By Mike Busch 2-8-19
Thanks to the Old Inlet Wilderness Breach, the eastern Great South Bay doesn’t freeze up like it used to. Bellport used to have some of the best ice on the bay for ice boat racing and is still the home of the South Bay Scooter Club, established in 1921. That all effectively ended in 2012 when Sandy blasted a hole through Fire Island. Now with warmer water flushing into the bay, it is slow to freeze and thaws out much faster than waters just to the west of Howell’s Point.
This was evident again Wednesday morning as Bellport Dock and the eastern section of the bay were ice-free, while the entire bay was covered just to the west as you will see in the video above and photos below. The area where the water mixes with the ice was beautiful from the air with variable thickness, textures, and shapes. Water clarity is excellent now with the bay bottom clearly visible in the ice-free areas.
More images on Pages 2 and 3