You can count the Washington Island Ferry among those happy about the recent warm temperatures. Traffic has been steady with Island residents making sure they can get to and from the mainland while local businesses are also able to get the supplies they need to stay open. Missing from the daily routine as of now is breaking a path in the ice for the ferry. Ferry President Hoyt Purinton is also happy they have not had to deal a lot with ice on the decks this winter, which is caused by warmer lake water spraying onto the vessel in extremely cold air temperatures. He says that causes almost more problems than being limited to one ferry to break the ice.
Purinton knows tougher days are ahead, but admits he would not mind a challenge to its shortest icebreaking season ever of just five and a half weeks. The daily schedule for the Washington Island Ferry will shrink after this week when it goes from four round-trips to just two beginning on January 6th.