In the fall of the next year, a particularly bad string of autumn gales conspired to unite the Nichols and the Gilmore with the Forest at Pilot Island. October 17 found the Gilmore running through Death's Door before a heavy gale , carrying only her staysail, foresail, and jib en route from Chicago to Elk Rapids, Mich. She was traveling light, under command of Capt. D.B. Smith. At approximately 11:00 p.m, she was abreast of Pilot Island when the wind shifted to the southwest and drove the under-canvassed light vessel upon the southwest reef in three feet of water. Keeper Knudsen managed to make contact with the crew and, because the vessel cabins were intact and provisioned for several weeks, they decided to remain on board until the seas calmed. As a precaution, a breeches buoy was rigged from the schooner to the island. Details of the following days are unknown, but the Gilmore was never to sail again. The crew had apparently escaped to the lighthouse by the time the next gale struck on October 28. The barometer and mercury were steadily falling, and wind was building from the west shifting to the northwest, driving sleet and snow before it. Four schooners had taken refuge in the lee of Plum Island, but their anchors merely dragged across the bottom. Two of the imperiled boats, the George L. Wren and the Harrison, cut their cables and ran for open water. The other two, Walhalla and Democrat, finally came to anchor precariously close to Pilot Island. Around 2:00 p.m., Knudsen's keepers spotted a three-masted schooner under reefed sails approaching the Door from the southeast. With a spyglass, they determined that she was the A.P. Nichols. The Nichols was en route from Chicago to Escanaba, light, with a crew of six under Capt. David Clow, Jr. She dropped her largest anchor to prevent her going ashore on Plum Island's south side. The hurricane-like wind broke several spars and carried away a sail and other gear. The Nichols struggled under damaged rigging into the lee of Plum Island, dropping her 1,400-pound anchor and 600 feet of chain cable, but she dragged toward Pilot Island throughout the afternoon.At approximately 8:00 p.m., a loud crash announced the arrival of the Nichols to the lighthouse crew, who threw on their oilskins and rushed out to help. In the flash from the light and through the blowing snow and sleet, they could see the Nichols driven upon the southwest reef near the Gilmore , almost touching the bow of the Forest . The proximity of the two wrecks gave Knudsen the inspiration for a daring nighttime rescue of the Nichols crew, for which he was later to receive medals from the Life Saving Benevolent Association of New York as well as from the U.S. Congress. With the aid of an assistant keeper, Knudsen encouraged the crew to jump, one by one, from the rolling Nichols to the icy deck of the wrecked Forest . From the Forest , the lighthouse men assisted the crew--which was unusual for including a female cook--off the wreck and across the reef to shore.