Monday, September 13, 2010

Hello Wind

Isle Royale National Park, Michigan - There are some project when you wake up and look out the window and just know how the day is going to go (or not go as the case may be). Generally its all about observing if the trees stand gracefully at attention or dance in a breeze. Of course, depending on where you happen to be staying, this requires a bit of interpretation. Staying in a protected forest, away from the water, slightly inland at Isle Royale and waking up to trees swaying in the wind is does not require much interpretation. Its blowing.

Although the winds are up, the day may not a compete washout because although Isle Royale is surrounded by Lake Superior, its shore line is a labyrinth of shoals, reefs and barrier islands often provide safe passage depending on wind direction. The island tracks in a northeast, southwest fashion. Because of that, if the wind is out of the north, you utilize the south shore for transit and diving. If the wind is out of the south, the north shore becomes your friend and protector. It seems the worst wind to have (based on my “local” knowledge) is a southwest wind. With this, not only are the 10 shipwreck sites exposed, but there is no protection as you run to them. Today’s forecast – Winds out of the southwest, 15-25 knots, seas 4 to 6 feet. Hello wind.

Fortunately for us, in addition to the shipwrecks of Isle Royale, the deep waters surrounding the island have long supported a historic fishing community. By 1894, there were forty boats operating on the island and many of these families continued fishing for several generations. Today, one can still find the remnants of those communities in one form or another. As part of capturing the entire story of Isle Royale we turn our 3D cameras “in air” to Washington Island, a historic fishing camp of the Silverton family. Nets, floats lines and other fishing gear still lay in the fish house where they were left decades ago. You could not fabricate a better set on a movie lot with kink of authenticity. An amazing time capsule of history. 

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