This vast expanse of icy tundra seems to go on and on, as far as the eye can see. But it’s not the Arctic — it’s a view of the ocean from the shores of Cape Cod.
This stunning imagery of the frozen sea is the focus of two new Youtube videos (see below) that have gone viral. The videos were shot at Old Silver Beach in Falmouth using a drone. Since they were posted online Jan. 7, they’ve been viewed over 800,000 times.
The icy conditions in Falmouth are unusual for this time of year, according to Falmouth harbormaster Gregg Fraser.
“It’s certainly unusual,” said Fraser. “We don’t have this much ice this early in the season, typically.”
“If you’re standing on the shore, it’s ice as far as you see.”
Fraser said ferries are still running from Woods Hole, but besides that, much of the Falmouth’s oceanfront is frozen over.
“Hopefully we’ll get a warm-up here,” he said. “We’re hoping this upcoming week the above-freezing temperatures will knock out some of it.”
The Youtube videos show people venturing out on the sea ice — something that Fraser advises against doing.
Fraser is warning the public to stay off the ice that’s formed along the beaches, because the currents in the water can make sea ice unstable.
“We discourage anyone from going on saltwater ice, because it’s unpredictable,” he said.
Those sentiments are echoed by Weymouth harbormaster Paul Milone.
In Weymouth, both the Back River and Fore River are frozen, and two people were recently seen out on the ice walking from the Fore River channel out toward the buoy. The fire department made them get off the ice, and they made it to shore safely. They should count themselves lucky, according to Milone.
“It’s so dangerous to do that,” he said. “Moving water doesn’t freeze.”
No one should never attempt such a feat, he said. “Please, please stay off the ocean ice,” he said.
Milone said the ice on the Fore River is three inches thick, and the Coast Guard had been working all weekend and on Monday to break it up.
Milone said he hopes warm temperatures will melt some of the ice.
“It should help a great deal with this stuff...I hope,” he said. “Hopefully it gets better.”
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard is continuing to break up ice around the region. On Monday the Coast Guard cutter Bollard was conducting ice-breaking operations off the coast of Nantucket while Coast Guard cutter Shackle was doing the same on the Fore River in Weymouth, according to Petty Officer Andrew Barresi, a Coast Guard spokesman.
“It’s icier than last year,” Barresi said.
Also on Monday, the Coast Guard cutter Marcus Hanna was in Boston checking on aids to navigation and putting back into place any buoys that were blown out of position during last week’s storm.