Hoping to spend Easter at cabin

Our family’s first boat was a Admiral Peterborough cedar skiff and every year my father would begin working on it in our backyard.
The bottom was covered in fibreglass, as was the stern. It was green. The rest of the boat had a Spar varnish finish.
We couldn’t begin work on the boat until the outside temperature remained above freezing and the days were warm.
Every year, my father would go over the bottom cutting out any blisters in the fibreglass and then patching them. Once finished, the boat would be turned right side up and the interior scraped and sanded and a new coat of varnish put on.
The goal was always to have the boat ready for the long weekend in May. Dad’s plan was to put the boat in the water the weekend before so that the wood would swell and it would become water-tight.
Today with boats, most of that preparation does not take place. Instead, most of us vacuum the interiors, scrub the interiors, and then put polish on the boat to prevent anything from growing on the hull.
Then the batteries are again hooked up and charged. It hardly takes a day to get a boat ready.
For the last six years, I’ve turned my boat over to the fine folks at Badiuk Equipment, who winterize my boat and shrink wrap it in the fall. Then when spring comes, a simple phone call scheduling my boat to be run up is made and it is ready for launch.
I guess it’s the lazy man’s way of getting my boat ready.
The launch usually takes place during the last week in April or early in the first week in May.
This year has left my mind in confusion. My lawn is raked and my tulips are coming up. There are buds on my flowering crabs and the maple trees are getting ready to flower.
The days have been warm, and we’ve received rain when historically we would have had snow.
Everything I feel and see tells me that the ice on Rainy Lake should be going out way ahead of schedule. 2010 was a record year, with the ice disappearing from the lake on April 10.
So much so, in fact, that my wife thinks we could celebrate Easter at the cabin this year. I would like to believe her optimism.
I have crossed over the causeway looking for signs the ice is going out. Under the bridge, it appears the ice has melted away. A stretch has opened from the Five-Mile Bridge almost to the causeway.
At the Seven-Mile bridge, the ice has melted away from the channel clear to the green buoy. All around the shoreline of the lake, the ice has melted away.
Most fishermen already have taken themselves off the ice. They, too, are expecting early ice-out.
The soaking rain of Friday and Saturday has turned much of my lawn to green. Kitchen Creek Golf Course was open on the weekend.
Wind, sun, warm temperatures, and rain are the catalysts for an early Rainy Lake ice-out. In the next few days, we can expect more rain and more wind. And if it happens, it would create new opportunities for early walleye fishing on Rainy Lake.
My wife wondered if we would hook up the water if we were able to get to the cabin for Easter. I guess we could but that at the end of the weekend, we would drain the system again.
I’m not that confident that we won’t get a sudden deep freeze before May.

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