It’s officially spring, and early spring can be a deadly season on Canadian lakes as the ice recedes and black water appears. Those who depend on boats and snowmobiles to reach their homes will find this a tricky time of year for travel.
But stretches of black water persist throughout the entire winter in some areas, a boon to snowmobile skippers. I’m thinking, in particular, of the stretch of water beneath the Dorset Bridge that links two arms of Lake of Bays in Dorset, Ont.
Snowmobile skippers start their machines on firm ice and scream full-speed until they hit open water. The objective is to stay on top of the water until they reach the far bank of ice. Racing at high speeds with the throttle open keeps the machine’s wide tracks on top of the water.
But not everyone makes it to firm ice, and most snowmobile skippers wear wet suits. Small businesses have grown up in the Dorset area to rescue submerged machines, and they charge hefty fees to do so.
Check out a video of snowmobile skipping in Dorset here.
(Intrepid snowmobile skippers are at it in the summer as well. Summer snowmobile skipping is something like jet skiing. But the winter sport, with exposure to frigid black water, is far more deadly.)
Watching snowmobile skippers in Dorset a few years ago gave me the idea of including
winter snowmobile skipping in my second Pat Tierney mystery. And sparked the idea for the novel’s title BLACK WATER. And for the cover design–that’s Pat on a snowmobile in March navigating black water.
To celebrate black water season, BLACK WATER is FREE for the next three days on ALL Amazons. You can download it here.
SAFE HARBOR, the first mystery in the series, is also on sale for the next few days for 99¢ in the U.S. on Amazon.com and for £.99 in Britain on Amazon.co.uk. Unfortunately this particular Amazon sale isn’t being held in Canada.