A happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you, and I hope the luck o’ the Irish has been with you and yours. Ted and I are celebrating our 24th anniversary today, so St. Paddy’s Day is always pretty special for us!
The winter photo business is dwindling down now. As the snow begins to melt (yes, there is still plenty of it), islanders will begin to turn all their talents towards getting ready for the 2013 summer season.
A few photos . . . .
Greg Main has been posting some awesome vintage photographs on Facebook lately. Here are a few of my favorites:
The big news on the Island this past week has been that fuel is in short supply. At the beginning of last week, fuel rationing began. Island Hardware put out this notice: As of March 13th all fuel customers will be allowed 2 gallons per day and only 6 gallons per week. This is an attempt to stretch the fuel supply until the freight boats start. Sleds only. No CANS.
Mackinac New & Views posted the following on Friday: As you may be aware, the fuel dock is really low on gas and fuel. Gasoline could run out as early as Monday (the 18th). Rationing is in effect. Jason St. Onge and Mayor Margaret Doud worked the phones most of the day Thursday, and it appears the Coast Guard will do what they can do towards breaking out an Arnold Boat between today and tomorrow to haul some fuel. This is going to take some tremendous coordination between Arnold, Island Hardware, and the U.S.C.G. The ice pack in Moran Bay is quite thick and jagged, and nothing is certain. The man in charge of Ice-Cutting Division for the USCG was very helpful when Mayor Doud spoke with him throughout the day. Again, nothing is certain. Hopefully, with the Coast Guard’s help - and some wind – a path can be cleared on Saturday to allow Arnold to help out this situation.
Then today this: The USCG Cutter is now working towards Moran Bay (St. Ignace) to free up MV Huron. This work will continue tomorrow as well, when a planned attempt to make a fuel replenishing trip will be engaged. This is not a certainty, of course. The head of ice operations on the upper Great Lakes, Mark Gill, has been absolutely instrumental in this endeavor, and Mayor Doud and I (Jason St. Onge) both thank him for his cooperation. Also, thanks to Bob Brown, General Manager of Arnold Transit for working his company’s end of things. Veronica D. from Arnold has been a great help working the phones from her vacation in NYC. We are hopeful tomorrow’s operation proves successful, but there is serious ice in the bay on that side.
I contacted Jason St. Onge this afternoon and he said: “Whatever individuals have currently in their snowmobiles or stored up is what is left. The emergency vehicles have fuel (they run on diesel), and they have reserves as well. The only real issue is getting first responders to the trucks. When and if that situation arises, we have contingency plans already worked up. “
On an island where there are no motorized vehicles (except for emergency vehicles), it would seem that a lack of fuel wouldn’t be such a big deal. But in the winter, when Islanders depend so heavily on snowmobiles for transportation, and when weather conditions make foot travel dangerous and bicycle travel impossible, fuel for the snowmobiles is crucial. Hopefully, by this time tomorrow, the Coast Guard will have cleared a path for the Huron, and fuel will arrive on the Island.
I’ll leave you tonight with this video – some beautiful Ireland scenery, music, and an Irish blessing for you all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVSeQaHIpjg