Brian and David had already checked ice depth for safety -- reminder: NEVER go out on ice that you don't know is safe. Always know before you go!
That was fantastic news, because we have a great group of guests with us again this week -- they come every second Christmas for a reunion, and if there is one thing they enjoy, it would be skating!!! This afternoon, they pretty much swarmed the bay.
I went outside, wondering what I could find to post here, and glancing at the lake I saw Nicholas swooping past! Skating! What could be better! In fact, there are few things more fun than skating not in an arena, but out on an open lake. This is what makes Hockey "our game" up here in the Great White North.
Getting to the lake was easy -- it is hard to believe that just a few weeks ago we were buried under snow! Today it did start to snow again, and we are cheering that on, because while the skating is awesome, the skiing is pretty heavy going. Although our toboggan hill, tucked in on a north facing slope, has kept enough snow that it has been thoroughly enjoyed already this week by Felix, Jonjo and Heidi who are here from England! One of the great things about staying here is that the kids can go right from the cottage to the ski trails, toboggan hill -- or skating! without anyone having to get loaded into a car first. And as soon as someone starts to get cold or tired, or just in need of more hot chocolate, it is always close to the warm cottage and fireplaces!
Nicholas and Taffy started out with a little one-on-one before he left to, as he put it, help out the old guys. Those would be his parents and uncles and aunts, who were getting pretty beaten by the youngsters!
Some of the really little ones stayed out of the scrimmage, perfecting their skills at just standing up, with just a little help from Grandpa Stan.
The main game was fast, furious and widely ranging across the bay. There were no defined edges to the rink, although there were some boots to mark goalposts, and eventually and actual goal net.
Taffy and Esme got right into it. Taffy's scoring instincts aren't as sharp as they could be, given that she will steal the puck and keep it, but gosh, she moves like Gretzky!!!
She also got to share a little love with Margaret, in goal.
They played on through the entire afternoon and well until the light was failing. We expect they'll be back at it again tomorrow!
With a crowd of cousins, there's no shortage of team members! And with our bay providing such a great rink, there's no shortage of fun!
Note: our Bondi bay is protected, and shallow, and so freezes before much of the Lake of Bays. We have carefully checked out where it is safe to be skating -- there is open ice near the main dock, so that is clearly out of bounds. Along the shore there are some springs that keep some open puddles, very very shallow but still cold. Out past our points there is still open water, so we repeat again, and again, always check ice before venturing out onto it!