High Seize

The temperature hovers around 30° and it’s raining. Blizzard warnings to the north, and here we expect a half inch of ice, covered by up to 6” of snow. High winds cause our house to shudder and moan. Welcome to April in Wisconsin.

Our yard and driveway are slippery and ice-encrusted, chunks of ice fall from our neighbor’s tree and the pieces scatter across our yard. Despite the danger of going out, we had cabin fever and decided to test the roads. Winds are sustained at around 20+ Mph and gusts reported to be upwards of 50 Mph. My weather station reports only three tenths of an inch of rain, but it’s hard to collect water when it rains horizontal.

Earlier in the day we had seen photos posted online, of the high waves on the breakwater in Port Washington, WI. We grabbed the camera and headed out, to see what we could capture. On the way, the hubby’s Crew Cab F150 caught the wind gusts and danced to and fro, bobbing within the driving lane. Yeah, just a bit breezy.


We drove first to the bluff, to get a birds-eye-view of the lighthouse and enjoy the view from high up. We weren’t the only ones with the idea of viewing the high waves. Word had gotten out and traffic was congested in the ideal viewing areas, and parking spaces at a premium. Thankfully, most would gawk and then move on, allowing us to park and gape as well.

We watched the waves crash from four different vantage points, stopping in for a rich, steaming Smith Brother’s coffee, in-between locations. At each of the places where I got out of the truck to take photos, my fingers began to freeze and started to seize up, due to the rain, cold, and the spray from the waves. The truck heater blasted sweltering hot air, regenerating and limbering up my hands between each of the wet, bitter cold photo shoots.


Standing so near to these powerful waves was an amazing and exhilarating sight. You could feel their power and the din was so loud it sounded like sonic-boom-after-boom, startling me with their clamor.


Although the lighthouse took pounding after pounding from the enormous waves, it stood unaffected and stoic, having seen conditions like this many times over it’s 83 years of existence.


The winds were high but surprisingly, the seagulls seemed to relish the winds, as they darted and danced in them by the hundreds. They soared up and down like kites, seemingly enjoying the violent weather.


Observing the waves crash onto the breakwater was both magnificent and majestic, watching as they arose, towering into the air, jetting high. Afterwards twirling and tumbling down, explosively churning up the sand below, they generated a murky, gray water.

We were frozen to the core, and our jeans were soaked from the wave spray. Our waterproof snowmobile jackets being our only savior, we headed for home.  As our friend Phil Z. said: “The big lake, she was angry today!!!”

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