P o w e r t o t h e P e o p l e
A Winter Run of the Emerald Isle
In a complicated operation that ran like clockwork, The Emerald Isle delivered Beaver Island's new generator to the Ferry Dock on Sunday, March 7th at 6:00 p.m.
The project began with the arrival of the Coast Guard Cutter Acacia to break through the ice Sunday morning. A month ago, a warm spell had removed the ice from the harbor, but very cold temperatures since then resulted in the formation of thick ice to a mile outside the harbor's mouth. Ice fishing shanties had been set up, and so many perch were being caught that a regular drive was plowed out to them to facilitate their use. The fishermen saw no reason not to keep fishing when the cutter arrived --although as it cut a circle near the dock to turn around and lead the Emerald Isle out, those standing on the solid wood Yacht Dock next to the Ferry Dock could feel it move.
The Emerald Isle hit open water at 11:15 a.m. and reached Charlevoix at 1:30 in the afternoon. There was a little grumbling at the Round Lake ice rink being ruined, but it could not be helped; Beaver Island needed power. After loading the generator, the Emerald Isle started back, waiting at the edge of the ice outside the harbor at 5:00 p.m. for the Acacia to run to the dock and cut the ice that had formed during the 14º (but sunny) afternoon. .
Accompanied by a bevy of snowmobiles, the Acacia displayed its speed and massive power to dozens of Islanders who gathered at Whiskey Point and then moved to the Ferry Dock as Captain Kevin McDonough and his conscientious crew eased the new ferry through the floating ice chunks to the dock --on schedule, almost to the minute.
This was an absolutely vital mission. Without power, very few people could continue to live here. Only a handful, primarily rugged and ingenious men living in the woods, are able to create their own power, although Island Airways has flown over several small generators in the past week. When the ferry docked, a cheer went up, partially for the arrival of the generator but equally for this latest proof of the sometimes-feuding community's ability to pull together when the situation requires.
[ The Original Story ]
[ From the Bridge of the Emerald Isle ]