george black ferry: mini ice-ecosystem

Every year, the George Black ferry chugs across the Yukon River between Dawson City and West Dawson as long as the river is liquid enough for movement.

The season of diesel travel is bracketed by break-up (usually early May) and freeze-up (anywhere from late October to late November). While we wait for the river to close over, the ferry settles in for a long winter hibernation on the shore.

docked ferry w icicles-s

And between being docked last Mon Nov 2 and my lunch-hour walk yesterday, the ferry has been growing icicles galore. Last year I only  noticed a few.

A theory on why? This year November was strangely warm and then temperatures dropped dramatically – last Friday was only -4 degrees C, and Sunday was a startling -25 before Monday’s -31. So the air has been moister than usual, allowing stalactite-like formations like these.

ferry icicles porthole-s

ferry icicles silh-s

ferry icicles close-s

Quiet caves of spiky secrets….

4 thoughts on “george black ferry: mini ice-ecosystem”

  1. Did you break off and eat any of those icicles? Or would that be too chemically-disgusting? Dev wants to know how big is the biggest icicle on that boat?


    1. Hi Pugli, no I didn’t try to eat any of them, the clustered ones are only about 4″ long and I just loved the pattern so much, it didn’t even cross my mind.
      As for the biggest icicle? I’ll walk by again today and have another look at both ends of the boat & see what I can determine 🙂


  2. Pugli & Dev, the longest icicles are still, even now, only about 6″ long. Not much moisture dripping off the dry-docked ferry, I guess.


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