LACONIA, N.H. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Pilot David Emerson is the harbinger of spring in New Hampshire.
He's the one that makes the call for "Ice-Out" on Lake Winnipesaukee, a sure sign that warmer weather is on the way—and he made that call at 5:24 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Emerson spoke to WBZ NewsRadio's Laurie Kirby about just what that "Ice-Out" call means.
"The criteria for Ice-Out on Lake Winnipesaukee is that [touring vessel M.S.] Mt. Washington can make all five ports of call, which are Center Harbor, Meredith, Weirs Beach, Alton Bay, and Wolfeboro Bay, and be able to navigate through those ports as depicted on the boating navigation maps free of ice," he said. "It doesn't mean that the lake is ice free, it just means that the Mount Washington can navigate free of ice."
He usually flies over the lake to make the call, but in a post on his Facebook page, said that low visibility forced him to check the port at Center Harbor in person.
So if "Ice-Out" pertains to ship navigation, why does a pilot make the call?
"Because I'm the one that has the bird's-eye view," Emerson said. "You can have other people have all kinds of video cameras out there and stuff, and people from shorelines, but they're not seeing the whole thing like I do."
Emerson said the yearly "Ice-Out" call is an exciting time for those who can't wait for summer fun.
"This is such a big deal because it's the rites of spring," he said. "Everybody wants the warm weather to start coming. They want the summertime, to open their camps and their island homes and their lake homes, get the docks in, get their boats in, just get back to summertime activities, and we can't really do that until we know that the ice is out on Lake Winnipesaukee."
WBZ NewsRadio's Laurie Kirby (@LaurieWBZ) reports