the duration.

January 22, 2020 - 5:44 a.m.

It was a very long day for me yesterday but I accomplished everything I wanted to by about 5:00.  Today I’ll be holed up in the office working on my year end books.  Dan needs to zip into town and very quickly as we will have people on the ice.  I would like to extend a huge thank you to K&T Porta-John for going above and beyond.  We needed a replacement washroom for the ice and they were able to find us one although it was a very difficult task for them.  We can’t thank them enough for trekking through a compound heaped with snow and digging us out one.  Dan is picking it up first thing this morning after dropping everyone off at the huts.  The fishing was pretty good yesterday but nothing of any size was caught.  I’m thinking it’s just going to improve as the week progresses.  It’s already -3 this morning and daytime temperatures will be steady around zero through the weekend.  Plenty of guests will be wanting to fish outside but Dan won’t be able to drill too close to the huts as the water will come up.  As it is, I’m keeping my fingers crossed no moats form around the huts.  They are nicely high and dry at the moment and we’d like to keep it that way.  After the -30 weather we’ve had this balminess is more than welcomed.  Even Gato spent the night on his blanket outside our door.  He’s certainly been well fed Mr. 5 bowls of food and 3 bowls of milk in a 10 hour period.  Geesh.

January 21, 2020 - 6:04 a.m.

We actually slept in until 5:30 this morning.  And we both needed it.  What a week this is shaping up to be.  They say everything comes in three’s so hopefully we are now done.  We had the supply hose break on the toilet in a cottage, then the little incident with Dan’s sled and yesterday a plugged sink in another cottage which took all morning to resolve.  Even though there is a notice not to put anything down the sinks, someone poured bacon grease down the drain.  What a dog’s breakfast Dan had on his hands trying to deal with that mess.  Please go easy on us guys.  If you wouldn’t do it in your own home, don’t do it in ours, thanks.  Anyhow, all our guests arrived and the fishing was pretty good.  I think it’s going to get increasingly better as the week progresses because the weather will improve also.  It hit pretty close to -30 yesterday and was very brisk but the warm up starts today and the winds have shifted to the SW.  I hope we don’t get anymore snow, which is likely pipe dreaming, but for the next week or so, the temperature won’t be going below -10.  Glorious.  At least we had a beautiful sunset last night and a sky full of stars.  Frigid weather cleans the air so you can see forever.

January 20, 2020 - 4:56 a.m.

Another weekend under our belt.  We survived another blizzard as well.  Dan spent 3 hours on the tractor blowing snow after getting all our guests on the ice yesterday morning.  I was on the shovel for a few hours first thing, digging out the cottage decks and walkways.  I also did the cottage laundry for those groups that checked out and have more to do today.  Dan’s sled died in the middle of the pick up run last night so I called Mike and asked him to come to the rescue.  Ever since I had my thumb fused, I can’t drive a sled anymore (can’t throttle) so I’m glad we have a stand by in emergencies.  Mike was glad to help but I don’t think he was too happy that we interrupted his cooking of his pork schnitzel dinner.  It turned out it was blown fuses.  We aren’t sure if it’s a minor or major thing just yet but considering the abuse the sled takes and all the jarring that is involved, could be something as simple as the fuses just came loose.  As Dan doesn’t need to run until this afternoon, he’s sleeping in this morning but I’m sure he’ll be doing some diagnosing first thing.  I’ve lots on my plate today as I have a cottage to clean as well as the minnow tank to changeover while tending to the laundry.  I’d like to get everything finished today so I can concentrate on my year end this week.  I do want to fish one day as the weather is going to change.  It’s -24 this morning but a warm up is coming in tomorrow and it’s going to be a very mild week.  I forgot to mention, the fishing was pretty good yesterday.  Group caught several walleye, 2 keepers, pike, bass, perch and herring.  Another mixed bag.  Or should I say pail.

January 19, 2020 - 4:53 a.m.

What a day yesterday!  We received our fair share of snow.  Even had blizzard conditions aka white outs throughout the day.  Dan had a heck of a time getting our guests off the ice last night as there was just too much snow and the drifting on the lake was making it difficult to plow through with the peoplemover.  At least we didn’t get slammed as badly as the good people of Newfoundland.  We are definitely experiencing an old fashioned winter this year.  It is reminiscent of the first year we moved up North 20 years ago.  Only difference, I was much younger and didn’t mind shovelling.  Lol.  It’s very calm this morning but don’t know just yet what the winds are doing away from shore.  Dan will be up shortly as he needs to run our path to the huts to do some pack down before he can take our guests out this morning.  Good news is, the fishing was pretty decent yesterday and I think it’ll be even better today.  There were a few pike caught including a decent sow.  Walleye, perch, a mixed bag.  Enough for everyone to have a fry.  I think the weather will stabilize over the next few days so the fishing should pick back up.  The pressure has also dropped from over 104 to around 100 which really helps.  It was beautiful back by the shop last night out of the wind.  Made me want to make snow angels...

January 18, 2020 - 6:30 a.m.

It was a day yesterday.  A long one.  Dan and I both worked and were both in bed by 8:30 and just after we fell asleep the phone rang around 9:00.  It was a cottage telling us their fridge quit working.  Turned out the lightbulb had burned out.  Then another cottage had a leaky toilet so had a pail under it to catch the water.  Dan turned the water off and determined the guts need to be replaced so will be going to town this morning to get replacement parts.  Neither of us could get back to sleep so will be running on empty today.  And there is a huge storm heading our way due to hit later this morning.  Thankfully Dan will have some help today but even so, I’ll likely be using a shovel by noon.  I’ve things to do this morning before the weather arrives so is going to be a long day for us.  The fishing was fairly decent yesterday with a mixed bag caught.  Keeper walleye, pike, herring, ling and of course, perch.  Good to see.  It was just frigid all day so no one was fishing outside the huts because the holes would freeze as soon as they were drilled but the temps have warmed up overnight and are currently a balmy -16.

January 17, 2020 - 5:33 a.m.

We had the coldest night of the new decade last night.  It hit -29 (-34 with the windchill) and that’s where it’s currently sitting.  Dan is psyching himself up to go on ice this morning and I think he’s going to freeze his noogers off today.  The pressure is extremely high at 104.4 so I’m guessing the fishing isn’t going to rock today.  I suggested he only do one minnow run around noon today because it’s going to be nasty.  On top of that the warm up tomorrow is suppose to bring us another large dumping of snow which means Dan will be plowing all day.  He won’t have any help until tomorrow and lot of shovelling will need to be done.  I’ll do what I can but that isn’t much these days.  The rest of our guests are arriving later today and we’ve a full house again I just hope they’re able to catch enough for a fry as they aren’t going to be fishing outside today.  Karen is coming in this morning to clean the double unit so I’m praying her car will start.  My car as well as I need to do a bait run after we get the guys on the ice.  Guess I should have plugged my little baby in last night.

January 16, 2020 - 6:24 a.m.

I’m a little late this morning as I decided to sleep in until 6:00 since the fishermen are going out a little later than usual this morning.  Besides, Grady woke me around midnight because there was a cat on our back deck which I don’t think was Gato.  Looked a lot like him and I’ve seen it here before but it’s even more feral and doesn’t come around often.  It buggered off when I turned on the light so I’m not really sure.  The fishing improved a bit more yesterday for our guests and a large pike was caught so that means there are likely more of them around.  I didn’t see the fish but was told it was a nice one.  We had a cowboy in the one group when Dan pulled them in last night.  He was outside of the peoplemover standing on the ski holding himself in place by keeping the door open and holding on to the threshold.  Please don’t do that folks.  It’s extremely dangerous and tough on the equipment we need to make a living.  Not to mention very stupid.  Good way to fall off and break a bone or worse.  “Hold my beer and watch this” in these conditions isn’t funny.  Lori is coming in to changeover a couple of cottages and I’m going to be in the office for a bit.  I have some office work to do and would like to get started on my year end now that the mad rush and inclement weather we typically experience at the beginning of the season is finally over.  Dan has work on ice which should take most of the morning but he worked hard out there yesterday as well so hopefully today is a little easier on him. The temperature was very mild yesterday but there is another freeze up coming today.  It’s suppose to drop to -38 overnight but thankfully it’ll gradually warm up tomorrow to somewhat warmer conditions.

January 15, 2020 - 5:47 a.m.

We both had a very busy day yesterday.  Dan got all our guests on the ice and then had to zip into town for a contingency heater since he had to use the contingency.  Lol.  He then came home and had work to do on ice jacking huts and rebanking.  I think with his buggered knees, it took its toll on him because the poor man was in bed by 7:30.  I wish he’d get someone to help him but he’s a stubborn cuss.  Karen came in to clean cottages for me, Lori had already done a couple the day before.  Since that was off my plate, I did some catch up.  I did 6 loads of laundry, did some house cleaning, cleaned out the minnow tank and that was plenty.  I then made some great cauliflower soup in the Instant Pot which I thought was excellent.  Have a new favourite cooking tool with that pot and I’m sure it will be used often, especially this time of year.  Today I have to do a major town run while I’m able.  I’ll be heading in as soon as our guests are on the ice.  The fishing wasn’t good at all yesterday.  Maybe 15-25 fish caught per group but I figured that was going to be the case.  The pressure has been high, the winds north and after a huge storm it always takes a few days for the fish to start feeding.  The wind switched direction overnight to the west, the pressure lowered and it’s mild today already sitting at around zero degrees.  I’m hoping the fishing will be much better today.  Unfortunately the wind is going to veer back to the north later this afternoon.  Hopefully everyone will get enough for a nice fry.

January 14, 2020 - 5:14 a.m.

Dan woke me up at 4:30ish to tell me Gato was outside.  He was well fed last night and even had some tuna.  He has since eaten again and left for areas unknown.  It’s pretty cold this morning at -16 but we are due for a welcomed if somewhat short warm up today at -3 with flurries.  Fishing was okay yesterday for our guests although it wasn’t on fire.  They still brought some home but I believe it may take another day for the pressure to drop and things to return to normal after the weekend storm.  Dan said the huts sank around 5” due to the snowload so he was jacking them yesterday.  Never ends.  I received an “Instant Pot” for Christmas from my in-laws so tried it for the first time last night.  It’s the cat’s ass let me tell you.  I made a pot roast with vegetables on the pressure cooker function and man was it delicious.  After an hour the roast came out perfect, the veg weren’t mushy and it was a flavour explosion.  I added some red wine, broth and spices and the gravy was to die for.  All in one dishwasher safe pot.  I think I’m going to make some cauliflower and cheese soup in it today.  Great little invention.

January 13, 2020 - 4:46 a.m.

Winter has finally arrived and although tomorrow and Wednesday will be fairly mild, it’s going to be cold for the rest of the month.  No above zero temperatures in sight which is a good thing.  Dan, Mike and I spent most of the morning digging things out of snow.  Mostly roads, decks and cars and I think we all paid for our labour’s.  Moaning and groaning does not become us.  Lol.  Man was there a lot of snow to push though and it was heavy stuff.  I also did cottage laundry in the afternoon and evening and we have check-ins today and tomorrow.  Lori is coming in today and we are both cleaning in the morning and then if I’m up to it, I may do some more “tweaking” with the snow shovel but I’m a little sore this morning.  Dan will be busy running our guests and getting things organized for a big group arriving tomorrow.  Gato has been absent of course, due to guests as well as the storm but he was sitting at the back door when I got up just before 4:00 this morning.  Poor little guy’s whiskers were white so I think he’d been out there for awhile.  

January 12, 2020 - 6:19 a.m.

Well it was a trying day for the boys yesterday.  Dan wouldn’t take anyone out until he was able to check out the conditions and he couldn’t check them out until he could see which meant daybreak.  We had one bad spot where he was pulling through a couple of feet of water but it was close enough to shore there was sand on the bottom.  The water was due to Moose Creek following.  It had nearly firmed back up completely by the time they were pulling off in the evening.  We had a mixed of rain, ice pellets and snow throughout the day but the major portion of the storm didn’t hit until after midnight last night.  It is still snowing and howling out there so the visibility is next to nil right now.  All told we should end up with about 20 cm by the end of it all.  It’s blizzards conditions on the ice currently but this massive system should be completely done by around 11:00 and the sun is suppose to come out this afternoon.  Just in time for us to shovel and plow ourselves out.  All our guests will be making a slow trek home today and I hope the roads are in fairly good condition for them.  What a wild weekend!

January 11, 2020 - 4:20 a.m.

I woke up at around 3:00 this morning and try as I might, couldn’t get back to sleep so here I am.  Going to be a long day.  I’ve been fretting about the upcoming storm, I think.  When people are out on the ice and you are responsible for their well being, it’s hard not to fret.  Dan’s the same but at least he’s in the know.  I’m on shore thinking the worse.  Now that I’ve looked at the updated models, I don’t think the worst of the storm will hit until after everyone is safely off the ice tonight, but just.  It’s due to get really bad around 7:00 tonight.  Tomorrow will be a different story.  Although they are calling for a good foot of snow tonight into Sunday, it’s the wind that is due to accompany it.  That’ll create blizzard conditions for sure which means no one will be going anywhere.  It’s currently raining which is an hour ahead of the forecast and I’m hoping it changes to snow shortly.  It’s still just around zero although the temperature was suppose to drop hours ago.  Going to be a brutal weekend for most of Ontario so stay safe everyone and avoid travelling completely.

January 10, 2020 - 6:56 a.m.

I would hager a guest and say it’s going to be quite the weekend.  Dan just got off the ice after checking to make sure everything is okay.  We have a large group arriving anytime and guests will,continue to arrive through the day.  The temperature rose drastically overnight and went from -18 to +3 where it is going to remain for most of the day.  I’m just hoping it doesn’t get much warmer than that.  The temperatures will drop below freezing overnight but tomorrow will tell the tale.  We are suppose to get freezing drizzle or just drizzle throughout the day but tomorrow is suppose to bring a huge dumping of snow.  Into Sunday.  Snow.  Lol.  Someone may be shovelling all weekend and I don’t think it’s going to be me.  One can wish.  I think the fishing should be rather good today, as it usually is during thaws but it was pretty windy last night so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.  It’s very calm right now and looks like it should be that way for most of the day.  Will be a great day for fishing outside.

January 9, 2020 - 7:31 a.m.

Wow!  I shut things down at 9:30 last night and didn’t wake up until just after 7:00 this morning.  Must have needed a good night’s sleep and we’re only just starting the season.  Although the wind was howling all day yesterday, the fishing was still good which really surprised me.  I figured it would drop off but it didn’t happen.  Today may be another story but no one is fishing anyhow.  It was -22 when I got up and just brutally cold and brittle when I went to bed last night.  Gato showed up for food and when I opened the door, the steam just poured in the house.  We haven’t had a day like that for quite some time.  I’m sure all the pressure cracks have healed now but with the thaw coming, caution is still needed on the lake.  Dan was on the ice yesterday when a pinhead (minuscule) crack went through and it scared the poop out of him.  They are nothing to be concerned about but the noise kind of gets you when you’re on top of them.  Lol.  I’ve had that happen when fishing a few times.  Today Dan is doing some preventative maintenance work, I’m cleaning and doing the cottage laundry.  We don’t have any new guests arriving until 7:00 tomorrow morning so will have a nice quiet evening tonight before the busy weekend. 

January 8, 2020 - 6:56 a.m.

I can tell the full moon is nearly upon us.  It was ssooooo bright out last night and I tossed and turned all night.  I likely shouldn’t have watched the news regarding the Iranian conflict before bed either.  Let’s all hope for a quick resolution to the boys playing badly in the sandbox.  Anyhow, the fishing was phenomenal for our guests yesterday.  The Hewson group said the action didn’t stop all day and they were exhausted by the time they came off the ice. Wish I had their problem.  Lol.  They brought home a bucket full of fish.  Lots of jumbo perch and 2 keeper walleye.  They had a 3rd but while they were measuring it, the fish squirmed and managed to do a nosedive right back down the hole.  Lucky fish.  Karen and Lori came in yesterday to clean cottages while I attended to other things needing my attention.  I still haven’t made it to town so hopefully today is the day.  We received quite a nice little dumping of snow which came in the form of squalls after the sun set.  Although it went just above freezing yesterday, it didn’t produce any melt to speak of and the temperature dropped to -10 here overnight.  It’s suppose to get really cold tonight and then warm up to more reasonable temperatures for the weekend.  That could change, we’ll just have to wait and see.

January 7, 2020 - 6:45 a.m.

Dan was in town all day yesterday running all over the place.  He did manage to come home with a good contingency heater for the huts if need be.  We always need to have them on hand just in case so I guess Dan’s time wasn’t wasted.  I didn’t end up getting to town myself.  By the time I got all the shoveling done, it was after noon and then I had to finish laundry.  Today the girls are coming in to help me clean cottages.  I’m only doing one and that’s enough as my house also needs a little attention.  Dan said the big crack behind our huts has heaved considerably due to the cold that’s finally made an appearance.  I’m so glad he didn’t place the huts on the other side of it this year.  It’s currently -14 here, likely a bit colder on ice but the temp is suppose to rise to around zero with some more flurries today.  I’m glad we finally received a bit of snow yesterday because lake conditions have been rough on our equipment.  We still need more snow but at least we have a bit of cushion.  That said, it got pretty windy yesterday afternoon for a bit.  A few squalls went through so not sure just yet if that created dunes on our path or if the snow stuck to the path nicely.  Dan is heading out right shortly to check on things as our guests aren’t wanting to go out right away. 

January 6, 2020 - 8:36 a.m.

Sorry I’m late this morning.  I was dead to the world until 8:00 this morning.  Dan was sound asleep at 9:00 last night but I couldn’t settle for some reason.  Finally shut it down around midnight and didn’t hear a thing until Mike dropped in this morning for coffee.  The boys have already headed to town and I am as well once I get moving properly.  Lol.  I had a long day yesterday and our check-ins aren’t arriving until this afternoon but I still better get a move on.  Our guests had a great weekend and everyone seemed pretty happy with the fishing so I hope it continues.  We received some much needed snow overnight and now the ice is covered enough to give everyone a false sense of security (as Dan likes to call it).  Actually I think the colder temperatures this week will go a long way to healing cracks and the snow will help with the trail conditions.  It’s been pretty hard on our equipment when travelling to and from the huts with no snow not to mention an extremely bumpy ride for our guests.  Hopefully the jaunt will be much smoother now.

January 5, 2020 - 6:32 a.m.

It was another good day of fishing for everyone.  Same as the day before, a little bit of everything was caught.  There was actually a rare blue perch caught by one of our guests which was cool to see.  The ice was just a booming last night as it finally cooled down a tad.  Dan was concerned about a particular crack heaving but considering we were making more ice last night, he said it has settled down a bit and not heaving quite as badly.  There was a lot of standing water on ice yesterday and I’m going to assume most of it froze overnight.  Lots of sled traffic coming off the lake last night just after dusk so the season is up and running fully.  I spent most of my day cottage cleaning yesterday and then had to zip into town for a quick medicinal run so by the time I sat down, it was 3:00.  We are only running half day today and then I’ll be starting cottage laundry.  We have check ins early tomorrow so hopefully Dan gets some rest this afternoon as he had a restless night

January 4, 2020 - 6:00 a.m.

Lots of fish were caught yesterday and although everyone was pretty tight lipped, there were certainly no complaints.  Walleye,  including some keepers, perch, bass and herring was what was indicated.  It remained mild all day and stayed that way overnight as well even though it was suppose to get considerably colder.  Hopefully it got much colder on ice with the wind chill.  We need some -20 temperatures for 3-4 days to get the pressure cracks healed up.  There were several mishaps yesterday.  Both trucks and sleds met up with some cracks and people are being advised to use extreme caution.  There is lots of ice, most places have a good foot of black ice but when they let too much water out of Lake Nipissing too quickly, and the level drops it causes the ice to crack so I guess they aren’t really caused by pressure per say.  Just please use your head when venturing out and don’t be going into unfamiliar territory.  Listen to the operators and heed any advice from locals, especially if around Callander Bay and Deepwater Point.

January 3, 2020 - 6:11 a.m.

And so it begins!  All our guests are checking in this morning so for the next couple of months, we will be rising for 5:00.  We went fishing New Year’s Day to see what the heck and were pleasantly surprised.  We caught a few perch and plenty of walleye; one keeper in a dozen so the numbers have improved.  The thaw we’ve been experiencing has kept the pressure really low and the current at the hut was helping to land us some fish.  It’s going to be a great day to fish outside but with the cold front due in tomorrow not sure how that will affect the fishing for the rest of the weekend but I know it’s going to be good today, for sure.  Dan is getting the huts ready to rock this morning while I look after the bait.  I really should have gone to town yesterday for grocery restocking but didn’t feel like it.  Tomorrow is it.

January 1, 2020 - 8:15 a.m.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!

Dan and I behaved ourselves and had a quiet evening at home last night.  Dan was on ice all day with Mike giving him a hand with the set up.  We are having a “soft opening” as we usually do until we are completely comfortable with the ice conditions.  We are supposedly in for some colder weather in a few days so Dan is waiting until then to put our “big” huts on ice.  Only the 6 man are on for the upcoming weekend.  The powers that be let out a foot of water out of Lake Nipissing last week and as a result, huge cracks formed all over the lake.  There is one directly behind us, one at Deepwater Point, one through South Bay, one at the waterfront just off North Bay and one in Callander Bay and those are just the ones we know about.  Just use extreme caution if venturing out into unknown areas.  Our huts are currently about 125’ from the crack behind us and we are avoiding it completely this year, at least for now.  No worries though, we are still on the same reef so fishing will be good.  We’ll certainly find out soon enough.  May drop a line today for some R&D.  Stay safe and tight lines everyone.

December 31, 2019 - 8:37 a.m.

We survived the storm intact but I can’t say the same for Lake Nipissing.  Lol.  A humongous pressure crack formed off Amelia Beach at the North Bay waterfront and is extremely dangerous.  I saw footage and it’s a beaut so if you’re venturing that way, proceed with extreme caution and don’t cross it.  It’s massive, it’s heaved and will likely be a problem for the duration of the season.  We had a crack form by our usual spot again this year and it’s also heaved.  Dan is on ice right now with Mike and they are investigating a little more thoroughly before they begin hauling the huts.  There was no on ice operator hut movement yesterday that we saw at all just due to the conditions.  The winds were blowing too hard and didn’t die down until late afternoon.  It’s as calm as can be today and we received some nice snow overnight so there will be a lot of operators scurrying today, I’m sure.  Thankfully our first arrivals aren’t until Thursday so we have time to get set up but those anglers booked in today might not be so lucky.  I’m sure the operators will do their very best to accommodate but it’s really been out of their control so be patient.  The weather is staying mild until at least Saturday but it’s suppose to get considerably colder after that.  For anyone celebrating today, enjoy the new year ring in and please stay safe!

December 30, 2019 - 7:03 a.m.

So far we’ve been lucky.  We received some freezing rain which has made walking treacherous but don’t know about roadway conditions just yet which I’m sure are just as treacherous if not more so.  The heavier freezing rain didn’t hit until early evening yesterday but the worse of the storm is due to hit today.  No power outages in our area (yet) but we’re prepared.  The winds have picked up and we may get some snow or maybe more freezing rain but for the most part, this storm has ventured around us.  See what today brings.  It was the ice popping, banging and booming the other night as I talked to several people who heard it.  I also saw footage of ice pile ups along the shorelines but don’t know if that was recent.  I saw a few people, likely operators, checking out the ice close to Lonely Island yesterday but they obviously decided to hold up hauling huts because none materialize on the ice yesterday in our line of vision.  They are starting to accumulate at the public launches in anticipation of getting on ice as soon as possible though.  Dan figures he’ll get ours on Wednesday and Thursday, weather conducive.  From what we’ve been hearing, we haven’t lost any ice but we won’t know for sure until we measure and I know Dan isn’t venturing out there today, even if he wants to.

December 29, 2019 - 8:00 a.m.

Batton down the hatches people, I think we’re in for some nasty weather over the coming 24 hours.  The warnings for freezing rain and snow are nothing to mess with considering they foresee widespread power outages which could last days so please make sure you are prepared.  I’m praying we just get snow but it seems freezing rain is imminent beginning this afternoon.  Lori and Karen are coming in this morning to clean cottages so I’ll be keeping my eyes on things to make sure they’ll be able to get home safely.  One hut appeared on ice in our line of vision yesterday but it wasn’t an operator.  Most operators are sitting tight just yet until we see what this storm is going to do.  High winds will be accompanying this storm and with no banking there is no point putting the huts on the lake and hoping tie downs keep them secure.  I don’t know if we were experiencing thunder last night (with no lightning) or the ice was cracking but the noise kept me up until the wee hours.  I went outside around midnight because I couldn’t stand it and could hear it coming from the direction of the lake but still don’t know what it was as it continued sporadically every few minutes for hours.  While outside, I hear horrible crying/screeching coming from our park area and don’t have a clue what that was either.  Something was in distress (it wasn’t Gato as he was at our backdoor).  Wasn’t a very good night for me obviously.  Stay safe over the next few days everyone!

December 28, 2019 - 9:50 a.m.

Oops, forgot to update the blog first thing this morning.  Guess I’m still shaking off the holidays.  I spent the day working yesterday, mainly cleaning and laundry and then I took down the Christmas decorations.  I’ve still to pack them away for the season which I’ll do after I get some more chores finished today.  Dan rested.  Lol.  Sucks to be a man.  He was fretting a little bit yesterday over the weather forecast but I really don’t think they know what’s going on with the latest system as they keep changing it.  After this recent thaw, things were pretty wet in the region but it went below zero overnight and firmed everything back up.  It’s currently hovering around zero but we really need a couple of nights of extreme cold and about 6” of snow.  As of this moment, it’ll be pretty chilly in the huts as there is absolutely nothing to bank with.  The sun is actually trying to make an appearance today but it’s still mostly overcast.

December 27, 2019 - 8:18 a.m.

Well playtime is officially over and it’s back to work today.  We had a fantastic Christmas with the Barnier’s and an all around good visit.  They are getting ready to head out for warmer climes right shortly although I’m not quite sure how much warmer as it’s very mild here.  Currently above zero and lots of melting going on.  We had a bit of icy rain yesterday, just enough to make the roads and walkways treacherous but today we are getting light drizzle.  There is basically no snow at all on Lake Nipissing and we don’t know at this point if we lost any ice during the holidays as we haven’t been out.  The treeline held pretty good so that’s something.  Wish we had a few good days of really cold coming our way but the long term forecast is pretty mild.

December 25, 2019 - 8:00 a.m.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

December 23, 2019 - 7:00 a.m.

Two days until Christmas so I suppose all the men will be starting their Christmas shopping today.  Lol.  Dan and Mike managed to get the entire treeline in yesterday.  There are a couple of small pressure cracks they found as the day progressively got warmer because they were wet around them but the next cold snap, they’ll freeze back up.  It was certainly mild yesterday at +4 and didn’t go below zero here overnight.  It is going to remain mild until after Christmas and we may see some snow and/or rain.  We could certainly use some snow so fingers crossed we don’t get rain.  I got all my prep and cooking that I wanted to finish completed yesterday.  I have a little cleaning to do today before the family arrives a little later this afternoon.  Hopefully everyone arrives safely and there isn’t bad traffic or weather to contend with.  Such an awful and long drive from down south, particularly through Barrie where everyone seems to be in a hurry.  Gato was waiting on me this morning as he didn’t come up last night before I went to bed at midnight.  He likely has been out there for a few hours catching some zzzz’s.  I’ll have to save the giblets nobody wants from the turkey for him.

December 22, 2019 - 9:57 a.m.

I’m late this morning because I wanted to get word from Dan on Lake Nipissing’s ice situation.  Ice fishing for the opening is definitely a go!  We have a solid 11” of black ice throughout our entire path and thankfully no pressure cracks (knock on wood).  The large pressure crack that usually gives us major grief from Deepwater Point to the Manitous took a trajectory that is a good 1/2 mile away from where we put our shacks.  The treeline is going in today and Dan said it would be so easy to put the huts out today but there isn’t enough banking and he’s worried if a wind comes up before the holidays are over, he doesn’t want to worry about them.  Good call.  I had a great time at Annie’s yeste4day.  We played a game (“That’s What She Said”), had a great meal of homemade mushroom soup, chicken pot pie and salad, and then did a gift exchange.  We never did get to dessert which I believe was trifle.  Good time had by all.  Today I’m back to getting things organized for our family’s arrival tomorrow.  We had a visit from 4 deer this morning who were having an early morning stroll along the shoreline so I gave them all an apple.  It is such a beautiful day today.  Warm, sunny and just gorgeous.  Get out and enjoy it if you can.  Doesn’t get much better than this.

December 21, 2019 - 7:25 a.m.

The warm up has begun.  It was -12 when I got up and heading towards just below zero today.  It was a beautifully sunny day yesterday but a little chilly.  Not too bad though.  I fought the masses in town to do my last minute shopping and of course get my turkey and ham.  The turkey is currently doing a slow thaw in the fridge.  I’m cooking lasagna today for Christmas Eve and a few other things I can prep ahead of time and then a few of us are heading into Annie’s for some Christmas cheer.  Dan is dropping us off and Craig is picking us up so I’m bringing a nice batch of Christmas sangria.  I know Dan is anxious to get the tree line in and Mike is going to help him but I truly hope they wait until tomorrow when I will be home and on shore in case they run into problems.  We don’t foresee any but you can never be too careful when venturing out for the first time.  We aren’t even sure where the pressure cracks formed this year but I’ll have an ice update within the next couple of days.  Getting lots of reports of anywhere from 9-12” with most of it good solid black ice.  Looking good for the season.

December 20, 2019 - 7:23 a.m.

What a chilly day yesterday!  The temperature only warmed up to around -15 even with the glorious sun that we’ve not seen a lot of lately.  It dropped to the minus 20’s overnight but the warm up is due in sometime today.  It’s suppose to be sunny and a high of -13 today, holding steady overnight and then anywhere from +2 to -8 with no sun through Christmas.  Hopefully that will change and the sun will make an appearance at some point.  I had a very busy day yesterday finally finishing the shop clean and purge in the morning and then moved on to Dan’s man cave (aka Stinky’s room) which took the afternoon.  I also did a bunch of laundry and started my grocery shopping list for today.  Dan was busy with the crew yesterday who were putting in our breakwall.  It’s been months of waiting for the permits, the ground to freeze enough for heavy equipment and also to get the appropriate rock. Now finished, it looks very nice and should help with any high water and wave action of the future.  Our neighbour is also getting his done as well but they aren’t completing it until Monday.  Once it is finished, we’ll have one nice shoreline for protection.  I don’t foresee another flood like Ontario experienced last summer for quite some time but it’s better to be safe than sorry.  On a sad note, I woke up to news this morning that there is a major fire in downtown North Bay.  Several buildings have been destroyed on Main Street and they are still currently fighting the blaze.  They believe it started in the old Sushi House location that is now vacant.  Please avoid the area if venturing out this morning.

December 19, 2019 - 7:40 a.m.

Bbbbrrrrr!  Fricking cold this morning.  Currently -34 with the windchill in North Bay and our thermometer says it’s -24.  It’s the type of morning when you open the door and steam rushes in the house.  And there was Gato sitting outside the door this morning with white whiskers and snow all over his sweet little face.  Silly animal.  I gave him a big bowl of warm milk and some dry food so hopefully he polishes it off in a hurry and takes shelter.  His resilience is amazing and I wish he wasn’t so feral that he would use the little cat shelter I made him but hey, he’s tough and has survived many days colder than this.  I’ve a busy few days ahead of me and yesterday was pretty productive.  I tackled the shop and still have another hour or so before it’s completely done and then I can move on to something else.  I really need to get my fridges cleaned out today as I’m doing my “big” grocery run tomorrow. Lots of preparation to do before our company arrives Monday but I’ll have everything under control.  Thankfully the weather will be back to seasonal for Christmas as the warm front is due back in later tomorrow.  Everything was popping yesterday afternoon.  The trees, decks, siding, ice were all playing us a musical tune as they do when the cold gets to be a bit much.  Hopefully the large pressure cracks have all formed now.  I know there are a few massive ones but same as every year, the operators will deal with them and put their huts in a safe location.  Dan is installing the tree line sometime this weekend when the temperature is more conducive so I’ll be able to give a good ice report on Monday.  Ice fishing season is nearly upon us!

December 18, 2019 - 7:16 a.m.

The cold front has arrived and now the nasty wind has arrived.  It is forecasted to hit -29 this afternoon with the windchill and a possibility of frostbite so bundle up people.  It’s going to stay particularly cold until at least Saturday with overnight temperatures at least in the -20’s.  It looks to be much more mild over Christmas though so that’s a good thing.  Lori and I did the heavy clean in the double unit yesterday.  It feels good to have that finished.  Today I’m carrying on and will see how it goes.  A sled ventured out last night into the main body of the lake and there are still various reports on lake conditions coming from all over but suffice it to say, unless the weather drastically changes, I think most operators should be good to go opening day.  Again, check with your operator as conditions vary greatly from one area to the next on Lake Nipissing.

December 16, 2019 - 6:23 a.m.

I would have to say we’ve been making some ice over the past few days.  It was a chilly -10 yesterday and dropped to -17 at one point overnight but is already -11 and rising today.  Maybe a few flurries.  Gato was outside the door when I went to bed at 11:00 and still there when I got up at 6.  Not knowing if he stayed on the blanket all night but God bless him if he did.  He’s getting quite fat so I’m sure the extra insulation is helping.  Dan and I went over to Craig and Ginny’s late Saturday afternoon for a neighbourhood foray.  It was a lot of fun and we took the sled across the bay so there’s at least a solid 4-6” of ice as we had no problems.  I’m hoping we’ve been building some nice black ice which is conceivable considering we haven’t had any major thaws.  Another few days and I’m sure Dan will be measuring but we should be good to go by week’s end I’m guessing.

December 14, 2019 - 8:20 a.m.

Wow!  I didn’t even crack an eyelid open until shortly after 8:00 this morning.  So not like me, especially considering I was in bed at a decent hour last night.  It looks like they are getting some precipitation on the north shore this morning but the radar isn’t indicating as such.  Everything is currently southeast of us but apparently it’s coming.  Snow, at times heavy, is suppose to start this afternoon but the temperatures are going to be cold all next week.  It’s very mild right now but the winds are due to pick up.  If we don’t get a lot of snow, we’ll have some good solid black ice by the end of next week so anxiously waiting to see what Mother Nature throws at us.  We also need the pressure cracks to fully form.  There has been some cracking and popping but I don’t think it’s been too significant just yet.

December 13, 2019 - 8:17 a.m.

Dan and I both had a busy day yesterday and we both finally had a good night’s rest without the intense moon glare.  I had to zip into Callander yesterday to get another dose of shingles medication as sadly the first round didn’t do the trick.  Hopefully things will be cleared up by Christmas and certainly before ice fishing starts.  I then finished all my baking and now 3 cottages are finished as far as any and all laundry goes.  Dan and Mike painted the ceiling in the shop which brightened it up considerably.  We were told there was 9” of ice in certain spots on the lake but I’m taking that with a grain of salt.  The thickness is going to vary throughout Lake Nipissing and considering Wasi Falls was still open and running, I don’t think it’s very safe to go joy riding just yet.  Today I’m getting my Christmas cards finished although I’m not sending many out this year.  They are slowly becoming a thing of the past which is sad really.  Once I’m done I’ll zip into Callander again.  When I got home town yesterday there was a slip in the mailbox to pick up a package and I had just come from the post office.  That’s always the way it goes.  I’d like to get little care packages together also for the post office worker (I put baked goods in the mailbox for them every year) as well as the fellow at the dump.  Just my way of saying thanks.

December 12, 2019 - 8:00 a.m.

I had a bit of a set back yesterday so although I did some work, took it fairly easy.  I have some great news though.  Trigger, a neighbourhood puppy that went missing last week, was found yesterday in North Bay nearly 30 miles from home.  He obviously was out for an adventure and he did cross the lake.  I was starting to lose hope and then Trigger landed on a gentleman’s porch around 3:30 Wednesday morning.  The whole neighbourhood (or a good portion of it) was keeping an eye out for him and are so relieved he’s home.  I just hope he learned his lesson and doesn’t have a repeat.  The sky didn’t disappoint with the full moon last night.  Man was it bright.  I’m sure a lot of people, or at least those affected by the moon, had a difficult time getting to sleep.  I could see everything perfectly even though it was the middle of the night.  The full moon also explains the cold snap we’ve had the past few days.  Bbbbrrrr, frigid.  It’s suppose to warm up today and not get below -10 overnight but with the wind yesterday I believe the ice on the lake is definitively here to stay for the long haul.  We did receive a bit of snow yesterday but with the wind, we had whiteouts on the lake and most of the snow has blown inland.  Lots more of the white stuff in the long term forecast though.

December 10, 2019 - 7:19 a.m.

Lake Nipissing managed to hold yesterday during the thaw.  From what I can tell although it is still dawn light, the ice didn’t open up on the main body which is a very good thing.  The temperature reached a high of +4 yesterday and we received a little rain which started things dripping and puddles pooling along the shoreline but I think this thaw was a good thing.  The winds started howling after midnight last night (woke us up) and flash froze everything.  It’s currently -14 on the mountain in the Bay and we’re registering -12 here.  The winds are still whipping but thankfully we aren’t going to get the 15+ cm of snow that was forecasted.  We’ll definitely be making some ice over the next few days.  I did a major town run yesterday and got quite a few errands finished.  Mostly bought everything for my Christmas baking which I started last night.  I just made two batches of nuts ‘n bolts as they tie up the oven for too long.  Today I’m going to continue on with the cottage laundry while I do some actual baking (cookies, no pies this year).  Coming back from town yesterday, I saw a lady pulled over on Tillicum standing outside of her vehicle.  I pulled over and asked if she was Trigger’s (the missing lab pup) mom.  It was actually his gramma.  The family is worried sick as he hasn’t been sighted since Saturday.  Hopefully due to the weather, he was able to find his way home sometime yesterday but it’s not looking good.  Being just a year old, he’s still in puppy mode and could be anywhere.  Poor baby :(

December 9, 2019 - 7:37 a.m.

It is extremely mild this morning and the temperature has already climbed above zero.  Lake Nipissing is spotty and opaque at the moment with most of the snow melted.  They are calling for rain today before the cold front comes back in so that’s a good thing for the lake.  With the winds due to blow tonight, there will be a flash freeze and no snow will help thicken the ice.  There is currently a one year old yellow lab missing in the neighbourhood.  It was spotted entering onto the lake on Saturday but the rescue team couldn’t get to him as it was getting dark.  The owner thinks he may have been chased by coyotes.  His name is Trigger and if he survived the past few nights, he could exit the lake anywhere so please keep your eyes open for him.  

December 8, 2019 - 7:06 a.m.

We had a relaxing day yesterday and didn’t do much at all.  I rested and let my medication do it’s magic and am feeling more energized this morning than I have for a while.  I think the rash on my face may take a bit to clear up but it isn’t getting any worse and thankfully isn’t near my eye.  I was going to head to Walmart yesterday and thought better of it.  By the time I was ready to go, it was nearing lunch time and the place would have been a zoo.  Plus I didn’t relish having to fight with my cart by pushing it to the back 40 as I’m sure the parking would have been full.  I’m thinking I’ll get up early and go first thing tomorrow morning when it shouldn’t be so hectic.  We are in for a mild spell over the next 36 hours with the temperature crawling above zero and possibly some rain but starting tomorrow night, it’s going to get frigid for a few days with -20 heading our way.  I think today I’ll continue picking at the cottage laundry so I don’t need to battle nastier elements going back and forth quite so much.  There is a lot on my agenda but I’m not pushing it.  It’ll get done when it gets done.  Gato spent the night at our backdoor on his blanket last night and as I was saying good night to Grady, saw a fox running along the breakwall on the lake side.  Grady went nuts and I was concerned for Gato but the fox continued on along the shoreline and stayed away from the house.  I’ve seen him a few times so I think he (or she) must have a den in the vicinity.  I spotted an eagle flying over our beach last week as well so there is still some wildlife around.

December 6, 2019 - 5:17 a.m.

Yesterday was pretty much a write off for me after such a relentless sleep the night before.  Besides, the doctor confirmed what I already knew.  I have shingles for the 3rd time.  It has been on my trunk the past two times but this time, it’s on my face.  The doctor doesn’t know if I caught it in time (as I have in the past) so may need to do two rounds of medication but the good news is I can get a vaccine as soon as this bout heals.  The reason I haven’t receive a vaccine yet is because they use live cultures so a person has to be shingles free for a year which hasn’t happened for me yet.  Now they have a new vaccine and I will be able to take it hopefully very soon and be done with it.  Anyhow, I just wanted to blog about this because shingles isn’t something to mess around with and I suggest everyone over 50 get a vaccine.  It’s more common than people realize.

December 5, 2019 - 5:37 a.m.

It was a long day and night for me yesterday.  I was able to get quite a bit of work done since Dan was in town all day and even got started on cottage laundry after completing some office and house work.  I have an appointment at 9:00 this morning but was up all night for some reason.  I shut the lights out early and was just drifting off when Dan woke me up and then was it.  I tossed and turned all night.  The winds were howling though so that didn’t help.  It’s pretty mild at -9 this morning and wil warm up some today but it’s suppose to dip to -16 tonight.  We received some more snow yesterday, not a lot but enough we’ll need to do some shovelling.  After my doctor’s appointment, I’m heading into the Bay to load up on groceries so I can start my Christmas baking tomorrow.  Figure I’ll pick away at it this weekend while continuing on with the cottage laundry (bedding, curtains, etc.).  The sun isn’t up yet so I can’t give an ice report but as of last night, Lake Nipissing was completely covered with a thin layer.  That said, Moose Creek looked like it had some run off happening as it was mild enough for melting yesterday.

December 4, 2019 - 7:58 a.m.

Just around the time I decided to head to bed last night, it began to lightly snow.  Gato was hunkered down on the blanket outside and I finally shoo’d him away so he would take some shelter as the radar showed some heavier snow was imminent.  I woke up this morning to a winter wonderland and Gato sitting in the snow by the door.  He’s been fed and watered and has headed to his home wherever that may be.  Anyhow, although it is completely white this morning and you can’t tell where the land meets the sky, it looks like Lake Nipissing is completely frozen as I see no darkness on the horizon, only white.  Now we wait.  The temperatures are going to be fairly mild for the next 5 days but going below -10 during most of the evenings.  We need 3-4 nights with -20 to make the ice we need to keep it and to form the pressure cracks which is important.  Can’t put huts out until the cracks have developed.  There were a few in the bay yesterday but just the normal little ones.  It certainly is beautiful out there today.  I may take a walk and get some pictures or even follow Gato’s tracks to see if I can find out where he’s living.

December 3, 2019 - 8:14 a.m.

It looked like Lake Nipissing was completely frozen this morning but now that the sun is shining on it, you can see where there is still open water. At least in front of our place.  There isn’t much open water but any at all isn’t a good thing.  I suspect there are many spots where the currents are running that hasn’t solidified yet but that’s coming soon.  Our forecast looks good for making the ice over the next few days so hopefully any mild spells won’t take away what’s currently been made.

December 2, 2019 - 8:19 a.m.

I wanted to wait until the sun was fully up before updating my blog and so glad I did!  There are 6 bald eagles sitting in Greening Bay right on the very edge of the ice.  Four are mature adults and 2 are yearlings.  I know this because through the binoculars you can see the white heads versus the young ones who are still all one colour.  Tells me it’s two families and they are likely in the process of migrating.  Gato was just here so I hope he’s on his way to his shelter and didn’t get caught along the way.  The ice on Lake Nipissing is coming along nicely but what a mess it seems from shore.  The winds were blowing down the main body yesterday in a way I’ve never seen before.  You could see the waves rolling but there was a heaviness to them which formed a thickness I can’t explain.  It was cold enough last night that the waves froze so now it appears there is a huge build up of ice between our bay and the Manitous with open water inbetween.  At least the pileup is closer to the Manitous and shouldn’t effect where we put our huts.  Will be interesting to see where the pressure cracks form this year.  I suspect with the -20ish wind chill factor today we may see a total freeze in the next day or two.

December 1, 2019 - 7:37 a.m.

I can’t believe it is December already.  Another month, whoosh.  Gone.  The colder weather came in as forecasted and the temperature dropped to -12 here overnight.  I think all the snow heading through Southern Ontario will miss us as it looks like it may stay below our region and if we do get anything, it won’t be until later this afternoon.  We usually get a really good dumping before extreme cold sets in and we haven’t seen that forecasted yet.  It is going to be colder than normal next week (according to the weather networks) but we usually see -20 by the end of the first week in December.  Our bay is completely frozen and I believe it will stay that way for the duration of the winter now.  Other than a few ice shard build ups, it’s not too bad this year.  The main body of Nipissing is starting and I’m guessing it’ll be completely frozen by mid week.  Ho