Weather Wizard: Dreamin’ of the ‘Bootle Bumtrinket’

The Bootle Bumtrinket is the name of the boat that I’ve never owned but always wanted. The name has been extracted from a favorite book of mine, My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, and I thought the name to be most glorious when I first mouthed it over a decade ago.

The Bootle Bumtrinket was a small handcrafted, round-bottom boat that explored the coast of Corfu, a Greek island, on impromptu scientific explorations. The name and my love for it returned to me while gently gliding around in a local handcrafted boat, named the Emerald Shiner, a few months back in Moonlight Bay, Door County.

The Emerald Shiner is a spectacular specimen of a boat created and owned by Jared Nellis, a friend and Door County fly fishing guide. A certain sequence of events fired synapses in the deepest recesses of my mind, returning the all but forgotten name, Bootle Bumtrinket. The emerald green bay, the skillfully constructed wooden boat, and an examination of the nymphs rising to the surface brought back my dreams of exploring the shore in my own little Bootle. I picture bright blue days with clear glassy waters, reflecting every bird and cloud. I would float through the soft waters, spotting trout as the water boiled as they surfaced on my left and right. So far, I have yet to tire of writing or saying the name aloud, Bootle Bumtrinket. Try it, you’ll like it.

I have explored the origin of the name but can find no definitive answer. I appreciate that the name appears to have no actual meaning, a hodge-podge of words that sound exquisite together. I did learn that a bumboat is a small vessel that carries supplies to ships moored away from shore, and decided to stop my research there. Perhaps I found no answer to the origin of the name because I don’t want one to exist. I could stencil this name on the side of my little kayak but I think this name to be more deserving. If good fortune allows, I will someday own a worthy vessel.

For now, my friends are very generous with their boats, which are all very beautiful and functional, and I’ve heard it said that the best boat is a friend’s boat, a reference to the realities of maintenance.

With all the festivities surrounding the Blessing of the Fleet in Baileys Harbor this weekend, don’t forget to read the boat names. If the mood strikes, don’t be afraid to randomly say Bootle Bumtrinket loudly. It will feel good, trust me.

Your weekend forecast:

Warm and unstable air brought us thunderstorms and plenty of rain during the week. This weekend a weak cold front will usher out the warm air but not before bringing us a few more showers as the cooler air mixes with the southwest flow that we received all week. We start the weekend with below normal temperatures and partly sunny skies. Clouds thicken and sporadic rain showers will hang around for Saturday and Sunday. Winds will be coming off Lake Michigan starting on Friday, adding an extra chill on the lake side of the county.

Friday: A chance of showers after 1 pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 54.

Saturday: Showers likely, mainly after 1 pm. Cloudy, with a high near 56.

Sunday: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58.


All weather predictions are based in science with information gathered from the National Weather Service, and are subject to change depending on the weather.

Growing up in Michigan, Ryan Heise began keeping a fishing journal detailing the weather conditions and can still recall his hometown weatherman’s name. His fascination with weather has never wavered and began to heighten when planning surf trips while living in Florida. Now proud to call Door County home along with his wife Mary and dog Ruby, he has found a new fascination with the unique microclimate of Door County.

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