In all the years of doing island mettle - and before that the blog for Cottage on the Bay - I never thought to use this title. This week it just seems appropriate. When one lives on an Island, one depends on the ferry. It is often the topic of conversation. Will the ferry run? How many trips did the ferry make yesterday? As Winter takes over and bone-chilling conditions set in, concerns on the ferry runs become even more evident. This past week was no different.
As an example, my trip over on Tuesday went something like this:
Although the sun was bright and my view was a mere patch, the "washtub" effect and steam was evident. When the Richter came around the east side of Plum, the seas came in heavily from the west.
Instead of running directly for Northport, the Captain headed more northerly taking the seas on the bow. At the west end of Plum, he turned for Northport so the seas would be on the quarter rather than running in the trough. Adding only 5 minutes to the normal time, the Captain was able to give us a more pleasant ride. What a guy!
Captains Joel, Jeff, and BJ served as crew on the Richter that day. We were in good hands. It seems they alternate their roles for each run and I really don't know who determines or how it is determined who pilots when. I just know I was pleased to have this much experience on board. The week's runs became tougher as the winds strengthened and freezing conditions increased. There was only one run on Wednesday.
While the snow had been minimal so far on the Island, freezing conditions in the Door can make piloting a ferry treacherous. Thursday, there were two trips out of the four scheduled. Time was needed to deice the boat after the morning run before taking off again in the afternoon.
Weather continues to be a big part of the picture as another storm front blows in this weekend. It is a beautiful time of year though. Just remember vehicle reservations are required starting Monday!
While the roads may be a little more quiet, the Island is busy with the Holiday in mind.
The children performed in the Christmas Pageant at Trinity.
Today/Saturday, there are several events including the Christmas Bird Count. Melody took these Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher photos recently on the East side. It will be interesting to see the numbers from this year's count. This activity goes on throughout the United States at this time of year.
Dick Purinton will be presenting a talk on his recent trip at 4pm at the TPAC.
Hotel Washington has a lovely dinner planned in the evening. Call first to check on seating.
Actually, life is pretty special anytime on the Island!
til next time ...