Walking on Ice

Part of living aboard in the winter is walking on a frozen pier. The planks on the pier will usually have frost on them in the evening and into the early morning. This layer of frost will make walking rather tricky! 

As with everything, there are tricks to make your passage easier! 

Walk in the middle of the pier
Walk on the nail heads of the planks
Wear shoes with lots of sipes

Walking in the middle of the pier may seem logical, but you would be surprised where you see foot prints in the snow! If you slip on ice and fall, being in the middle provides the best insurance against falling into the freezing water.

Walking on the nail heads is another trick to finding traction on a slippery surface. When you step on the plank, it will usually sink just a bit. This translates into the nail head protruding just a bit. It's not much, but the nail head will sink into the treads of your shoes and provide a tiny bit of traction on a frosty pier.

Lastly, wear shoes with lots of sipes. Sipes are the little lines on treads. The large tread blocks are rather worthless on ice, as edges are what provide the minuscule amount of traction on ice. Sipes provide many edges and add some form of traction while traversing icy terrains. 

It may seem daunting at first to walk 1000 feet over an icy pier in strong winds, but you get used to it! It also makes arrival home to a warm boat even more special.