What began on April 3 with our mighty Sacre Bleu freight boat’s first haul of the 2019 season, has officially concluded with our final trip of the year ending last night, January 22 around 7:30pm as we escorted a Blarney Castle fuel truck off island.
Our decision to suspend service will hopefully assist Mother Nature in creating a solid, playable ice surface in Moran Bay for the upcoming Labatt Blue UP Pond Hockey Championship, Freight service will resume post event, weather permitting, or when approved by the U.S. Coast Guard later this winter.
Our 2019 freight season logged a whopping 800+ runs between Mackinac Island and included other Northern Michigan destinations such as Cheboygan, where we delivered an oversized crane on behalf of the crew at Team Elmer’s deemed too large for crossing of the Mackinac Bridge.
As estimated 28,000 gallons of fuel powered our Sacre Bleu this season, crewed by captain Greg, a sixteen year Shepler’s veteran on the Great Lakes, along with his capable team of freight cast members.
Transporting private horses and carriages, various road construction equipment via Team Elmer’s, trees, shrubs, building supplies, endless gravel and topsoil for both Belonga Excavating and Darrow Bros. Excavating, island necessities like beer and wine, a dizzying amount of dumpsters, resident snowmobiles, monthly propane for our friends at Mission Point Resort, Cloverland Electric Cooperative’s utility vehicles, official police vehicles for the City of Mackinac island, finish line equipment for the Bay View to Mackinac Race to Mackinac, and even a disabled plane needing rescue from Michiagn’s Crown Jewel after a failed (but injury free) landing.
We’d like to thank our freight clients for choosing Shepler’s in 2019 and we look forward to resuming service just as soon as possible. Thank you also to our incredible team in St. Ignace doing the heavy-lifting on behalf of Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry. It’s been a great year and we’re looking to bigger, better, and even bolder things this year.