Friday, February 14, 2014


Arni J. Richter approaching the island dock,
Thursday, February 13th.
Washington Island, Wisconsin -

The photo shown above was taken 24 hours ago, when 30 mph southwest winds whipped icy snow crystals across the harbor.   Visibility was down to 1/4 mile at times.

We received approximately four inches of new snow yesterday (by my estimation), but it was the cutting wind that made being outdoors unpleasant.  In fact, the temperature was a rather balmy 25 degrees - pleasant by standards of the past several weeks, others reminded me.

AJR maneuvering to back in to the shore ramp.
Captain Erik Foss is at the controls.

Overnight, winds shifted to the NW and the velocity dropped, as will the temperature tonight, expected to dip into the now all-too-familiar minus 5 degree range.

The annual Lions Club Fishing Derby is underway, with this being the final weekend of activity.  Traffic heading onto the ice from the south end of Main Road was light, due to the miserable, white-out conditions.    Water forced up through cracks in the ice near shore made the under layer slushy, but that's firmed up now, and the driving with pickup trucks should be good once again.

There are Valentine's Day activities today, too.   At school, the day started with a pancake breakfast for seniors (defined as 50 and over for the day's purposes), which yours truly joined in.  I was greeted by Finn Hagen, who shook my hand and knew my name, "Mr. Purinton," as I'm often seated near him in church.  It was wonderful to be so recognized.  This was a festive occasion, with some 35 guests in addition to the school children who assisted parents and staff in serving the breakfast in the school commons. Afterward, we followed as the younger grades lead us in singing the Star Spangled Banner.

Our four grandsons were there, too, and their parents who helped serve.  But it was the overall camaraderie of young and old, students, staff, parents and citizen guests, that made this morning special.

We'll see more activities for young and old out on the ice tomorrow, not only fishing, but other activities, too.

 - Dick Purinton

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