Not every year does the Delaware Bay develop ice, but the winter of 2017-18 brought ice to the Bay. On January 9th, we drove to Lewes, Delaware for an ice viewing before the weather warmed and the ice disappeared. We were not disappointed. From the Fishing Pier at Cape Henlopen State Park a surreal scene unfolded.
Ice covered the bay with the shoreline being a mixture of ice and sand.
From the far end of the Fishing Pier, in a little spot of open icy water, Ruddy Ducks swam and dove. Both the East End Lighthouse, and in the far distance the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse, stood tall above the ice.
Walking back along the Pier the ice was full of icy squiggles, and the collision of ice plates led to cracking here and there.
Strolling south along the beach toward the Bay Pilots Tower the shoreline presented a wintry scene.
The icy beach held some interesting curiosities. A horseshoe crab shell naturally bedazzled with barnacles and various shell creatures lay in the sand. We also spotted a complete whelk egg sack, opening one of the disks in the egg sack you would find many little shells of young whelks.
A short drive from Lewes is Broadkill Beach on the edge of Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge. Here the ice was gone from the bay but large ice blocks washed ashore at high tide and became marooned on the sand as the tide receded. A very surreal alien landscape!
The sand and the ice intertwined in a gritty but beautiful way.
Not being able to kayak is tough during the winter. So we take every opportunity to see our kayaking locations through a different set of eyes while it’s cold.
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