Check the Ice

I can’t remember a winter where we have had this much snow this late in the year.  I have to walk down a path like a corridor through the snow to get to my truck.  Going to take a ride to check the ice.  Our shellfish beds have been under sea ice for the last six weeks but it has been a smooth sheet covering the whole inner bay.  The sheets float up and down with the tide and may even insulate the shellfish from extreme temperatures.   But just past the jetty, which borders our beds, there is a huge flow of broken up icebergs, many of them the size of SUV’s that extend all the way down the bay.  Those are the ones that leave big ruts in your clam beds as the bergs move in and out with the tide.   I pull into the pier parking lot for a closer look across the bay and I see three other growers, their trucks pulled up close to each other, windows down.  Probably speculating “If it rains like it is supposed to on Wednesday and the wind comes around to the  Northeast... might just blow it out.”  Hope so.  The wind has been out of the south all week packing the ice from the inside of the Cape up into Wellfleet bay.   I pull around to the Mayo beach parking lot for another view.  My friend Bob, also a grower, pulls up. “How’s your bed lookin?” I ask. “It’s all locked up, we need a noreaster.”  As we talked a Boston TV crew started to unload setting up a tripod on the beach.  “I guess the ice in Wellfleet is big news!” Not exactly a fast breaking story, but a media event none the less.  
Barb and I drive down Indian Neck, the following day, towards our shellfish bed.  The assistant shellfish warden is driving in the opposite direction.  I wave and he shakes his head no, meaning that our beds haven’t cleared of ice yet.  When we get down to the parking lot at the end of Indian Neck a couple is getting out of their car.  “Where are the icebergs?” the woman asks. I’m a bit taken aback, I’ve never been asked that before.“Out there.” I say pointing past the dune to the bay which is covered in ice as far as the eye can see.      


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