Melting and More Melting

One side of Sarichef Island is bordered by the Chukchi Sea. One the opposite side is what the locals call the lagoon. It’s about five miles to land over this water. During the winter, there are snowmachine trails over the frozen water. Once the lagoon opens up, boats will be launched and used to travel across the lagoon and up the Serpentine River.

While waiting for the ice to melt on the lagoon, some brave souls will run their snowmachines. I say brave because the ice is melting on the surface, due to warmer weather and longer sunlit hours. At the same time, the ice is melting underneath due to the increasing river flow from land. Thin ice is referred to as bad or rotten ice.

One of my students told me that you could use a snowmachine in water. Remember, my students are six years old…and not always reliable. I told my students that couldn’t be. I asked my aide, and sure enough, if you drive fast enough, you can ski a snowmachine across water! Interestingly, a couple of days later, I saw a TV show about people who modified their snowmachines by taking as much weight off of them as possible in order to ski across the water.

People will ride across the lagoon on their snowmachines as long as they can. If they hit rotten ice, they gun it like heck to safety. I will leave this adventure to them.

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