We’ve had one of the longest fall seasons in recent memory and are still enjoying the sight of many leaves on the trees, especially in those places closest to the water.
These late fall days truly feel like a gift! As one of our favorite seasons, it never seems to last long enough.
Contrast the two photos, both taken on November 9. On the left, 2021 and on the right, 2018. This is not to say we don’t like winter, but instead are happy with the current weather conditions.
It has been 81 years since the “Big Blow of 1940”, the Armistice Day Storm of November 11, 1940. Not being a historian, I won’t delve into all the ramifications of the storm (you can find a synopsis of it at https://www.weather.gov/dvn/armistice_day_blizzard), instead, we’ll share excerpts of a story written by Jack Herschberger, Ann’s father, on his experience here on Washington Island.
The Big Blow of 1940 – November 11 & 12
“This is the story of the big blow up here at the old Island this week. Monday was a rainy, cloudy day with occasional hard rain squalls from the east and southeast. The barometer fell to a new low – practically the bottom – during the afternoon. At 3:30 pm I tied up my boat, the Spendrift (a 25′ wooden boat with a Straubel engine) to ride out the storm. At 5:15 the wind was blowing about 50mph and the water had come up about 3 1/2′ on the level. The seas at the end of the dock were 4′ high and the dock planks were off. The slip was filled with debris. By 7pm, it was still blowing a gale and the temperature had dropped to 25 and snowing hard. I sat up drinking coffee until 1 in the morning, but the wind howled on and on, and the temperature dropped to 15. Said a few prayers for the old boat as I could still see her mast swinging, and went to bed. The wind continued to howl through the night. The snow drifted in through all the windows in the south and west sides. Thoughts of the boat, the house and the bed shaking kept me awake about all night.”
“Got up at 5:30 am. Still blowing a gale out of the southwest with snow and very cold. It was just starting to get light enough to see, but I was so sure the boat was a wreck I didn’t look out, but cooked breakfast and finally looked to see where she was. The Spendrift was still up – still afloat but in bad shape. How the scene had changed since the night before. The dock and boat were covered with from six inches to a foot of ice, and the ground with snow. The harbor was the color of thick clay and a nasty sea was still coming in over the stern. The layer of ice on the rear deck was a foot thick, the steering wheel and the back of the cabin were coated about 8 inches, and the back stay on the mast was a foot or more in diameter. The spray felt like gravel on your face as it hit.“
“Taking a ride around the Island, trees were down by the hundreds. I saw three trees on houses and a couple did some damage. Telephone lines were down. The ferry didn’t go over at all and I heard the Bell Buoy was going all the way down under with the seas that were running outside.“
From the wild weather events of November 1940 to the quiet calm of early November 2021.
The last, best view of fall on Washington Island.
It may be November, but we’ll soon start preparing for 2022 and a different season, the 44th season of Sievers classes!Share Sievers with Friends...