August Surprise

Cooper Island, Alaska, Aug. 4, 2009 — The National Weather Service has been saying that the main pack ice is over 100 miles away — and that is apparently true — but this aggregations of very small floes and ice chunks showed up north of Cooper late on Sunday. It persisted through Monday — when the above picture was taken — and guillemots could be seen diving next to the floes and returning arctic cod to their young. The ice charts show this to be the only ice for this area of coast and its appearance off Cooper was fortuitous for the guillemots. I am hoping that some might wash up on the beach so I can use to replenish my drinking water supply. Back when multi-year ice was common on the beach, that was my main water supply.

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