Door County Cruise June 2002

Door County Chart 21 June Winthrop Harbor - Port Washington - 55 miles

Planned to leave Winthrop Harbor at 0600 for Sheboygan. At 0400 the thunderstorms were rolling though, so we stayed in bed until 0700 when the weather started to clear. Finally left at 0900 in flat calm seas with no wind, light fog, so motored to Port Washington. Alongside 1845.

22 June Port Washington - Manitowoc - 53 miles

Left Port Washington 0815 with no wind and motored north. Just north of Sheboygan Reef mark #2 we got some wind, so hoisted sails and switched off engine at 1220. Wind left us about one hour later, so started motor and dropped sails. At 1430 Fiona went below to get soda and found the cabin full of smoke. Shut down engine and investigated problem. Fortunately, the was no fire, just exhaust smoke and fumes from a broken exhaust pipe. Managed to fix the problem by wrapping the pipe with a tin can and two clamps. Repair held up motoring all the way into Manitowoc with no fumes! Arrived Manitowoc Marina 1700.

23 June  Manitowoc - Sturgeon Bay - 58 miles

Decided to make more distance north, since there was no chance of getting the exhaust fixed on Sunday, and the wind was fair for Sturgeon Bay. Departed Manitowoc 0830. By 1430 the wind had dropped to below 5 kt so motor sailed the rest of the way. Pulled into Sturgeon Bay Marina at 1900.

24 June Sturgeon Bay

Boat yards work on their own time. Saw the mechanical supervisor at 0700, who said "I'll get someone over sometime today". Tried to get him to understand that we wanted to put some urgency on the repair, so finally compromised and agreed that I would pull the exhaust pipe out. By 1000 the pipe was in his shop. The original pipe was black iron and had completely rotted at a joint in the middle of the pipe. Of course, it had to be sent out for rebuilding, but "might be back tomorrow". Spent the rest of the morning cleaning soot out of the engine compartment, bilges, and port side lockers. Some cushions will have to be cleaned when we get back. We were able to cover them with spare sheets for now.

After lunch, we got the bikes out, and rode over to the Door County Maritime Museum. Very interesting small museum, with lots of information on the boat building history of the area. Did not realize that Sturgeon Bay was a major ship building area for minesweepers, air/sea rescue, and similar small boats for WWII.

25 June Sturgeon Bay

Spent the morning exploring Sturgeon Bay by bike, including some shopping and sending off postcards to friends. But more importantly, we were stopping at every auto parts store looking for exhaust wrap to cover the new pipe. Finally finished at a Napa parts store, where Bob really went out of his way for us. He finally located some at De Pere, south of Green Bay, and over an hours drive away. Found an Avis branch in town and rented a car and drove down to pick up the wrap. Called the boat yard on the way back - exhaust still not finished. Decided to spruce up Forty Two when we got back, and varnished the wash boards and cockpit table.

26 June Sturgeon Bay

Third day without engine. Put second coat of varnish on wash boards and cockpit table. Rode bikes over to a local beach, sunbathed but water too cold for swimming. Yard has finally got onto the contractor, and were promised the exhaust would be finished by 1800, and available to be picked up at 0800 Thursday.

27 June Sturgeon Bay

Of course the yard did not send anyone when they started at 0700, so when I got there at 0800 they got off their butts!  Finally got the new exhaust section at 0900. Had it replaced by 1230 after fabricating a new gasket. Ran the engine up with no problems.

28 June Sturgeon Bay - Fish Creek - 24 miles

A short run today, but interesting navigation as there are numbers of little islands and shallow areas. Left at 0750 for an 0800 opening at the Main Street bridge. Then a long motor out the west side of the Sturgeon Bay canal into Green Bay. Once in Green Bay we had a great broad reach followed by a short run down wind to Fish Creek. Tied up in Alki Marina at 1330. Fish Creek is an interesting small town, obviously geared to the tourist trade. Toured the oldest house. Very interesting and the guide was full of little historical snippets that helped to bring the place to life.

In the evening, we went to a traditional 'Fish Boil'. Whitefish, potatoes and onions are boiled in a large iron cauldron over an open fire. At the end, about a quart of diesel is thrown on the fire. The resulting flare up causes the pot to boil over, and all the oil from the fish is flushed out.

29 June Fish Creek - Washington Island - 25 miles

Left Fish Creek at 1000 and another great broad reach until about two miles from Washington Island where the wind swung to a beat and built to about 20 knots. Interesting arrival trying to get the sails down at the entrance to Detroit Harbor while watching out for all the ferries coming in. The marinas at the entrance to Detroit harbor all reported less that six feet of water, so our original plan was to anchor in Detroit Harbor. Unfortunately the wind had swung to the north, which made the anchorage a lee shore, so we decided to stay at the marina on the west side of the harbor. An interesting trip of about one mile with only eight feet of water in the channel. Well marked, but only with red buoys, so unable to tell where the other edge of the channel was. Stayed close to the line of the red buoys and did not touch bottom. Really tight entrance into the marina, but were alongside by 1430. Marina has a 1970 vintage Cadillac that we were loaned to drive to town for groceries.

Later that afternoon we got the bicycles ashore and went on a long ride around the island. The Scandinavian influence is obvious here, most notably a reproduction Stavkirk (wooden chapel) tucked away in the woods.

30 June Washington Island - Sturgeon Bay - 54 miles

Port de Morts (Death's Door) is the passage between the tip of Door County and Washington Island. It tried to live up to its reputation with S and SW winds as we motor sailed out through the passage in increasingly lumpy seas. About three quarters of the way through, the engine died! Fortunately there was enough room to sail on, beating through until we cleared back into Lake Michigan. Replaced the fuel filter and the engine started again. The old filter (new this season) was full of dirt and water that had obviously been stirred up by the motion through Port des Morts. Given the distance to Sturgeon Bay, and the lack of safe harbor between we headed out into the lake on a series of long tacks. I estimate we actually sailed some 70 miles to cover the 54 miles to Sturgeon Bay. To compound the day's difficulties we found fog for the last 10 miles to the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal. Once inside the canal entrance, the fog lifted. Finally tied up at Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club at 2020 that evening.

01 July Sturgeon Bay - Kewaunee - 29 miles

Motored out of the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal back into Lake Michigan to find W NW winds and a great run to Kewaunee. Finally got to play with the wind vane self steering and managed to get some periods where it worked. Still have to work some on balancing the sails so she does not have a tendency to round up into the wind. Docking in Kewaunee was the most interesting part of this day. River current was driving us into the slip while the wind was driving us off the finger pier. Net result was an unexpected swim by Fiona when she held onto the yacht while standing on the pier. No damage except to pride.

02 July Kewaunee - Sheboygan - 53 miles

Left Kewaunee at 0930 and sailed most of the way with the wind vane doing all the work. Off Manitowac had to alter course to avoid the SS Badger. This is the only car ferry on Lake Michigan, and has coal fired boilers. Otherwise an uneventful day finishing at 1800 at Sheboygan Marina. Great facility, with good laundry facilities that we took advantage of in the evening.

03 July Sheboygan - Milwaukee - 57 miles

Pulled out of Sheboygan at 0845, and again a pleasant uneventful sail until just before Milwaukee, when the wind got up. Rather than put a reef in, we powered across the bay with the lee rail under and rounded up into the south end of Milwaukee Harbor, and got the sails down inside the breakwater. Slips were hard to find as that night was the Milwaukee fireworks, but South Shore Yacht Club put us in on an end tie. We faced downtown Milwaukee, and spent the early evening watching all the boats leaving for the fireworks. After dark, we sat in the cockpit, Finished off the Baileys and watched the fireworks display from a distance. Still spectacular, even though we were some miles away.

04 July Milwaukee - Winthrop Harbor - 32 miles

Once again the wind dropped so we motor sailed to off Racine. Finished up the trip with a good final two hours sail into North Point Marina and home. Total miles sailed - 440.