SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Lake Michigan (
-   -   Circling Door County (

Richard61 06-24-2012 06:24 AM

Circling Door County
The second and third week of July I am taking my 26ft PY26 Paceship out for her shakedown cruise.:) I plan on leaving from Green Bay WI and sailing the bay all the way up to Fayette State Park in the UP. Then returning home on the lake side of Door county crossing back to the bay via the Sturgeon Bay ship canel. Having lived in both Sturgeon and Green Bays for 20 plus years I know most of the places I would like to see from the land side but I am asking all you are there any places that I should put on my do not miss list. I am looking at a 10-14 day window for the trip so I have plenty of sightseeing, fishing, or weather delay time built into the trip. I hate trips that are so full that you feel rushed along the way. On road trips my stepdad would get me so angry:mad::hothead when he would drive past great sights but not stop because he had to make time. As if getting to the next motel an hour later would kill him.:eek: I don't think I will ever get him into the sailboat because as a former police officer he is more of an 75/80 mph guy, not a 5 knot type person at all. I am hoping to shake all the bugs out on this trip as I will be putting her on a trailer(hello wide load permits) in August and pulling her to Grand Portage MN and striking out for Isle Royal Nat park. Thanks in advance for any advice. Richard

tomandchris 06-24-2012 09:30 AM

Re: Circling Door County
Haven't heard much from him lately, but Tim did much of this trip last year. He hangs out here sometimes and a little more. I know that he did a good write up, filled with pictures, at AS. Not sure if he copied it here, but it was very well done. Try a search onh both sites.

Heading out of Northport tomorrow for either Washington Island or Beaver Is. Will see which was the find is forecasted in the morning and go with that. Need to be back Thursday so need to work with the weather window a little tighter.

kwaltersmi 07-10-2012 08:30 PM

Re: Circling Door County
We're planning a cruise from Muskegon to Door county in late July and would welcome any suggestions, can't miss attractions, recommended anchorages, etc. Our very tentative plan is to cross from Ludington to Sturgeon Bay, then cruise north on the inside up to Washington Island and cross back to the Manitous.

sailortjk1 07-10-2012 09:54 PM

Re: Circling Door County
What a fun trip!
As Tom said, we have cruised these waters for the past two years and loved it. I tried to copy my post from the other site but the pictures don't copy and past. I will try and repost it and reinsert the photos as best I can. This was mostly all about our time in Fayette.

Door County 2011: A step back in time.

I have been meaning to post this for a while.
Julie and I made our annual long distance sail back in June. This year we once again went to Door County with the majority of our trip concentrated on Fayette Michigan.
The trip turned out to be a step back in time followed by a history lesson.

Fayette is located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Big Bay De Noc.

Chart 14908

To reach Fayette the sail was about 181 Nautical Miles from our Home-Port. It was uneventful except for about 8 hours of dense fog overnight. At one point I broadcasted a “Securite” and gave our position. A response from a commercial vessel came back, “We are about 2 miles off your stern; maintain your present and we will pass you to Starboard.” Thank you very much skipper. We never saw them.

Julie and I maintained a watch system of Four on and Four off during the night; during daytime we were nonchalant about our watches, but we made sure each other was well rested.

After about 28 hours on the open water we made our first landfall.

And headed for Poverty Island Passage; the small gap between Poverty Island and the small scrubby Gull Island and Little Gull Island.

One of the attractions of Fayette was the well protected harbor know as Snail Shell Harbor. Snail Shell Harbor is reputed to be one of the most well protected natural harbors on Lake Michigan.

Rounding the Bell to the entrance of Snail Shell Harbor.
Snail Shell Harbor hidden around the bend to Starboard.

Entering the harbor.

Inside the natural Snail Shell Harbor looking back to Big Bay De Noc

Fayette was at one time a booming industrial town but is now known as a ghost town. It grew up around a large blast furnace used to smelt iron ore. Once the smelting business dried up, the town’s people all moved on leaving the buildings and ground much as they looked in the 1890’s.

Fayette Historic Townsite, Upper Peninsula of Michigan

As I understand it, the raw iron ore was mined and sent to Chicago and the lower lakes to the steel mills for processing and for the production of Steel. At some point, the business barons realized that half of what they were shipping was waste, and to ship waste meant loosing profits. So the blast furnaces were set up closer to the mines to reduce the transportation of waste.

Raw ore was than mined in the vicinity; especially at Copper Mountain, shipped via rail car to Escanaba Michigan, and than floated via barge to the blast furnace located at Fayette. Once the smelting process was complete, the refined “Pig” iron could than be transported to the Steel Mills located in Chicago and Gary.

Another view entering the harbor with the Blast Furnace in frame.

View of the town. Blacksmith's Shop. Old Hotel, etc..


Rear of Furnace complex

Town from the harbor

Primitive Dock and the town in background

Beautiful scenery

Can you see the boat in the window?

The large white house to the right in the frame is the Superintendents Residence
Not too shabby

Compare that with a common laborer's house/cabin


A part of the smelting process was to introduce limestone as flux.
Another reason the site is so attractive to the early businessmen was the large amounts of limestone that was available to them.

If you look closely in the following photos you can clearly see the the marks in the cut stone.

Limestone Bluff on the North Side of the Harbor
See the quarry cuts?

It was the trip of a lifetime for us and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
The rest of the week we spent sailing and hopping South in Door County.
I have plenty more pics that will follow, (If your interested) but for now this is Part I of the trip.

More to follow.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++

The above was from a previous post I made on a different site. I don't know if it translates well.

You asked about other not misses.

We loved hanging out at Rock Island. Do you know the History of Rock Island?
Boat House from various angles.

Its fun just to hike around the primitive Rock Island.

Rock Carvings on Rock Island.

We also stayed in Menominee.
The best part of that was the boaters lounge.

Typical scenery all around Door County

As you can tell, we really have enjoyed our time spent in the Door and on Green Bay. I am sure you will too. As I understand it the lake side of the peninsula does not have a lot to offer and you have to be very careful on your approaches into Bailey's


Richard61 07-13-2012 02:27 PM

Re: Circling Door County
Thanks so much. We are leaving in about 2 weeks and my son cann't wait. Also thanks for the tip on the boaters lounge. Also Great Pictures. I lived in Door county for over 15 years and never got to Rock Island. Always busy going somewhere else. Now I need to make up for all that wasted time. Thanks again Richard

tomandchris 07-14-2012 04:50 PM

Re: Circling Door County
See. I knew Tim would show up!

The glaciers were very friendly to the West and North sides of Door County. They are beautiful rock faces and deep. You can sail right up to the W side of Washington Is cliffs in many places. The E and S sides are shallow. Check your charts and have a good time. Make sure you make your entry to Rock Island from the right side. You cannot get in from the W.

sailortjk1 09-24-2012 08:43 PM

Re: Circling Door County

Originally Posted by Richard61 (Post 895990)
Thanks so much. We are leaving in about 2 weeks and my son cann't wait. Also thanks for the tip on the boaters lounge. Also Great Pictures. I lived in Door county for over 15 years and never got to Rock Island. Always busy going somewhere else. Now I need to make up for all that wasted time. Thanks again Richard

Did this happen?
How was it?
Hope the water levels did not have a negative affect.

tomandchris 10-01-2012 10:45 PM

Re: Circling Door County
Don't you love it when someone asks a question, gets a great answer (thanks Tim) and then disapears? Hope his kid had a great trip!

Oh, Tim, nice sunset trip Friday!

MSN2Travelers 10-02-2012 01:00 PM

Re: Door County

Originally Posted by sailortjk1 (Post 926197)
Did this happen?
How was it?
Hope the water levels did not have a negative affect.

I don't know about the OP but the Admiral and I did 10 days cruising the GB side of Door County the first two weeks in September.

Waters were a little thin in most areas and entry/exit from most marinas & anchorages was done with extreem care. The dock master at Wave Pointe Marina (Little Sturgeon Bay) said the lake levels were so low near Green Bay that quite a few boats were trapped in their Marinas/slips for a good part of the season.

A good number of the bigger boats in the Milwaukee area hauled early as the waters here vanished. We have a boat or two that can only get out of their slips if the crew is off the boat and picked up at the fuel dock.

And thanks Tim for all of your input ;)

kwaltersmi 10-02-2012 05:32 PM

Re: Circling Door County
We completed our Door County cruise in August and had a great trip. While Door County and the harbors/ports were great, the highlight for us was crossing Lake Michigan. You can read our trip report and see a few pictures here: Door County Cruisin'

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:58 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome