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Old 10-11-2006, 10:43   #1
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Circumnavigation of Door County on Lake Michigan

HI all,

Has anyone ever done a circumnavigation of Door County penninsula, around the tip of Wisconsin?

I live in Green Bay and am the new owner of an 1976 Oday 27. I'm interested in taking the time off in 2007 to make this fun exciting cruise. So, I wanted to see, has anyone else ever done this journey and which direction would be best? Should I circumnavigate clockwise or counter clockwise?

Any tips, suggestions, experience from others would be awesome!

Mark R.
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:33   #2
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Hey Shellback

What attractions are there? It looks like an interesting area to explore. Michigan is the only Great Lake I've nerver sailed on but hope to someday. Here's a nautical chart on a Google Earth overlay of the area. Sorry, just bored at work.

Rick
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Old 10-11-2006, 14:19   #3
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Given the South-Westerly prevailing winds (matching the bays, Green & Sturgeon), it might not make much difference.
I too, have mostly missed Lk. Michigan (I've poked into Charlevoise) - so just an inexperienced observation.
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Old 10-11-2006, 15:54   #4
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Circumnav Green Bay

Thanks!
Even the Google overlay is good! I charts on the area which show water depth isn't too bad. And yes, the usual SSW winds keep sailing fun along the Bay.

The best ports are along the western side of the Door County Penninsula (Bay of GB side), however a good bunch all around nontheless! Marina's are friendly to sailors and cruisers and dining is excellent. Lots of tourists and activities too.

Last summer, my wife and I had the fortune of nite time cruise to Little Sturgeon Bay in my first boat, an Oday 23'. We had a beam reach the entire sail up, left at 7 p.m., enjoyed a nice breeze, kinda chilly, but we got up to little sturgeon bay, dropped anchor and enjoyed it. It took a little longer than I had hoped, only cause the Oday 23' isn't a speed-demon! LOL

Thanks to those who replied. Anyone in our area or near Door, let us know, we'd be happy to see a bunch of us boaters together, cruising!

Mark
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Old 10-11-2006, 22:25   #5
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Aloha Mark,
I visited my brother a few years back when he lived in Green Bay and we drove up around Door County in the snow (Thanksgiving time). Beautiful area. Would love to cruise there. Maybe someday. Have you done the meets and greets?
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 08-01-2007, 20:51   #6
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Green Bay meet-n-greets

Skiprjohn,

Hello there! No, unfortunately I haven't been fortunate to meet other sailors out on the bay. I have met many via hanging around my boat at the marina, or during beginning and ending of boating season when the sailors with the 30' to 50' sailboats come down from northern WI and Upper Michigan ports to store their boats here in Green Bay.

I am trying to gauge the interest of two meet-n-greets. Of setting up an O'day Rendezvous up in this area for O'Day sailboat owners. Also would love to set up a strictly sail day, when we get as many sailboats on the bay of Green Bay, with a sea of white sails. So many motorboats are usually rumbling around the place, it'll be nice to see a fleet of sailboats of all types out in one big weekend.

Mark
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Old 09-01-2007, 07:12   #7
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How did I miss this post?? I have sailed from Sturgeon Bay, up around the top, doing half the circumnavigation of Door County. It is a nice area. Very quiet in some spots, very shallow in others.

The real treat is to head all the way up to Beaver Island at the very tip.
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Old 11-01-2007, 19:13   #8
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Hi Sean

OH yeah? up around Beaver Island? Hmm, might have to consider that. I actually have July 5 thru July 12th. I would think that would be more than enough time to let my O'Day 27 give me a lazy cruise around Door.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:17   #9
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Seems like you would have the time in that time frame. It was a nice area, but we were on a mission... well, a delivery to be more specific. We purchased our current boat in Sturgeon Bay. We flew out to pick her up, got her ready, and did a couple thousand miles back to the NYC area via most of the Great Lakes, the Erie Canal and Hudson River. Door was nice though. It was quiet and peaceful. Beaver island would be a fun destination for you, since it's way up at the top of Door County. It's the last little bit of land in Wisconsin (don't hold me to geography in that area) before you end up closing in on Gord's area.
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Old 13-01-2007, 16:24   #10
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You would have to cross lake michigan to get to beaver island. it might be worth it. some people love beaver island. personally i think those people are isolated for a reason! last year i saw a kid, must have been around 14 or 15 walking down main street with a case of beer. the island sport is drinking.
we were there for the fourth of july. the parade route on the island is so short that when they get to the end of the road they turn around and do it in reverse.

I hear fayett ghost town is a really cool place. that would take you a bit farther north, but at least you would still be on the west side of the lake.

sean i wonder if you are thinking of washington island? that is the island at the tip of the penninsula, and it is the last bit of wisconsin. beaver island is michigan.
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Old 13-01-2007, 16:41   #11
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Thank you, Chad. I definitely get those two places mixed up all the time. They're both up "at the top" of the respective points of land and both were a part of a whirlwind delivery I was on. Yes, indeed... I did mean to say "Washington Island."

It was a good spot if you are doing the circumnavigation since it's half way around Door County and pretty far from your starting point if you start in the south part of Green Bay or Sturgeon Bay.
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Old 15-01-2007, 12:56   #12
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Circumnav of Door County WI

yes, it's Washington Island. I do know Beaver Island is across the pond somewhat but still a common cruising ground!

I might cruise around the northern side of Washington Island, "death's Door" is a fun run from what I've heard too!

I'm stoked for the trip in July 2007 and eager to see how my "new" Oday 27 will handle the waves, weather etc.


If you're out on the Bay or Lake Michigan and want to stop by, anchor off or cruise alongside, give me a shout!

Mark
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Old 11-03-2007, 15:58   #13
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My last duty station was Washington Island. Bay side really has the better ports. Sister Bay, Egg harbor, Fish Creek, etc. Sister Bay is a must stop, especailly Fred and Fuzzy's. They have great food and its right on the beach, great place to watch sunsets. If you plan on staying at any of the resorts make reservations now because some are booked two years in advance. Watch out for the shoals around Sister Bay, they are marked but can be easily cut across if your not paying attention.

There are a lot of islands with some really cool light houses along the way. The old Coast Guard station on Plum island is pretty neat. However, it is still owned by the CG and it is closed to the public.

Deaths Door is located from the tip of the Door county peninsula to Washington Island and Detroit Island and surrounds Plum Island and Pilot Island. Make sure you stay away from Pilot Island, the Birds there have taken over and the smell is stomach turning. We were once over a nautical mile downwind and could still smell it. Be carefull of late summer, the sweels can kick up pretty quick there.

The ghost town of Fayette is also a must stop. You could literally spend a whole day there. It is an old Pig Iron mine with dozens and dozens of restored buildings.

Rock Island is also a nice place to go. The whole island is a park. It used to be owned by some extremely rich guy who tried to turn it into his own paradise.

Washington Island isnt bad, Schoolhouse beach it pretty cool, its all rock that have been worn down to perfectly cyndrical shapes. The island is connected to Rock Island by a shallow shoal. However, if you moor up on either island pay the small toll to cross from island to island; we had a teenage boy drown when he got swept away when he tried to wade through the shoal.

As far as Lake side goes there really isnt too many "exciting" places to visit. We usually didnt stop there too often.

I could keep going but if you have any questions I would be happy to answer.
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Old 16-03-2007, 16:29   #14
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I circumnavigated the whole peninsula, including a stop at Fayette. This was on a charter in 1973, so my information would be perhaps dated. I do recall that stops on the lake side were not very attractive. I think we pulled into Whitefish Bay for fuel.

There is a nice anchorage in the bight at Horseshoe Island off of Peninsula
State Park. With just seven days, I wouldn't plan more than going up the Bay and to Fayette. You may lose a day or two to weather. Then you can decide if you want to back-track, or complete the circle. Regardless, you'll have some beautiful sailing. Bon voyage.
Regards, Bligh
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Old 13-04-2007, 13:59   #15
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circumnavigation of Door

I actually will have around almost 10 days off, although I'm allotting 7 days for a leisure cruise. Expecting weather delays too.

What I'm keeping in mind, is that I'll have more ports and marina's to stop into on the eastern side of Door County vs the Lake Michigan side of Door Cty. Once I leave Washington Island or round through Death's Door..I'll be doing a straight shot non-stop down to the Sturgeon Bay shippping channel.

But who knows..what Imight consider doing ..life's an adventure!
Mark
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