Sunday, September 15, 2013


Karfi working to weather on a dirty day.
(Jim Morris photo)
Washington and Rock Islands -

The purpose of this is not to scare the pants off future visitors to Rock Island, but rather to demonstrate that the show must go on, that when people are on Rock Island and the weather picks up, we attempt to get everyone who wishes back to Jackson Harbor.

On this day, July 23rd of this year, Jeff Cornell was captain and Hoyt Purinton was his crew.  The winds gradually picked up, then became 35 mph and greater, and one last trip was made.   Park employees rounded up Rock Island State Park visitors for the final trip of the day (1:15 p.m. departure from the boathouse, I believe it was).   Passengers on board no doubt found it to be a thrilling ride.  Jeff went north as far as he could, running under the protection of the island, such as it was, then headed across the mile or so of open water toward McDonald Cottages.

(Jim Morris photo)

On Rock Island, Jim Morris with camera handy took these photos as the Karfi headed out.  Said Hoyt, on his first such windy trip on board the Karfi, "It rides surprisingly well, popping up over the waves each time.  There were easily 8-footers, and it rolled and bobbed, but the boat handles extremely well."

(Jim Morris photo)

The winds were more northerly to begin with, which makes the landing at the boathouse somewhat protected.  But as the day wore on, winds backed more NW, exposing the entrance which is right on the rocky shore, and velocities also increased.  I must say, that with my rather limited experience if I was operating the Karfi that day, park visitors might have had to quickly find campsite partners with extra tent space.  After many decades as a crew member, then as skipper, Jeff is an accomplished hand at the Rock Island crossing.  He knows the limits and capabilities of his boat.

Jeff Cornell (behind passengers in short-sleeve tee shirt), and
Hoyt Purinton (on the pier to the right) prepare
to depart Rock Island.  Smiling passengers are cautioned to
please remain seated!   (Jim Morris photo)
You, too, ought to consider a Rock Island outing!

Let me say, in a small marketing message, that not only is my book now available, but I will be reading at the Rock Island Boathouse on Sunday morning, October 6th as a presenter for the Washington Island Literary Festival.  The registration deadline has been extended to September 20th for the $75 registration fee, and I'm hoping to see many of you there (weather permitting, of course!).   Within this spectacular setting for this first-time local literary event, I will attempt to invoke pleasant memories of Thordarson and his accomplishments.   See you there!

-  Dick Purinton


Anonymous said...

I'm confused about the second picture. What island is in the background (Rock or Washingtion)? I'm trying to picture which direction the Karfi is running.

Richard Purinton said...

A strange angle we're seeing in that photo, but Jim Morris must have had a powerful telephoto, pulling up Washington Harbor and Bowyer Bluff in the background, someone's beachfront with kayak on the shore to the left of the harbor. Karfi is headed downwind on the seas after clawing up to windward upon leaving Rock Island.
- Dick Purinton