Garinko-go departs as first day of drift ice is confirmed in Mombetsu

Passengers aboard the Garinko-go II gaze at the sea covered with drift ice. 3:05 p.m. on January 20

On January 20, traditionally the coldest day of the year according to the calendar, the ‘first day of drift ice’ was announced in the city of Mombetsu in the Okhotsk region of eastern Hokkaido, after drift ice was confirmed with the naked eye from the Mombetsu Port observation point on the Okhotsk Tower in the city. Passengers aboard the ‘Garinko-go II’ drift-ice sightseeing boat, which was operating for the first time this winter season, were able to enjoy the beauty of the sea filled with ice.

 The ‘first day of drift ice’ in Mombetsu this year was the same day as last year, and four days earlier than the ‘median date’ calculated from previous years. According to the city, the drift ice was confirmed about 18 kilometers offshore at approximately 11 a.m.

 As the ice it drifted even closer to the shore in the afternoon, the Garinko-go boat reached the band of ice approximately 20 minutes after leaving port, and approximately 30 passengers on board cheered with joy. A man from Iwate Prefecture was very impressed, saying, “The power of the drill breaking the ice was amazing.”

 This season, the capacity of the boat has been reduced to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and is scheduled to operate until March.

The drift ice appears in the sea off the coast of downtown Mombetsu. 1:35 p.m. on January 20. From the Okhotsk Sky Tower, at the summit of Mt. Oyama in the city of Mombetsu


Garinko-go II