Monday, January 26, 2009

A Case Of Bad Timing - Perhaps?

Prisoners In Ice
It would appear that the large ferry that services the Magdalen Islands from Matane to Grindstone during the winter is stuck in ice off the port of Matane. She has 300 passengers who were participating in the “Grande Traversée”, a Gaspesia Ski event this past week. The Groupe CTMA Vacancier has been used as a cruise liner, and sporting event ship for a number of years, bringing people to the islands and supporting the tourist trade extensively.

The CTMA Vacancier is not the only ship that is stuck at Matane. Another car ferry, the Camille-Marcoux, which travels between Matane and the North Shore of the Saint Lawrence was immobilized at seven o'clock last evening and just managed to enter the port at 7:30 this morning. The rail and car ferry, George Alexandre Lebel is still at large, off the port of Matane and has been since Sunday afternoon.

To make matters worse, the Terry Fox a Canadian Coast Guard ice breaking ship is also there, not so much stuck but unable to break the ice after five tries.

Is this a bad case of timing? It could be ..., seeing that this is the first year that the ferry, the Madeleine sails from Souris, Prince Edward Island to Grindstone, Magdalen Islands, the entire year. It has been a long, hard struggle for the business commerce of the islands, to attain such a recognized activity. Ferry service to the Magdalen Islands twelve months a year...? In years gone by, many people would have said that it would be impossible..., but here it is, written in the proverbial stone..., and straight from the federal government's mouth.

In all fairness, it has been years since we have had any real ice in the Gulf. Certainly nothing to stop the large routine ferries. So it is quite understandable that the pressure would be strong to keep the Gulf ferry system functioning the whole year. No one last fall could have imagined the cold t
hat we have been having since January 2009 arrived. Record lows all last week only to be broken this week. Only today, the temperature felt like -33C according to the weather network. I'd say the weather man wasn't here, because it felt a whole lot colder. The weather site is calling for warmer temperatures for the rest of the week. Perhaps we will end up with our traditional January thaw in February, which is always the coldest month of the Gulf winters.

Was this just an exceptionally bad winter to try an experiment with the ferry service? Or will the temperatures become more seasonal? Has global warming really screwed with our environment or is it just Mother Nature playing trick on us?

The Satellite Maritime Ice Map
This map was produced by Environment Canada Weather Service on January 26 at eighteen hundred hours (6:00pm). It shows the islands in the center with the yellow to the southeast. The yellow indicates there is light ice skimming Pleasant Bay and the surrounding water. The red colour which dominates the Gulf, indicates ice at a concentration of 9 - 10 out of 10 on a scale of 1 - 10. The white indicates ice free conditions.

The conditions around Matane are also coded red.

An ice warning is in affect.

To find the ice conditions around Canada follow-up on the Canadian Ice Service

1 comment:

dickiebo said...

C-c-c-crikey! It do look c-c-c-cold!