The harbor with the associated boat house is a key place on any island. This harbor features two cemented ramps to easily accommodate water level change -- no need to take a dock in and out each year. The boat house even has double bed allowing it to function as private "honeymoon cabin". The harbor entrance is 11 feet wide and (as of August 2005) 2 feet deep.
The current day pictures on this page were taken in 2003 when the water level was about 18 inches below average levels.
Originally there was no harbor on the island. The boats were dragged up on the shore using rollers or log guides as needed.
As these pictures show, the system had serious draw backs. A harbor of some kind was clearly needed.
In the 60's we built a harbor along the south west shore. It was only marginally successful because it could not be deepened without blasting, was not handy to the existing boat house or a good spot for a new boat house and did not offer a convenient route up to the cabin. It was also very prone to ice damage.
The decision was made to blast a new harbor just to the south of where to boats were being dragged up on the island.
The picture on the left is prior to blasting the harbor in 1970. The boat house is still in the old position. It was moved further north before the harbor was blasted. The white boat is in about the same position as it is in the picture two above this. The picture on the right was taken in 2003 in the same position. Notice the "X" in the rock in the foreground in both pictures. You can also see how the blasts opened up the cracks in the rocks just above the "X".
The picture on the left was taken just prior to the the first blast in 1970. The people in the picture from left to right are David Whitaker, Jim Whitaker and Bob Richardson (architect of the harbor design). The picture on the right was taken in 2003 with David and Bob standing in about the same locations. Click HERE for a close up of David and Bob.
This is what the harbor looked like just prior to the first blast. The blasting was done in two phases, not to facilitate the blasting but to make it possible for key people to see the blast before they had to leave.
Harbor after 2nd blast.
In years when the water is near the record low since the harbor was formed, rock removal is a priority. 2003 was one of those years. The water is about 13 inches higher in 2004 so no problems this year.
This rock at the edge of the harbor entrance had been a continuing problem. We had used a sludge hammer on it for years and made some progress but sludge hammers do not work under water. The rock is about 1.5 meters by 0.7 meters (4.5 feet by 2 feet). It had significant chunks removed by the time this picture was taken.
Here Bill Frisinger is really getting serious about getting rid of the rock. Jim Whitaker is taking a break from running the jack hammer. For a video of the jack hammer in use, click HERE but only if you have broad band. It is a 3.8 Meg file. For a much sorter version for those with dial up connections click HERE.
Once the rock is small enough to move then other means come into play. Dave and Jim Whitaker are both using come-alongs to move the rock.
Victory at Last
As this picture shows, we finally got completely rid of the rock.
Jim Whitaker has been working on the harbor and its upgrades for 30 some years and you can tell it has taken a toll on him. He looks like an old man now.