The morning of 10 January is my the coldest this winter: -20.5 °C. A longer period of frost has frozen over the Baltic Sea earlier than usual. I stand at the shore by our house. Ice as long as I can see.
I follow the coastal line to take photos. Ice fog draws in.
When I return from my pre-work photo trip the temperature has risen to -15 °C and it gets warmer hour by hour. In the evening it’s only -3 °C and it has become stormy.
Two days later I’m out again. It thaws. The effects of the storm are visible: The wind pushed the ice shield ashore where the ice broke into countless pieces.
Movements at the horizon. Large waves roll along the sea and build an ice wall by the rocks south from the island Bredskärssten, 1300 metres from our house. I would love to take photos there but there’s no way for me to get there. It’s too windy for a hovercraft and I don’t own one. So I take mobile phone photos through my spotting scope.
The next day. Similar situation but now with the sun illuminating the splash that the waves throw at the ice walls. The thaw has melted the snow on the ice and made it wet. It twinkles and glistens in the sun. Beautiful to watch.
In the night it is stormy und gusty again.
14 January – the next day. As every day it is too dark in the morning to spot the sea. A small line of red at the horizon signalises the approaching sun. And there it is: 09:03 – sunrise.
Now I can see that beside of some leftovers by the shore all the sea ice has gone. Crushed by the waves and the storm and floated away. Now there’s open water from shore to horizon. Probably it will take some time until the Baltic Sea freezes over again.
And what can you do in open water? Correct – you can kayak!
It was just a very small tour round Lillskär. First it was just a lunch break again and then it was still very windy. Wind came from west and I didn’t want to drift to Finland ;-)
Kayaking however wasn’t dangerous. It’s easy to paddle against the wind – easier than side winds – if the distance is not too big. Probably more dangerous is the large, wet patch of blank ice in front of our house. Slippery as hell! Hopefully it gets colder and snowier soon.
Link to a Swedish article of the SMHI: Bottenviken snabbt avtäckt igen.