Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Christmas Morning Ferry
Detroit Harbor, Washington Island -

Merry Christmas, everyone!

We receive many gifts, and one of the most extraordinary of any winter's day is the lighting.  Snow clouds dark and hovering over the lake, clear, crisp air.

Trinity Lutheran Church pastor, Frank Maxwell,
quick-changed from vestments to traveling attire
for the 10 a.m. ferry.
A quiet day in many respects. Following Christmas morning church service at Trinity, Frank Maxwell and his wife, Mary, boarded the 10 a.m. ferry to enjoy the remainder of the day with their family in the Milwaukee area.  A number of others traveled, too, and they were greeted by the Ellefson family, Rich, Kerstin, Mack, Jed, Brody, and grandparents from Upper Michigan, Kathy and Morris.

Each year during the days leading up to Christmas, the Ellefsons bake cookies and make other treats, then package them as gifts to holiday ferry travelers.  Rich was also ferry captain on this morning, joined by crew Pete Nikolai and Con McDonald.  This is the one day of the year with only morning ferries, no afternoon trips.

Brody, Jed and Mack with Kirsten and ferry captain, Rich Ellefson,
prior to loading the ferry.
At our home this afternoon we're expecting our grandchildren and children for sledding. This will erase the lethargy of a morning before the fire.  It's a great afternoon to visit, connect by phone - my sister called from Florida - write a blog, or take a nap.  

Tomorrow, with an excavator now at their disposal, the Roen crew's dredging should continue apace.

Time is of the essence, as overnight harbor ice spanned to Detroit Island, and it could be permanent for the next three months. It's one early sign that liquid surfaces may soon transform into hard ice.  When that happens over a broad enough area, our manner of ferry operations will change.

Merry Christmas!   -  Dick Purinton

Outbound ferry nearing entrance light.
Excavator delivered late Monday
afternoon by  Con McDonald (shown) and Hoyt Purinton.
Tires were laid to improve traction of tracks on icy dock
and to protect deck paint.

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