Washington Island Ferry

Being Thankful...


... to me, it is a good time  to express gratitude when someone goes a little above and beyond on a normal day...is there such a thing as a normal day?

Living on an island, a normal day is hard to find when one is traveling by ferry. Just this past Saturday, northwest winds kicked up and only the first boat ran...in 10' to 12' seas no less...November is like that.  But then, things are always interesting for the ferry crew. No matter what time of year...
Whether landing at the Potato Dock...or hangin' with a young passenger on a Friday night boat.

A big Thanks to the crews of the WIFL...for putting up with me/finding space for me ...even when I don't want to back the Jeep on the boat, I forget my keys, or I'm driving Lew's truck and there's barely room.

Coming Up...Winter Time!*

Winter Ferry: Make reservations now... the ferry line will start utilizing reservations Dec. 21 but the reservation book/log book is available now. Call the ferry office!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a great week!


Harvest Havoc aka 10 ways to get the most out of Harvest Weekend*...

 *Harvest Weekend...at least that's my name for the weekend fast approaching.

Pumpkins...Cider Pressing...Crisp Air...Leaves...oh my!

1.Ted's...er...Monty's Pumpkins...for sale on Main Road.  

2. Colors...Colors...Colors...just try to count them all!

 3. Farm Museum...family fun at the Cider Pressing Party...children's activities, too...Saturday & Sunday.

4. Apples? Oooohhhh, the caramel apples...also at the Farm Museum event...get their own #on my list...they're available both days...until they run out.

6. Sales! At Island Style, Islandtime Books & Island Outpost...to name several. Check the Washington Island Observer for more.

7. Food? Did I forget food? Saturday, the day can start off with breakfast at the Fire Department Open House (7:30am to 10:30am)**  ......and end at Harvest Dinner @ Trinity Lutheran Church! Call 847- 2286 for reservations. At this writing, several seatings are filled.*** Food is indeed a fundamental part of this weekend!

8. Books & Media Sale @ the Art & Nature Center, 9 to 12, Saturday. Stock up!

9. See one more sunset. (This one is an Anna Gibson photo.)

10 (Perhaps) a rollicking ride on the ferry awaits...this photo was taken last year at Harvest Weekend.

Autumn is awesome! Join us!

Have a great week!

 **Cathy Meader Photo ***Thanks to the Danish Mill for the use of the cherry pie photo. (Their pies are delicious, too!) It simulates the "pie room" at the Trinity Event. In the spirit of accuracy, pumpkin pie is the dessert served at the traditional family style turkey dinner.

Hard to say good bye, Summer...moving on...


Sometimes, it is hard to say good bye... Summer has seemed so short this year...having trouble wrapping my mind around this transition.To me, I see it as "until next time"...Here's one more look at a couple of good things re: waning Summer and transition time.Here's Jace...capping a morning of fishing off with a sno-cone...oh yes!Another happy young man, Michael with his 4 lb. catch...just love these smiles!


Trying to say good bye to flip flops...
and flowers...need to switch to the positives of moving on...

A change in seasons does allow for a trip or two to catch up on things...and to have time to notice the small things...have been hearing about hummingbird moths and I think that is what I saw on this trip. Actually, it was fairly good sized!That day, heading back to the Island, the winds were strong. Although the angle seemed unique (to me) it wasn't too surprising to see a sailboat nosed into the tire adjacent to our ferry, given the wind. This is the time of year to try to pull off one last ride...one last run up the Lake. That was just what brothers Jeff and Tim Bennett were up to when Mother Nature had a different idea...although the jib was reefed, the gusts were hard to calculate.The wind disabled the sheave in the block (pulley) severing the line. However that same wind brought Evening Star in range of that tire and kept it "on point" until arrangements could be made  with understanding ferry reps for a short stay to make the needed repairs. On another note, let me add that dredging has started on the ferry channel.


Take Note...




At the TPAC...




Island Artist Cathy Meader will be exhibiting her work at the upcoming show "Sharing Summer's Artistic Bounty" at Briggsville Gardens!Planning to be off Island this coming Saturday? Take a detour to Briggsville Gardens ... out of Sturgeon Bay, turn east on TT at the signal where the YMCA is located...travel on TT to Mathey Road, then turn right. The Open House will run from 1 to 5 pm. Cathy says there will be ten artists showing their work. Come and wander these beautiful gardens!


Have a great week!




One Year: Summer Thoughts & Thank You's

 Summer Time... and the living may or may not be easy...I am here to say it is possible to enjoy the Summer Season. (West Harbor @ the Resort  Anna Gibson Photo)Take a drive...never know what might be along the way. The other day, I found baby Lavendar plants available at a roadside stand ... on Michigan Road.Don't forget Baseball Games at the Field on Main Road.
Check out what Mother Nature has to offer... the Columbine is/are lovely.

Susan Ulm has captured a Poppy for your gazing pleasure...take a look...take a breath.

One Year!

Part of the reason I started this blog "adventure" was to keep the synapses firing and I am pleased to say that is happening! A great way to improve the Blog has been to hear from readers...thanks for all the kind words, encouragement, and constructive criticism.*I also like to help  folks keep up with Island happenings... or merely enjoy a bit of contemplation. Years ago, I found the Island held restorative powers for me...since then, I have read studies on how being out in Nature truly does refresh individuals. Hmmm...

Pace yourself...I write that phrase as much for me as it may be for you. As Summer starts to heat up, I plan to utilize an "express" version similar to last year at this time...  the announcements will help people plan ahead to save a date, purchase a ticket, or plan a quick trip! 

This Week:

Market @ the Historic Island Dairy - Thursday 6/27 AND Saturday 6/29! - 11 to 4


Planning Ahead

The Ferry will be changing to its Summer runs this Saturday, June 29 with ferries arriving every 30 minutes for the most part. For further info on times see their website.

*Special Night Ferry Trips scheduled for July 3:

 To Island: 7:45 PM, 8:15 PM, 9:15 PM, 10:30 PM
From Island: 7 PM, 7:30 PM, 8:30 PM, 9:45 PM
(same as full Friday Night Trip schedule)


The Mirror Brass Quartet will perform Tuesday, July 2nd at 7 PM for the free TPAC “On the Green” Concert. “Music with Friends” will include rousing hunting horn fanfares, lyrical songs, and toe tapping marches. The program is appropriate for families, including children of all ages. All this plus Island resident/former CSO hornist Norm Schweikert (!) will be joining as a guest artist for the evening!
And of course...the Fireworks @ the Baseball Field on the 4th of July! (Love those late ferry runs!)
Have a great week!
*Ginni Glass Photos

Winter - A team effort

It is an interesting time of year on the Island... in some ways slower, quieter...

but in other ways, things are humming along. One thing on my mind is the ferry dredging progress. Up front, this is my version of the events and I am not a professional concerning water issues. Hence, I have hesitated to step into this area but since this sort of transportation is essential for the Island, here goes. It has been at a steady/urgent pace over the past several weeks with what seems - to me - just two days off at Christmas.The crew from Roen Salvage are here working with their barge. An excavator and dump trucks from Mike Kahr's Death's Door Marine arrived the day after Christmas. Mike arrived last week fresh off another job on the water at Fish Creek. Okay...I just had to include this photo...I hope Mike doesn't mind...it was a Kodak moment for me.Dump trucks carry the clay,stone, sand, muck, etc. from the barge at the Potato Dock to Julian Hagens's gravel pit. A hearty, conscientious group of Islanders drive those trucks. As I recall, since New Year's, two shifts from Roen have been in place.Hauling starts around 6:30 am carrying the softer material from the night digging and continues through the day into the evening with matter from the "hardpan" portion. As an example weather-wise, this afternoon it was sunny with the winds at 24 mph with gusts of 33mph - and the crew was out there at work. I am impressed to see how many different people, groups, entities have come together to make this project possible. This spirit of teamwork is evident in other places on this Island as well. It is one reason why I have chosen to be here.I could see skim ice in Detroit Harbor as we arrived on the afternoon ferry last Thursday so time is of the essence. We were on the Washington. The weather will dictate how long the Washington and the Eyrabakki can operate. They have a shallower draft, the portion of each vessel that is submerged,  so the lower water levels are not as much of a challenge for these two ferries. The "regular dock" can be used - for now. I have heard the Roen crews are hoping to work til/ finish on the 8th.A couple of other interesting facts......The rates will not change in 2013. The Board of Directors for the WIFL voted to maintain the current rates at the November meeting. Given the impending use of the Arni J. Richter as the ice sets in, I thought I would have to come to grips with the return of side loading.I remember when this was the custom on the former ice breaking ferry, C. G. Richter. But today I found the excavation will allow the Arni J. Richter to load as it does at the "regular dock". It looks like the amount of digging completed will allow truck traffic as well.Ticketing? Ticketing will be on a portable tablet-like system. According to what I see on the NOAA website, the weather could be above freezing for most of this week and once the temperature drops it will take some time for the harbor to ice over. I hasten to add there is a learning curve here. It will be a new process or challenge for all of us. Glad to see there is some time to continue to work on everything. Last year, the harbor was frozen over /ice breaker was needed about six weeks  Speaking for myself, I am thankful for the efforts I have observed. My thanks to Hoyt Purinton for allowing me to take some photos. This is going to be an interesting Winter, but then the Winter is always interesting on the Island...Over the holiday, I found I couldn't get away from low water levels. I come from a town in Southern Illinois located on the Mississippi River. St. Louis was a stop for us this Christmas and the water was in the news there, too.

It is day to day as to when commercial traffic on the Mississippi could cease given the troubled section south of St. Louis to Cairo. The photo above (from Reuters) shows crews clearing river-bottom rocks as well as what they call rock pinnacles as the water recedes near Thebes, Il, 150 miles south of St.Louis. Water from at least two lakes nearby has been released into the river but it may not be enough. The other negative is the forming of ice in the same area. It's known as "ice bite" - ice taking a bite out of the flow of the river toward the Gulf.

*At Alton, I have watched the flow of the Mississippi...the highs...the lows...sometimes harsh...but it has always been steady so this is interesting, too. Maybe living alongside water has helped me to understand, accept, respect life on the water here as well. Not sure how I would cope in a land-locked area!

 Up coming --

Center Stage

**Here's another team effort on the Island ...actually this is just a portion of this team...The Island Players team that is. The group hosted their first "Center Stage," an afternoon of humor through staged readings on Sunday. Held at the Rec. Center at 2:00, monthly performances will be held on the first Sunday of the month through May.  Complimentary refreshments are available at intermission and members of the audience are invited to try their hand in a reading during the second half of the program.



Lastly, this is a team that needs no introduction yet is an integral part of Island Life. Next Saturday - the 12th - The Packers meet the 49ers in San Fransisco @ 7pm. Go Pack!

Have a great week!


Photo Credits: *The Telegraph **2012 Island Players Center Stage