The ocean opened. Sometime a couple weeks ago the temperature had a nice warm stretch, we hovered around freezing, and when our evening custodian came into my room, he informed me that the ocean had opened and that there were places of overflow in the bay. Overflow is when the water is sitting on top of the ice.
It is extremely early for there to be open water this close to the island. The village needs the thick ice so that they can travel out above the ocean to where the whales migrate. It is hard to go whale hunting on the ice when there is no ice.
I’ve asked a couple of my coworkers and we are all wondering what whale hunting is going to look like this year. It usually doesn’t start until after Easter, which tells me that Kivalina usually has solid ice even when the rest of the northern lower 48 and southern Alaska are thawing out.
I don’t know what it’ll mean for the months to come, but I do know that it was pretty fun to test out my sister’s extra-zoom lens!