I had planned to take the family ice-fishing today, and because we have had a lot of snow recently I decided to drive the snowmobile to the lake yesterday afternoon to create a path to drive on. Emma wanted to come with me so we headed out at about 3pm.
It was 10kms to the lake and it wasn’t so difficult driving conditions as I had anticipated. When we arrived at the lake, I left Emma at the side of the lake and decided to drive around the lake to press down the snow. As I drove out onto the lake it became obvious that there was quite a bit of water laying between the snow and ice. As I tried to turn the snowmobile around it broke through the ice!!
The skis at the front of the machine were still on snow and ice, but the track that drives the machine was in a half metre of water. I do not have any winter waterproof boots, only insulated leather boots, so when I climbed from the snowmobile into a half metre of water, my feet got very wet.
Fortunately there was double ice on the lake and the snowmobile had only broken through the top layer, but when I tried to drive the machine out, it would no move!
I walked through freezing water and up to where I had left Emma in the forest (it was now starting to get dark). I explained what had happened and was sure she would start to cry (she is 6 years old), but instead she said “Ok, I will dig a hole in the snow and collect wood so we can make fire”. I was so amazed and pleased with her response.
I walked back to the snowmobile and called a friend to ask advice on how to get the machine out. He said that I would need to collect a lot of branches to put under the front of the snowmobile to drive on and then lift the back of the snowmobile up onto the ice (this I could not do). I then called another friend and asked if he could come out and collect Emma because I was worried that she would be scared.
I returned to the forest to collect branches and help Emma make fire. She had dug down into the snow with her hands and prepared the fire sight. It did not take long to get a fire going.
I told Emma that someone was coming to collect her, but she said she was not scared or worried, because she felt safe with me in the forest and was sure I would get the snowmobile out of the lake.
I left Emma to keep the fire going and returned to the lake with the branches. I started the snowmobile and found that I could drive it backwards a little. Then I laid down the branches and standing at the side of the snowmobile I tried to drive it forward. The machine moved about a metre and then stopped because of snow collecting at the front of the machine. I put on my snowshoes and pressed down a path in the snow where I could drive the snowmobile. I removed the snowshoes (by now my feet were freezing cold) reversed the snowmobile again and then drove it forwards. It started to move and the back rose up out of the water and as I walked at the side of the machine it continued to move. Just as my friend arrived I jumped onto the snowmobile and drove it onto the edge of the lake (I was so embarrassed that he had driven so far for nothing!!).
I picked up Emma and we drove home. It was 6pm when we arrived home.
Due to the conditions on the lake, my family did not want to fish today, so I went there with my neighbour again.
We also made fire and cooked reindeer meat and coffee.
I caught one Arctic Char and Folke caught three. We left the snowmobiles at the edge of the lake!!