I expected the worst in Skelleftehamn. The worst regarding winter. I wanted to have a real one – it’s mid-February – but had heard about the warm temperatures last week. Three days with temperatures round 7 °C, at least in town. But I was lucky, it hadn’t rained these days. The snow had fallen together but was still there. All minor streets where still white with some fresh snowdrifts from today’s strong and gusty wind and in my backyard lie still round 55 cm of snow.
Of course I had to shovel away the snow before I could use my car. Its a car with all-wheel drive but no snowcat. Although the snow was hard it was easier than expected.
The special thing about a trip with the Hurtigruten ship is that the Norwegian Sea is free of ice the whole year round and most parts of the Barents Sea, too. The Bothnian Bay – the northernmost part of the Baltic Sea – however is covered with a thick solid layer of ice. That’s what I thought until I read a Facebook post today:
Öppet vatten runt Gåsören. – Open water round [the island] Gåsören.
I could hardly believe it and took the car to the coast. And yes – large parts of the sea were free of ice, even the ice floes had gone beside of some remains. I guess there won’t be a ski tour to Gåsören this winter.
Two weeks ago I had made ski tours on the Baltic Sea with Chris. Although there’s solid ice left between the other islands I doubt that we could do the same tours today.
Here’s a comparison of the ice situation today and two weeks ago:
Legend: fast ice | very close or compact ice | open ice | open water
Source: SMHI Sea Ice – Archived charts and reports