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ContinuousWave: Trips and Rendezvous
Late summer long weekend in Door County
|Author||Topic: Late summer long weekend in Door County|
posted 03-05-2006 10:32 PM ET (US)
Thinking about a short vacation this summer. I've heard a number of good things about the Door County area. Don't know much about the area but thought it would be a good place for a long week-end and a get together.
Door County's within a long day's drive of Detroit. Probably take the Ludington ferry across Lake Michigan and break up the drive a bit.
Any suggestions on an area to launch that would provide a beginning point for a day or two cruise?
posted 03-06-2006 03:51 PM ET (US)
Patricia and I make the trip every year. We stay/launch/play in Sister Bay.
I'll be in touch.
posted 03-06-2006 04:37 PM ET (US)
As a resident I'd be happy to help you with local knowledge. You should visit rendezvous or not. We've had some great rendevous here, but the past couple of years attendance has been somewhat sparce. And I'm the guiltiest party. Work has kept me away. Although last year I did sneak out in the afternoon and tried to find the crew but to no avail.
Harpoon Harry sayin' "We'd love to have you...and your money!" E-mail me and I'll get you any information I can.
posted 03-06-2006 04:50 PM ET (US)
I have a kid with "origins" at the Thorp House in Sister Bay. Ok, sorry, TMI. But it is a great place. A run to Chambers Island is fun, Rock Island SP is great too.
posted 03-07-2006 01:39 AM ET (US)
Thanks for the information. I did a quick search on the net for Sister Bay. Looks like Sister Bay has a pretty nice marina and a variety of accomodations. I'd assume they have some pretty good restaurants and other opportunities to donate some money to the local community.
Looking at the charts, I'd think Green Bay and the area has pretty well protected waters where weather conditions wouldn't be as big of a consideration as on the open water.
We'd probably have a room at a hotel or B&B that we'd use as a base. Doesn't rule out an overnight trip if the opportunity is there.
How's the fishing?
posted 03-07-2006 02:23 PM ET (US)
Good to see a thread for Door County again this year. Anyone planning a get-together yet? I'm planning a lot of time up there this summer. BTW, last year, the fishing was great off Gills Rock. Unfortunately, I lost about $100 worth of tackle - and I was using 40-lb. Spiderwire! two 18-lb Chinooks came home with me, though...
Cicada: Dave P. is spon-on: Sister Bay is an ideal middle-point for accommodations and launching, etc. I'd recommend making reservations early, however, as it gets REALLY busy as the season goes on... If you are a camper, contact Peninsula State Park: they have great campsites and also a launch area. If I can be of help, let me know, but Harpoon Harry is the real guru.....
posted 03-07-2006 04:10 PM ET (US)
The real fishing hotspots are more on the lake side than on the bay side...
But the west side of lake michigan is a phenominal salmon fishery, and you should be able to do well in Green Bay as well.
posted 03-08-2006 10:36 AM ET (US)
My wife, Alex, and I did a long weekend in Door Co. last summer.
We met up with and shared a beverage or two with skred,
I've got to say, it was an absolutely spectacular weekend,
We stayed at the Fish Creek Motel (website, connect those words),
Fish Creek seemed to be a little bit denser, with more clustered
The boating was obviously spectacular with the lowlight being
The highlight was a 75 mile or so round trip to Rock Island S.P.
I've sent a picture via email.
posted 03-08-2006 11:28 PM ET (US)
Door County is sounding better all of the time. I'm getting the impression that there are opportunities for most any kind of activity or boating that one may desire. Have to look at some dates and make some plans.
We'd probably arrive on a Thursday night, stay for three days and leave on a Monday Morning. Maybe an extra day in there depending on scheduling.
I think it'd be fun to at least do a day run with some people for lunch or dinner.
posted 03-09-2006 09:47 AM ET (US)
That stone building is one of several left behind to the State
That boathouse, and the Great Hall upstairs, is a real site to behold,
And a quick clip from a Parks Directory:
ROCK ISLAND STATE PARK
posted 03-10-2006 10:00 PM ET (US)
Paul, when you have a firm date, let us know. I, for one, would certainly love to zip up to D.C. (125 mi. for me) and spend a long weekend. Maybe PRJ will be unable to resist, also..
BTW, the stone building is on Rock Island... There's a nice restaurant in Gill's Rock at the tip of the mainland, however...
posted 03-10-2006 11:42 PM ET (US)
Please keep me posted on the dates as well. I bought a Whaler this winter and I would enjoy a trip to Door County. I am in Madison, WI, which is about 240 miles away. If the dates work, I will try to take the cruise.
posted 03-11-2006 02:17 PM ET (US)
I have been spending the summer(July-October) in Door County for last 20years. It is one of the finest areas for boating and fishing on the great lakes. Salmon fishing is one of the best, always catch a lot of large Kings. I fish most of the Pennisula. Good places to play golf. Smallmouth fishing is good. Sunsets terrific and lots of things to see. Some great people up there. Andy (SIM) Shipyard Island Marina is on Washinton Island. I met Harpoon Harry. prj is right, Fish Creek is very crowded and touresty but some places are good to eat there also. Sometimes just great to pull up in Niclote Bay, or Horshoe Island and drop anchor for the day. I met JimH at Sister Bay marina last summer, just by coincedence. The Rock Island trip is a good one. You will all love it up there.
If anyone needs any info, email me!
posted 03-11-2006 07:57 PM ET (US)
Boy, that was a close call for me, just barely escaping having to listen to a FOURDFISH-O-MERCIAL.
posted 03-11-2006 08:48 PM ET (US)
And here I was being gracious. I guess we both lucked out Larry! Your loss!
posted 03-14-2006 08:44 PM ET (US)
Pretty windy here with the wind chill at 19. Realized that I haven't thought much about boating for the past couple of months. Good time to reorganize the priorities and plan some time on the water.
Right now we're looking at August 10th through the 14th. with the 10th and 14th as travel days. The Sister Bay and Fish Creek area sounds like a great location with the most variety of overnight accomodations from camping to hotels, motels, etc. Friday or Saturday run up to Rock Island. Stop at Gill's Rock for something to eat and maybe a little fishing, a nice cook out and anchor out for the night at Rock Island.
The Rock Island State Park website notes a $1 per foot per night for boats moored at the island. Does this encompass the whole island or is it for developed moorings? Any restrictions on the consumption of adult beverages up there?
I'm pretty comfortable with the 18' Outrage for the trip but with an eye to bringing a few people with the 15 what kind of water can we expect that time of year?
I'm looking forward to making the trip and would enjoy meeting a few more people from the site.
posted 03-15-2006 10:51 AM ET (US)
I re-read and see that, indeed, the website uses the phrase
"...all boats mooring overnight at Rock Island."
While I'm not positive, I doubt that there are any moorings
other than within the boat house or along the tiny seawall.
If camping on the island, I would expect reservations are needed
well in advance. I also expect that in several locations,
if sheltered from the prevailing SW, you could anchor just offshore.
We were there last August, 12-14, and found conditions variable.
Perhaps resident fourdfish can fill in more about TYPICAL conditions.
Here in Wisconsin, if you DON'T have adult beverages on board,
As noted earlier, we stayed at Fish Creek, immediately south of
On our evening Marina strolls, we came to the conclusion that
posted 03-15-2006 09:17 PM ET (US)
Cicada, August 10-14 is a very good time as the weather is usually very cooperative at that time. The Bay of Green bay is usually good at that time and only kicks up once in awhile.
Never a major problem like Lakeside.
prj is correct, the boathouse is the only mooring on Rock Island and you need to get a spot inside the wall as a periodic ferry has a space on the end outside. I have seen the Park Ranger there several times to collect money and info. Only rough camping allowed, as no vehicles on island.
Pennsula Park between Fish Creek and Ephrum is a great place.
I guess I sound like a Door Co commercial but I love the place
posted 03-16-2006 07:50 AM ET (US)
As a new boater with a Whaler, how big of an adventure are these trips? Although I know Lake Michigan is not predictable, what wave heights are typical.
How far out into the lake are the islands? If I have some boating time this spring and summer will I be very surprised on Michigan?
posted 03-16-2006 09:52 AM ET (US)
If I recall correctly, Wiscbw, you have a post classic 20 or 21' Outrage, no?
You'll have no problems at either Door Co. or Lake Michigan proper,
I highly recommend a long weekend trip to Door Co. with your boat.
Engineer in Madison? We do quite a bit of work over there,
posted 03-16-2006 10:02 AM ET (US)
WiscBW, Here is the area generally being discussed:
What Whaler do you have?
I haven’t been to Washington Island or Rock Island personally but as you can see, it is all very close together, near the door county peninsula and not really "offshore". It might be a bit more than Lake Mendota, but not really that much more. It really depends on the wind though.
posted 03-16-2006 10:57 AM ET (US)
Thanks for the comments on the lake conditions. I bought a Whaler kit. A 1996 Outrage 19 hull from Michigan and a 225 Yamaha from a marina out east. Hope to get these to Madison and put together in April. If the parts are as describe and get to Madison, I will have a boat and not another project. If everything works as planned, and I have the weekend open, I am sure I would enjoy an outing to Door County.
posted 03-18-2006 12:09 AM ET (US)
It looks like it's about a 5 mile run from the mainland to Rock Island. The most open exposure to the Southeast. If the weather pattern is the same on Lake Michigan as on Lake Huron a Southeast wind of any intensity is pretty rare. A link to the area's weather buoys and stations that provides historical data with some searching:
There's a Porte des Mortes on the (Garmin) charts off the tip of the peninsula. That sounds a bit ominous doesn't it? Probably an interesting story behind that one.
Found Horshoe Island on the chart that shows a green light but no mention of Nicolet Bay. I'm Assuming that Ephrum shows as spires on the chart to the Southeast? Also appears to be some dockage there?
What are good base references for navigation?
posted 03-18-2006 08:39 AM ET (US)
Cicada-If you launch at Gills Rock, I think it is actually around 8 or more mi going around the west side of Washington Island to Rock Island. Actually the parking and ramp are better down south at Ellison Bay but it is a longer ride.
Porte de Mortes meaning "Deaths Door" is the passage between the Penninsula and Wash Island. Many ships went down there in the old days. Really not a problem for todays boaters. The ferrys are going back and forth all day.
Nicolete Bay is the small Bay just opposite Horseshoe
Island. Pennisula Park is very large, goes from Ephrum to Fish Creek.
Eagle Harbor is Ephrums large Bay. I sometimes use Ephrums launch ramp but the parking lot is small. They have limited transit dock space.
Going from Fish Creek north along the shore you have the four Strawberry Islands, Horseshoe Island then up to Sister Bay which has the 2 Sister Islands offshore and then up to Ellison Bay. I have a NOAA jpeg map on my other computer, If you want, I'll look for it later and can email it to you!
posted 03-18-2006 10:26 AM ET (US)
Harpoon Harry here, sayin' fourdfish I'm surprised. It's Ephraim.
Boating anywhere in Northern Door is made for a skiff. All kinds of jaunts to fill a few hours or days. Don't be too concerned at this point about the need to "navigate." Everything is within sight. 'Course it's always a good to have an idea where you're going. From where you are now the best thing is to go to a satelite sight like terra or google maps. Use the hybred to see landmarks and photos. Those will help you preview the waters of Green Bay and the county. Each little village has its own identity and you can choose the one that fits your style. Fish Creek: bustling, crowded and partytime. Ephraim: quiet, dry, great for strolling. Sister Bay: a combination of the previous two.
Nicolet beach (or Shanty Bay to the old timers) is directly across from Horseshoe Island in Penninsula State Park. The island is part of the park. Worst weather is when northwesters strike. And honestly, after the first of August those become more frequent.
Got a nice day? Shoot over to Marinette/Menominee for lunch. Stop on the south or north side of Chambers Island on the way back (depending on wind direction) and beach the boat for awhile. Finish up slowly cruising the Door shoreline. Or as suggested, run to Washington and/or Rock Island. Rock Island is more of a commitment trip than mentioned anywhere in this thread.
All in all there is much to see and do on and off the water. No matter the weather you'll find lots to fill your stay. Please remember to bring, and leave, lots of money!
posted 03-18-2006 10:37 AM ET (US)
You got me Harry! My spelling is the pits. Just lazy I guess! By the way Harry, Maybe you can recommend a spot for lunch in Marinette/Menominee. Never made that trip!
posted 03-24-2006 12:07 PM ET (US)
I started out life sleeping in a drawer of a 57' Roamer at the Alibi Dock in Fish Creek and have spent about half of my life in northern Door Co. I can not say a bad thing about the boating there (except for the water levels the past few years).
If you are having problems getting transient slippage in Sister Bay Municipal, make sure you check out Yacht Works as well (this is where I keep my boat). It is about 1 mile north of the municipal dock and is a full fledged ship yard with sales, service and a ships store. It also shares parking with JJ's a fun bar/resturaunt.
A run to Menominee is easy and fun. Just start in Fish Creek, point your bow west - southwest and go. The pizza is great at Pirate's Cove.
One place that hasn't been mentioned is the South East side of Chamber's Island. There is a very long sand bar that points east from the island that is just above the surface. If the wind is from the west this is a great place to drop a hook and swim, etc.
I echo The Great Harpoon, re the trip to Rock Island. It can get a bit long (but not bad) especially from Fish Creek. It is worth a look though. Just don't park your boat in the boat house. It is home to 100's of swallows and they will repaint your boat for you.
Ephraim is a nice place but it is dry (no alcohol) and is lacking some of the attractions of Sister Bay. They also have a very large no wake zone along all of the shoreline, and the water can get real skinny real quick.
The ramp at Sister Bay Municipal is very good and even if busy moves along in an organized manner.
Hope this helps,
posted 10-18-2006 11:46 AM ET (US)
A belated response with photograph of our 2005 adventure.
We're looking forward to an early/middle August of 2007
trip to Door County, as missing it this year really hurt.
posted 10-19-2006 09:56 PM ET (US)
I couldn't think of a nicer setting for an Outrage than that boathouse.
This coming summer should be easier to do something with than last.
I'd certainly have an interest in the trip.
posted 10-19-2006 10:38 PM ET (US)
cool picture....I like the house in your photo ablumn better;]
Is the house a "prefab"" I would love to find out more about it. My wife and I are looking at both the flatpak house, glide house, and wee house for our next home. Are you a design professional as well?
Sorry for the misdirection of the the thread...PRJ my email is email@example.com . Again I would love to find out more about it..
posted 10-20-2006 12:15 PM ET (US)
You've got that right Paul.
We hope to see all the contributors to this article up there next year.
Thanks for that, Jeff. It's not a prefab.
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