Hello, everyone! I’m home after another adventure. My friend Bertha and I met for an overnight mid-winter retreat in Marquette yesterday. Since we’re both so independent, we had to drive separately. (Also because she’s spending another night with a friend before returning home.)
I worked on Thursday instead of Friday to negotiate more hours in the “big city”. Leisurely drove over there along US-41. Approaching Marquette, the bright sunny sky dimmed and gray clouds scudded overhead. A fierce wind blew from either the north or the east (I forgot to wet my finger and put it in the air to determine direction).
Down by Lake Superior on Presque Isle, the water looked foreboding. The wind whipped off the waves with fierce intensity. I looked at the camera, looked outside, looked at the camera, settled deeper in the warm car…and finally opened the door. The door almost blew off the hinges!
The wind roared: “Get back in the car, you fool!”
I burrowed deeper in boots and winter jacket, shaking, attempting to maneuver on the slippery ice underfoot.
“You can’t beat us!” I yelled back to the wind. (Well, in imagination, that is…)
I slipped and slided closer and closer and closer, attempting to capture the waves crashing helter-skelter against the breakwall. It seemed strange that Marquette’s harbor held no ice like our sheltered bays in Baraga County. Both the Huron and Keweenaw Bays lie covered with ice (at least part-way out). No ice fishermen are jigging on the waves near Marquette.
I want to accurately tell you how high the waves crescendoed into the sky. But I’m terrible at estimating these things. Twenty feet? Thirty feet? High enough to take away your breath, anyway. (Post script–Barry just read this and laughed. He said, “Maybe ten feet, anyway.” Hmmm… I’m voting for at least twenty.)
A half-dozen other photographers crept closer to the waves, attempting to capture “The Shot”. You never knew when the wave would crest, so you snapped, snapped, furiously snapped the shutter, hoping. People would last maybe five minutes before dashing back to their warm cars and trucks.
Every few years you hear tales of people–usually students at Northern Michigan University–who drown off this breakwall. Perhaps they think themselves a match for the fierce wind. Perhaps they’re not thinking at all. You wouldn’t pay me to walk even on to the edges of the breakwall during a high wind. Standing on shore felt threatening enough.
Spray burst upward as the waves crashed, sometimes sending droplets toward the innocent on shore. We kept our cameras sheltered. I wanted a long lens and a single lens reflex camera so much.
After maybe seven minutes, every bone in my body chilled by the penetrating wind, I raced for the car. On to other adventures in Marquette! I won’t tell you what they were until tomorrow’s blog. Too many photos to fit in one blog, you know.
I hope you are all enjoying your weekend and staying away from breakwalls during high seas. Please.