People do this for pleasure. It is probably between -20 and -30c. We are on a frozen lake (Lake Manitoba) at Gimli. Hobby fishermen drill a hole in the ice (around three to four feet thick), usually with a petrol driven auger made for the purpose and sit in the cold with a toy-like (very) short fishing rod over the hole, which they have dragged their hut over. The hard core fishermen have a generator going outside to power a television (to watch ice hockey, of course) and a fridge which has the dual function of stopping the beer from freezing and providing some heat for the hut with its heat exchanger. As they fish the hole slowly freezes shut again. Outside, meanwhile, the ice makes pleasing cracking and moaning sounds.
A few more images of Bombardiers from a different visit to the one I showed before. The improbable manually operated submarine to carry a line under the ice (that I mentioned a couple of posts back) is seen being demonstrated in the last but two and last but one images. The fisherman is showing how the thing would walk under the ice when a couple of ropes are pulled. You can see the wood burning stove and chimney in the interior shot.
These half tracked vehicles are used over the winter by fishermen (these ones are owned by a bunch of really nice guys of Icelandic descent) and are run out of Gimli, Manitoba. They fish on Lake Manitoba when it freezes over. They drill a hole with an auger driven by a belt that takes power from the main engine drive shaft (although they have been rigging up independent generator engines more recently) and then run a little submarine under the ice with a cable, drill another hole and pull the submarine and cable out and pull nets under the ice (which is three to four feet thick). The nets need to be extracted before the ice freezes again. The modern electric submarines look like they are blow moulded plastic and float just under the ice. They give out a homing signal so you can find them, but previously they used a plank with an improbably assembly of steel pieces that would walk under the ice when teased along with two ropes. The walking action would also make a tapping noise so they would know how far the plank had travelled. It is a tough existence. The green machine went through the ice leaving one of the guys in a coma for several months. They have since put a hatch in the roof to make escape easier.
The vehicles have wood burning stoves inside to keep them warm.
If you want to learn more and have a strange and wonderful read, have a look at Rob Kovitz’ Ice Fishing in Gimli:
On the way back from the sound mirrors we went to Dungeness. I very much enjoy the assembly of seemingly unrelated pieces that seem to make their own sort of sense. The way the ground is left to its own devices accounts for much of this assembly – a tentative infrastructure.
This is also my 365th post on this blog in just under two years that it has been running – so just over a post every two days.
A similar view to the ones I posted the other day of Dungeness, but seen in stereo you can pick out the folds in the land that are hidden when viewed in 2D. The track was to carry fish from the boats to the road (see here for earlier post)
Hastings’ fishing fleet is moored on the beach. There are winches to pull the boats on shore and a light weight infrastructure of huts to store the equipment that is not distributed on the beach. The screen shot below (from Google Maps) Shows the arrangement in plan, with everything arranged either side of the winch lines. At Hastings the boats are protected by a breakwater, but at Dungeness there is no large scale infrastructure to protect the fleet other than the shape of the coastline.