The latest ice situation can be found here Sar based Ice thickness Charts
(30.4.2013) The ice has now broken up almost completely. Looking at the situation one week ago the process has been faster than expected. It was commonly believed then, that it would take one week more to get here, meaning that we would have had to wait until something like the 7:th of May. But no, the ice is unpredictable. The reason is probably that we have had some wind all the time, and even harder winds than normally in spring.
There is still broken ice "sailing" around, but that should be away in a few days because the weather forecast promises hard winds again. The smaller bays and narrow channels can still be full of ice for a few days also.
This is the last post concerning the ice situation this spring. We made it thru the winter once again and soon also the Arcipelago Sea is ready for sailing again!
(23.4.2013) The picture is from the sea area South of Åbo/Turku. Normally this area is showing a good sample of the icesituation on the Archipelago Sea. As you see there is something happening. We will have winds of 16-20 knots S-SW and it will rain the next 12-18 hours.
It is possible that the waters are navigable in 1-2 weeks. All is dependant on how much wind and sunshine we will have after the ice brakes up. It almost never melts directly on the place it was lying. The ice brakes into smaller pieces and is floating around in smaller blocks. Remember that the watertemperature is around +1-4 degrees Celsius. Which means that still water doesn´t do much to the ice. The water needs to be stirred by hard wind to get some warmer water from deep down or then the sun has to melt the ice.
This mechanism also creates a dangerous situation. Areas looking clean from ice and navigable can be covered with broken but thick ice 15 minutes later. Okay, a Nauticat is not directly damaged but you are stuck. What if you are stuck in the middle of a shipping lane? And what if you were outside the shipping lane when you were stuck, and the ice moved you out in that lane? The ice moves with the wind and the currents.
Ask how that family which had to be rescued outside Åbo/Turku last sunday felt while they were stuck out there.