Outer Island Light Station, March 7, 1878
Variable, light. Ther. 39 to 47. On leaving the Station on the 2nd we run along with a fair wind till within ½ a mile of Red Cliff; here we encountered heavy ice; not being able to pull the boat out and leave her safe on the Red Cliff side, we run over to Basswood Island and hauled her out then traveled down to the stone quarry along the shore.
Tried to cross on the ice to Buffalo Bay but found it too rotton. Stayed at the quarry with Messrs. McClouds. Sunday morning the ice at Bayfield left and we crossed in Mr. McCloud’s boat. That night it froze up again. Tuesday we were unable to cross on the ice or leave in the boat.
Wednesday morning the ice drifted over to La Pointe. Rowed to the stone quarry; from there the two Mr. McClouds went with us around the east side of the Island and to where we had left the Station boat. Could not get nearer to her than about 500 or 600 ft. heavy old ice having drifted in while we were gone.
Accordingly we unloaded our effects on the shore, Messrs. McClouds returning to their home, and we set to work to get our boat to the water by setting the anchor in the ice and attaching the blocks and takel; we succeeded in pulling the boat along; sometimes she would brake through, but by way of cutting a wake before her and breaking ice, or by hoisting her bow over again, we worked her out after about 4 hours of fatiguing work and arrived home at 11 PM.
Considering the time of the year, we considered we got off easy as we did. We went provided for any emergency and had occation to use anchor, blocks, takel, rollers, ice pounders, poles etc.
Is is any wonder that the keepers soon gave up on the idea of staying year-round on Outer Island?