You know we're in a deep freeze when the ocean and Long Island Sound begin to freeze. Salt water freezes at about 28.4 degrees, according to NOAA Ocean Service. Only the water part freezes, so the ice has very little salt. Not only have we been in a deep freeze, but Winter Storm Grayson brought with it gale force winds out of the north. I figured this would be the perfect time to finally find my way to Iron Pier. I've seen a few stunning photos of this beach on the north shore, but had to map it to find where it actually was.
When I arrived at this frigid locale, I was totally blown away (almost literally) by the ice encrusting the structure, and the ice forming in the Sound itself. The original Iron Pier was built by farmers in 1900 who hoped to use it to transport produce by ship to New England. They didn't count on the Sound freezing, and melting and moving ice destroyed the pier. This pier is much shorter than the original 350 foot structure, and is used by residents for watercraft in the summer.
Besides the frigid air temps, shooting here posed some special challenges. It was extremely windy with huge gusts, so proper footwear was important. I had waterproof snow boots with ice chains on the bottom. The biggest challenges was the constant blowing of spray. It blew in every direction, so shielding my lens from it with my body and my lens hood still didn't quite cut it. I had a UV filter on my lens and a polarizer stacked on that, which was great for those clouds. As spray coated the polarizer, I removed that and shot with the UV. When that got sprayed, I went back to the truck, cleaned the filters with lens tissue and solution, restacked and went back out. You can see the spray spots on a few of these, I think it may add to the stormy mood. I shot at sunset, with the sun off to the left and behind a bit.
I returned to this location in the morning to check conditions on the Sound. It was still incredibly windy, but because the water was even more frozen, sea spray was no longer a problem. It was still beautiful, but I think I prefer the spray images!
It's so exciting to find a new location on Long Island as beautiful as this. I know there many more I've yet to discover. If you'd like to suggest any, please leave them in the comments below. Stay warm!