OK Smacky, It's been a while and you know how I feel about this thread, we have talked about it in the past, but I will share you with you just the same.
No big deal, it's what we do, we sail and in sailing the BFS finds you.
Julie and I had a nice 10 day cruise to Door County Wisconsin last week. We had to wash out two days because of weather so we ended up sailing 430 miles in 8 days. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and we had a great time spending most of our time at anchor in remote areas.
Door County is the finger shaped peninsula that divides Lake Michigan from Green Bay. The area is littered with islands at every turn and shoals that are made up of rocks the size of small cars. The sailing in gentle conditions is a challenge. Large limestone bluffs hundreds of feet high are around every corner. At the base of these cliffs, water depths change quickly from over 150 feet to 30 feet to 10 feet in a manner of seconds, and believe me, you do not want to hit what lies just beneath the surface. The entire area is glacial deposits of rock.
At the very tip of the peninsula are more islands, some large, some small. Between the main land peninsula and the islands are several passages. One of the island passages was named by the early French explorers of the region; "Porte de Mort", or "Gate of Death" or "Door of Death." Better known today by most Lake Michigan sailors and modernized to "Death's Door Passage".
After our time was spent in Door County it was our goal to exit out Death's Door. The day came and of course we had 20 + knot head winds. We tacked out the skinny shoal laden island strewn pass and as luck would have it, I good friend (sailchick) just happened to be taking a ferry out. Sailchick was able to get some photos of us tacking out in blustery conditions.
The BFS happened more when we finally got into open water, still in 20+ knots of SE wind, or destination lied 160 miles straight up wind and the seas had about 200 miles of fetch to build. We were in 6 - 8 foot sloppy Great Lakes/Lake Michigan chop for about 10 hours. I sought protection from the Michigan shoreline and an area of Islands called the Manitous off of the Leeland Peninsula some 60 miles away.
The best part of the trip? My wife Julie. She never complained, just did everything you could ask a first mate to do.
BFS? 10 hours in 6 - 8 foot sloppy Great Lakes chop.