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Author Topic:   Frankfort, Michigan to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin - July 2010
K Albus posted 01-14-2010 04:30 PM ET (US)   Profile for K Albus   Send Email to K Albus  
Who's up for a Lake Michigan crossing in late July 2010? I'd like to plan a weekend rendezvous leaving from Frankfort, Michigan; crossing Lake Michigan (approximately 50 miles of open water); spending the night in the Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin area; and returning to Frankfort by early Sunday afternoon.

Based on the historical data available from the closest NOAA weather buoy, it looks like July is the best time of the year to plan such a trip.

Wave Height:
Wind Speed:
Air Temperature:
Water Temperature:

Right now I'd like to tentatively plan the trip for the weekend of Saturday, July 24, and Sunday, July 25.

It would be great if some of the Wisconsin Whaler people could suggest some places to stay and some things to do in the area on a Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

If you're interested, please chime in.

Hoosier posted 01-14-2010 05:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
PeteB88 posted 01-15-2010 12:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Jeff and I talked about this possibility a few weeks ago. I know we want to explore Frankfort area this summer if time permits. Pencil us in. Our schedule will not be clear until June.


sportroyalwulf posted 01-15-2010 11:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for sportroyalwulf  Send Email to sportroyalwulf     
I do not have the equipment for a Big Blue crossing (150 sport). But I would be in for a gathering/explore around Frankfort.
Jeff posted 01-15-2010 01:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
This is a trip my father and I have talked about doing for some time. We have a family home in Downtown Frankfort as well as my Parents are building their Retirement home right next door. So, we are up there a lot during the summer. However, this weekend my not work for me. It looks like I may be up there the two weekends before this and then back for the second weekend in Aug. We will see home the summer plays out but getting an extra weekend hall pass for myself may be difficult. My father however, I am sure would be in for it.
K Albus posted 01-15-2010 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Jeff, at this stage in the planning the dates for the trip remain flexible. Since you and your father have a good deal of local knowledge regarding Frankfort and the surrounding area, I'd like to include you guys if at all possible. If there's another weekend in July or early August that you can commit to, please let us know. In the event that you're not able to join us, we would nonetheless appreciate your input regarding marinas and other relevant facilities in Frankfort.
prj posted 01-15-2010 06:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
I'd be honored to meet the crew from Michigan in Sturgeon Bay after another Big Water crossing. My family and I go up to Door County's Fish Creek in August each year, but I expect that I'd do a trip like this solo for a more serious boating opportunity. Here's my boat at Chambers Island in Green Bay, a bit north of Sturgeon Bay. Gratuitous, I know, but one of my favorite photos:

Here is Sturgeon Bay: bay+WI&sll=43.038902,-87.906474&sspn=0.809003,1.404877&ie=UTF8&hq=& hnear=Sturgeon+Bay,+Door,+Wisconsin&ll=44.840291,-87.367401&spn=0. 098107,0.17561&t=h&z=13

Next weekend, we're headed up to Sturgeon Bay's Potawatomi State Park for some cross country skiing (snow gods bless us...). I don't know the town proper, as we usually stay further north in summer, but have heard great things about it. I'd look forward to the opportunity to see more of it.

Perhaps Door County's jay18 could join us. I think he knows a thing or two about boating in the area.

As we discussed earlier Kevin, my only conflict would be a Lake of the Woods fishing trip, I don't have any so called "employment" obligations cluttering my calendar.


David Pendleton posted 01-15-2010 10:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Sturgeon Bay is okay, in my opinion, but it doesn't have anywhere near the character of the rest of Door County.

There's a nice maritime museum, and during the week you can go over to Palmer Johnson and they'll show you around.

home Aside posted 01-16-2010 10:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
I'm interested, but a new job assignment starting in February makes getting specific prime time off (such as all weekends/ premium summer furloughs) pretty much a thing of the past. Unfortunately I won't be able to commit as far a head of time as I have previously...


K Albus posted 01-18-2010 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Sturgeon Bay does not need to be the rendezvous point or the place where we spend the night. It just appears to be the most logical place to make our initial landing in Wisconsin. I'd be more than happy to see other parts of Door County.

Patrick and David, please feel free to make some suggestions regarding other parts of Door County to include in the trip. If we leave from Frankfort at 7:30 or 8:00 a.m., we should be near Sturgeon Bay by 10:00 a.m. That would leave us with another 10 hours of daylight.

It appears that the trip north from Sturgeon Bay, up one side of the peninsula, around Washington Island, and then back down the other side of the peninsula, would be approximately 125 miles. Is that a trip that's worth taking? Can you recommend places to stop along the way for lunch and dinner? What about marinas for spending the night?

David Pendleton posted 01-18-2010 10:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
My favorite places in Door County are Sister Bay (on the Green Bay side) or Baileys Harbor (on the Lake Michigan Side).

Rock Island is a nice place to hike. Chambers Island has a nice sandy beach.

Kumiega posted 01-21-2010 01:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Kumiega  Send Email to Kumiega     
You picked the right weekend.

The Mac will be in progress so you should have good weather. Well maybe. You will have excellant weather forecasting by SailNet for the race. They get paid to be right this weekend.

You will also have the Coast Guard Cutter parked off of Frankfort most of Sunday. The cutter likes to cruise in the upper 1/3 of the fleet for the start. Then it waits for the slow boats around Frankfort.

Ablewis posted 01-28-2010 11:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ablewis  Send Email to Ablewis     

We enjoyed meeting the Michigan crew last year and would be interested in coming up to Door County. I put it on the calendar!


skred posted 01-31-2010 01:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
I'll probably be up in Sturgeon Bay / Sister Bay around that time. Unfortunately, July 24 is my daughter's wedding, so that weekend is out. (Sigh....)

K Albus posted 01-31-2010 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Don't mark your calendars yet. July 24 and 25 was just an initial suggestion. July 17 and 18 are a possibility, as are July 31 and August 1.

Another possibility is that this may be a one day event, leaving from Frankfort early on Saturday morning, and returning later that evening.

At this stage, I trying to figure out who's interested, and what to do in Door County for a day. Please keep the feedback coming.

cohasett73 posted 01-31-2010 07:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for cohasett73  Send Email to cohasett73     
Missed the last great crossing, pencil me in for the welcoming committee.
Tom from Rubicon,WI
Wiscbw posted 01-31-2010 09:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wiscbw  Send Email to Wiscbw     

It was great to meet the Michigan group last year.
Depending on the weekend I will join.

With a 50 mile crossing, maybe some of the Wisconsin group can consider traveling over the day before and cruising back with you.


stevesalick posted 02-01-2010 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for stevesalick  Send Email to stevesalick     
I hope Donna and I can meet up with you as well. Looking for a new job right now (too) so it's impossible to commit.

FYI - There is a sailboat race that weekend that always coincides with "The Mac" called "The Hook" It's out of the Racine Yacht Club, starts off Racine, up around Door County, and finishes in Sturgeon Bay. When I have done it, we usually finish Early Sunday morning.

Ablewis posted 02-07-2010 01:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ablewis  Send Email to Ablewis     
It all depends on the dates.

The Maritime Museum would be worth a look:

On August 7-8 the museum is sponsoring the 20'th annual "classic and wooden boat show". see:


K Albus posted 02-09-2010 12:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I need some input to help me plan this trip. I'm basically planning to cross Lake Michigan, make a circumnavigation of Door County, and then go back across Lake Michigan. The Lake Michigan crossing is approximately 50 miles in each direction, depending on the landing site. The circumnavigation portion of the trip is approximately 125 miles. The total boating miles for the trip will be approximately 225.

From the Michigan people: Is this a trip that you would want to complete in one day, i.e., leave Saturday morning, return Saturday night, or would you prefer to spend the night in Wisconsin?

From the Wisconsin people: 1) Assuming we will be spending the night somewhere in Wisconsin, what is the best option for an overnight marina stay? Sturgeon Bay? Bailey's Harbor? Somewhere else? 2) Can some of the people with local knowledge please recommend some restaurants for lunch and dinner? 3) Are there any "must see" attractions in Door County that we should set aside some time to see?

prj posted 02-10-2010 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
A couple thoughts from this uncommitted but interested party, Kevin:

No way would one want to do this trip in a day. Too much time boating on what I assume will be sizable water. Unless, of course, you get a glassy crossing as you did for the Milwaukee trip, eh? Right... that seems unlikely.

Forum member jay18 is the harbormaster at Alibi Docks in Fish Creek. He generously offered to accommodate the crew to the best of his ability were the Michiganders to make it up to Alibi. As I've stated before, I love this town and that marina, so I can highly recommend it.

I believe the marina is associated with a guest house as well, which may be available for a single night. Typically, we stay at the Fish Creek Motel which advertises a 3 night minimum. This may be negotiable, as everything tends to be recently.

The restaurant "Summertime" in Fish Creek has provided us with a number of exceptional meals, I'd recommend that as well.

K Albus posted 03-03-2010 02:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
After conferring with a number of possible participants, and reviewing the posts above, it looks like the weekend of Saturday, July 31, 2010 and Sunday, August 1, 2010 will be the best weekend for this trip. Let's lock those dates in at this time.

Regarding the waters of Green Bay, it looks like "big water" to me. If I had to guess, I'd guess that conditions on Green Bay would essentially be the same as conditions on Lake Michigan on any given day with light winds. Can somebody from Wisconsin confirm this?

bdb posted 03-04-2010 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for bdb  Send Email to bdb     
The waters of Green Bay are shallower than Lake Michigan which means it can chop up quicker than the lake and you have a shorter chop interval. This happens when winds begin to exceed 10-15 mph.

One thing to bear in mind is that begining in late July the winds begin to shift to the northwest on a fairly frequent basis. Northwest winds can also frequently be pretty stiff. Both bodies of water suffer some very ugly boatng when this happens.

prj posted 03-04-2010 10:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
Due west fetch across Green Bay ranges from about 12-16 miles, so it certainly classifies as BIG water. The biggest difference would be seen as you traverse through the calmer Lake Michigan lee shore waters, then emerge into Green Bay's windward shore after the Sturgeon Bay Shipping Canal.

I've generally had good luck with moderate and boatable Green Bay waters, with the exception of last middle August's holiday. Seas were scary huge from a sustained NW blow that kept me mostly in the harbor. I did sneak outside a couple times for a wild, albeit brief, ride.

I've got those dates in my calendar, Kevin.

K Albus posted 03-04-2010 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
How 'bout the Sturgeon Bay Shipping channel, is it wake restricted, or can you blast through there at any speed?
fourdfish posted 03-05-2010 09:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for fourdfish  Send Email to fourdfish     
K Albus-- Some parts of the canal are restricted and some are not!
bdb posted 03-06-2010 02:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for bdb  Send Email to bdb     
The middle area of the canal, basically through town, crossed by three bridges, is slow-no wake. The east and west ends of the canal are not restricted.

Your boats should not require bridge openings.

A look at the charts would show the unrestricted areas roughly from the east entrance to the Bay View bridge and from the Bay Ship/Palmer Johnson yard areas out to the bay of Green Bay.

Ablewis posted 03-07-2010 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ablewis  Send Email to Ablewis     

I have it on the calendar!


Hoosier posted 03-13-2010 12:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Who's signed up to do the crossing from the Michigan side? We're a maybe.
K Albus posted 03-13-2010 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     

So far I'm the only one going for sure. Mssrs. Buckalew, Rohlfing, Bosheff, and Henahan have expressed interest, but none have committed.

Be adventurous. Commit now. You can always back out later.

Hoosier posted 03-13-2010 03:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Yeah, I remember last year, we weren't sure till we were 3 miles west of the Grand Haven breakwater...;-)
Buckda posted 03-15-2010 09:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I'll be able to commit when I've had some time with the new boat and am confident in/comfortable with the performance of the outboard and have a feel for the fuel economy of the new boat.

...but I'm still very interested.


David Pendleton posted 03-15-2010 10:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
We're a bit interested in this as well, but probably without my boat.

I'm waiting for the final intinerary/destination...

K Albus posted 03-15-2010 11:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
As of right now, the plan is to cross from Frankfort to Sturgeon Bay on the morning of Saturday, July 31. We'll rendezvous in Sturgeon Bay, and then, depending on the weather, head up the east coast or the west coast of Door County. If the wind and wave conditions are essentially perfect, Plan A is to try to make it to Washington Island/Rock Island. If the wind and wave conditions are less than perfect, then Plan B1 would be to try to make it Chambers Island or Fish Creek for lunch. Plan B2 would be to try to make it to Baileys Harbor or North Bay for lunch. For all three plans, we would return to Sturgeon Bay for dinner, with those spending the night staying at the Stone Harbor municipal marina or at Skipper Bud's Harbor Club Marina.

For lunch, I would prefer to have some kind of picnic lunch or a simple cookout (hot dogs and hamburgers) on a beach at one of the selected locations. If that's not possible or practical, we'll have to select a restaurant after we decide on our course for the day. For dinner, we can choose a nice restaurant in Sturgeon Bay.

Of course I'm open to alternative suggestions, especially from the Wisconsin people with local knowledge.

David Pendleton posted 03-15-2010 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I think you can do better than Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek.

Are you averse to crossing directly to (and through) Death's Door?

K Albus posted 03-15-2010 04:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     

I'm not averse to landing somewhere north of Sturgeon Bay. Nor am I averse to crossing through Death's Door. In fact, the Death's Door area is one of the parts of Door County that I would most like to see.

The main criteria I used in selecting Sturgeon Bay for the initial rendezvous point were the following:

1. For the Wisconsin people, I would like to start and end the Saturday events at the same location. This would give anybody from Wisconsin who's planning to attend the option of making this a day trip. Most of the people I met in Milwaukee last year had smaller boats without sleeping quarters. In order to maximize their participation (they were a great bunch of people), I think the day's events should start and end in the same location.

2. For the Michigan people, I believe that it is important that we minimize the boating distance, or more precisely the boating time, that must be completed on Sunday morning. Frankfort is a little over four hours from the Detroit area, and I believe a little over three hours from the Grand Rapids/Grand Haven area. The Michigan people will have a minimum of two hours of boating to get back across Lake Michigan, an hour to load up and get on the road, and a minimum of three hours drive time after that. In addition, we lose a time-zone hour on the return trip. If we leave Wisconsin at 9:00 a.m. (Wisconsin time), I estimate that I won't be home until about 5:00 p.m. (Michigan time). Minimizing the return trip time pretty much rules out Sister Bay, Ephriam, Fish Creek, or Egg Harbor as overnight spots.

3. Sturgeon Bay is relatively far south in Door County. This would result in less drive time for people coming from further south in Wisconsin, which I believe is almost all of the potential Wisconsin participants.

4. Sturgeon Bay has a wealth of marina facilities and restaurants. I realize this doesn't necessarily mean the best marinas and restaurants are in Sturgeon Bay. Sturgeon Bay also appears to have more hotel/motel options anybody who may wish to spend the night but not sleep on their boat.

5. Meeting in Sturgeon Bay would give us the option of traveling up either the west coast or the east coast of Door County to get away from wind or waves, if necessary.

I agree with the general theme of your posts in that I would like to see the more scenic portions of Door County, and particularly the areas around Washington Island and Rock Island. From my review of the available maps and charts, however, there appears to be only two real alternatives for an overnight spot: Sturgeon Bay or Baileys Harbor. I chose Sturgeon Bay because so many of the factors listed above weigh in its favor. If we had another day, we'd have a lot more possibilities.

I remain open to an alternative plan, and I welcome any suggestions you may have. Also, if I missed anything in the factors I've considered, please let me know.

Hoosier posted 03-15-2010 05:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Dave, why not take Tampico to Sturgeon Bay and cross Lake Michigan eastbound on Friday, overnight in Frankfort, and then cross westbound with the Michiganders on Saturday. It's cheaper and faster than driving around the lake in either direction. maybe some of the Wisconsin group who have have bigger boats would join you. That would make it a three day event.
David Pendleton posted 03-15-2010 08:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Dave, I was considering meeting up with folks in Door County, not driving to Frankfort.

I've trailered to Door County a half-dozen times over the last ten years, and it has never taken less than 8 hours.
For me that's too long on the road for one day on the water.

I have to agree with prj above, this is a pretty ambitious agenda for only one day.

Hoosier posted 03-16-2010 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Looks like there's no shortage of marinas. region=WI&city=Sturgeon+Bay

Some of them have quite a hike to the bathroom....

David1877 posted 03-18-2010 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
The Western side of Door Cty is more protected and there are a larger number of small towns/marinas/reataurants.

The fishing for trout/salmon and bass/northern/walleye is pretty good in the area.

I think a plan to cross from Michigan on Saturday and boat around the Peninsula Saturday will be a long day. It's a long peninsula.

Consider a trip on the western side as it is protected and there are more marinas and services.

From a scenery standpoint, its mostly rocks, cliffs and trees. I have not travled much of the eastern side by boat.

If there is docking space, Rock Island is a state park with primitive campsites and nice walking trails. It would be a good spot to break for a grilled lunch and a stretch of the legs. Bathrooms and water are available. No fuel, etc, but Wash. Island is not far.

Deaths door can be very rough. Plans should be made to spend an extra day should the pass be challenging.

A few summers ago, we boated from the Sister Bay area to Rock Island and back in a day. I remember it being a pretty easy run but it was choppy around Washington Island.

I live in WI and have been to Door County five or six times in the past several years. I can recommend a few restaurants. The Mission Grill has good food. The menus might be online.

K Albus posted 04-26-2010 04:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
This rendezvous is still alive and well.

I made a marina reservation today for myself. The reservation is at the Stone Harbor Marina, which is operated by Bay Marine. The Stone Harbor Marina is located on the north/east side of the canal, at the Michigan Street bridge. The rate is 1.38 per foot, with a 30-foot minimum.

Stone Harbor Marina is the smaller, "U" shaped marina pictured here: hnear=Michigan&ll=44.8325,-87.379181&spn=0.006452,0.013797&t=h&z=16 . Here's a link to the Bay Marine web page for Stone Harbor Marina: .

The marina directly across from Stone Harbor in the map linked above is Skipper Bud's Harbor Club Marina. Harbor Club charges $1.70 per foot, with a 30-foot minimum. Link for Harbor Club: Detail/Harbor-Club-Marina-WI.aspx .

prj posted 04-26-2010 04:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj doesn't have that correctly located, perhaps its out of date. The website shows a location somewhat north along the same shoreline and adjacent to a drydock facility.

Without knowing much about the area, I like that selection from the Google Maps view. It looks to be right at downtown and a short walk away from a number of dining establishments and cocktail options.

You may be staying aboard protected by canvas, Kevin, but if you're not, drag your feet on making a reservation. I'm going to speak with some friends in the area and see if I can come up with a suitable hotel/motel/BandB.

K Albus posted 04-26-2010 05:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
If others are staying on their boats at the marina, then I will most likely stay on my boat. If most of the people are staying together elsewhere, I'll consider staying with the group.

One hotel option is the Stone Harbor Resort which is adjacent to the marina. The rooms are a bit pricey, though, with the cheapest currently available room starting at $167.

Buckda posted 04-26-2010 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I'm not a cheapskate, but with gasoline predicted to jump above $3/gallon on land today, I'm guessing that I'll be looking to save as much as possible. If I make this trip, I'm staying aboard my boat, and may possibly look for a harbor of refuge / designated anchorage.



K Albus posted 04-29-2010 10:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I guess one thing I failed to consider was launch ramps for the Wisconsin people. Does anybody have any information regarding launch ramps and parking in or near Sturgeon Bay?
K Albus posted 04-29-2010 10:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Answered my own question. There's a nice launch facility in downtown Sturgeon Bay, on the south side of the canal, just south of the Oregon Street bridge. It's called Sawyer Park Boat Launch. Here's link to information about the launch where you can also find a map: boat+launches/default.asp
K Albus posted 06-02-2010 09:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I just wanted to let everybody know that this trip is still on.

One potential minor change to the proposed itinerary - I'm open to the possibility of taking Friday, July 30 off of work, and adding an extra day to this trip, either to explore the Frankfort, Michigan area, or to head over to Sturgeon Bay a day early. Before making that change, however, we need to see who's planning to attend from the Michigan side.

If you are planning to attend/participate, from either the Michigan or Wisconsin side, please post a reply and let me know your intentions.

If you are still on the fence, please let me know as well.

Buckda posted 06-02-2010 03:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
On the fence, but my feet are on the "go" side, and I'm looking in...
Hoosier posted 06-05-2010 07:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Maybe, I won't know till a couple of days before the adventure.
prj posted 06-05-2010 10:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
I am firmly in on this trip and look forward to seeing the cats from Michigan once again. Still figuring out whether to integrate this as a solo side trip in a Door Co. Holiday week with the family or simply dash up myself.
K Albus posted 06-11-2010 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Is anybody from Wisconsin planning to meet in Sturgeon Bay, other than Patrick?
David Pendleton posted 06-11-2010 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I might drive out for this one, if I can ride along with someone.
David Pendleton posted 06-11-2010 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
And I'm not from Wisconsin; can I still come?
prj posted 06-11-2010 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
Hey, if its just me, I'll be plenty, and representing!
K Albus posted 06-11-2010 11:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
David, you're welcome to come. You can ride on my boat for the day, even though you're apparently a Chicago Blackhawks fan. Go Red Wings!

I have no doubt that Patrick will do a fine job representing the state of Wisconsin, even if it turns out that he's the only Wisconsinite at the event.

skred posted 06-11-2010 01:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
There's a reasonable chance I'll be coming up to Sturgeon Bay Thursday or Friday that week. Still in the planning stage. I hope you and Patrick won't be too shocked to discover that the only boat I have available to bring is my Scout SF145. I promise I'll lay off at least 300 feet from the Whalers.....
K Albus posted 06-11-2010 03:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Dennis, you're welcome to join us in your Scout. It's all about the people, not the boats.
K Albus posted 06-11-2010 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
It's all about the people, not the boats.

The one obvious exception, however, is Dave Buckalew's new-old Outrage 25 Cuddy. We all want to see that one.

prj posted 06-11-2010 05:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
Who is this Dave fella? I'm looking forward to seeing a 25 in the flesh. And we'll forgive you your sins, Dennis.


Ablewis posted 06-11-2010 09:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ablewis  Send Email to Ablewis     

My wife Pam and I are planning on coming up to meet the group in Sturgeon Bay.


skred posted 06-12-2010 10:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
Thanks for the forgiveness, guys.... It's a long search for just the right Montauk.... I'll show up eventually.....
Ablewis posted 06-12-2010 12:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ablewis  Send Email to Ablewis     

We will likely be going up and staying both Friday and Saturday night. I may try to find some fishing time early on Saturday if you would be interested (By the way....some great fishing up at Vermilion Bay Lodge on Eagle Lake Ontario!)? Kevin, what exactly is the revised itinerary for the Michigan clan?


K Albus posted 06-12-2010 12:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Until somebody else commits, or until everybody else bails out, we'll stick with the original plan. Leaving Frankfort early Saturday morning, heading to Sturgeon Bay. After arriving at Sturgeon Bay we'll decide which side of the peninsula to head up for the day. We'll spend Saturday night in Sturgeon Bay, and then return to Frankfort on Sunday.

If Mr. Buckalew bails, and the Harts commit, and they want to leave Frankfort on Friday, I'm up for that. If Mr. Buckalew commits, my guess is that we'll stick with the original plan because Dave is short on remaining vacation days (I'm not speaking for Dave here - this is just some half-informed speculation on my part).

I'd really like to hear from Pete Bosheff. He's always complaining that the Great Lakes people never do anything, but every time we do something, he's nowhere to be found. I also think there's a chance Jeff Rohlfing and/or his father may join us. Jeff expressed interest early on, but I haven't seen him posting to this thread recently.

Ablewis posted 06-12-2010 06:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ablewis  Send Email to Ablewis     
I just made my reservations at Stone Harbor.
prj posted 06-15-2010 11:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
Andy, are you overnighting at Stone Harbor Resort or just berthing your boat there?

I'm planning on staying overnight on Saturday, not certain about Friday night but we'll coordinate as it gets closer. I've dangled the reef walleye fishing option to some buddies, we'll see if they bite.

My tentative plan at this point is to verify early Saturday morning that the Michiganders are making the crossing and depart Milwaukee at about the same time. I expect we could arrive at Sturgeon Bay simultaneously and start the day's activities.

prj posted 06-15-2010 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
The Holiday Music Motel has been recommended for overnight accommodations by my local contacts. Conveniently, it is located immediately across the street from the Stone Harbor Marina / Resort.

It looks to fit my criteria of inexpensive, close, non-chain and quirky, so I plan to stay overnight there.

skred posted 06-16-2010 06:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
I used to stay there when it was the Holiday Motel. Retro '50's (actually original) interior. $39.00 for a double.

That was 3 years ago. They sold, remodeled, and now I'm not sure of the rates, but the rates are way better than Stone Harbor....
Cool place to stay. I may stay there that weekend myself...

prj posted 06-23-2010 12:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
Seventy-five bucks for a single, no cancellation fee if done 48 hours in advance. I've made my reservation for Saturday July 31st and am still searching for interest from my buddies to extend the trip a day.
Ablewis posted 06-27-2010 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ablewis  Send Email to Ablewis     

I will be trailering the boat and staying at Stone Harbor. I am tentatively planning on fishing some walleye or trout early on Saturday morning.


K Albus posted 07-13-2010 09:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
This trip is still a "go" from my perspective. So far nobody from the Michigan side has confirmed that they will be joining me. We have a few confirmations from the Wisconsin side.

With regard to the weather, I'll make the final go/no-go call in the days leading up to July 31, as soon as I get a clear indication of the predicted weather, wind, and waves.

The current Lake Michigan surface temperatures are in the high 60s and low 70s, so this crossing should be much more comfortable than last year's crossing when the surface temperatures were in the high 30s and low 40s. See:

home Aside posted 07-13-2010 03:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
As of this time, I have the days off from work and I am planning on attending.

I hate to say it but because of work, graduations, etc, etc, I still have not had the Revenge in the water, that should change this week, I had it all tuned up, etc, etc, last fall before putting it into heated storage, so I shouldn't have to worry about anything.

I Look forward to seeing and meeting everyone attending, this will be my test run for Isle Royal.


K Albus posted 07-13-2010 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Pat, that's great to hear. I really wasn't expecting you to attend.

Where are you headed this weekend? My wife is out of town, and I have the whole weekend open for boating.

PeteB88 posted 07-13-2010 10:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
I am on the maybe list right now - not sure of range of my Outrage 17, she seems to be running great, thinking about it - Ellen strongly encouraging me to go for it.


K Albus posted 07-21-2010 11:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Since nobody expressed any interest in leaving Frankfort on Friday, it looks like we will be departing from Frankfort on Saturday morning as originally planned.

I plan to arrive in Frankfort on Friday evening, probably sometime after 9:00 p.m. According to Jeff Rohlfing, there is usually a long line of fishermen at the municipal launch on Saturday morning, so I plan on launching my boat on Friday evening and renting a slip at the Frankfort Municipal Marina. I spoke to a gentleman at the Municipal Marina about slip availability, and he told me that they don't take reservations. He also said that it should be no problem getting a slip that night. I plan to call early in the day on Friday to pay for a slip using a credit card. I have not yet decided whether I will sleep on my boat Friday night or stay somewhere else.

Jeff has assured me that the Frankfort Municipal Boat Launch allows overnight parking of vehicles. I have tried numerous times to contact boat launch personnel by telephone to confirm this, but have been unable to reach anybody. I will keep trying, and I will post my findings here if and when I make contact. The Marina personnel could not answer my questions about parking at the boat launch.

Frankfort Municipal Marina:

prj posted 07-22-2010 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
I'm excited about this trip, running the boat for a day with you cats from Michigan. Lets hope for yet another exceptional weather window, like we've experienced for most of this summer in the Great Lakes region.

At this point, I'm planning on heading up to the bottom of the Door Co. peninsula to overnight Friday with some city friends-turned-farmers. I'll try to drink too much that evening so as to temper my "enthusiasm" a bit on Saturday. : )

I think this would be a great opportunity for Dave to further refine his MPG figures on the 25. What's your word, Dave?

Buckda posted 07-22-2010 11:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Waiting for a weather forecast first. Considering it as a good scientific experiment.

Need to find a bulk oil retailer in this part of the state as I probably won't get over to Detroit this weekend.

K Albus posted 07-23-2010 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I just spoke with somebody at Frankfort City Hall. Overnight parking of vehicles and trailers is permitted at the Frankfort Municipal Boat Ramp at a cost of $7 per day. There are payment envelopes and a drop box available in case you arrive after hours.
PeteB88 posted 07-24-2010 07:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Dave - most boat shops who do OMC sell oil in bulk, several here around Muskegon do and I think Camp and Cruise does too. I'm not sure which way to roll into the area when you come but Camp and Cruise is just off 96 at Marne. I am also quite sure Van's just S of 96 on Alpine does but call either place first.

ConB posted 07-24-2010 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for ConB  Send Email to ConB     
Long Lake Marina in Interlocken is my bulk oil and OMC/E-TEC service center of choice. q=long+lake+marina&fb=1&gl=us&hq=long+lake+marina&hnear=Traverse+City,+ MI&cid=0,0,10447219933081853157&ei=ZORKTKydK4KmnQfjydSvDQ&sa=X& oi=local_result&ct=image&resnum=5&ved=0CCQQnwIwBA


Hoosier posted 07-25-2010 08:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
We're in. Arriving Frankfort PM Friday, party of three, and we'll be camping on the boat.
Kevin, please arrange for the weather to be as good as last year.
K Albus posted 07-25-2010 11:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I plan to leave White Lake at about 1 or 2 p.m. on Friday. I should be in Frankfort by 7 p.m. at the latest.
Jeff posted 07-26-2010 10:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
There is also a shop just before you get into Benzonia on 115 that sells bulk XD50 on your way into Frankfort. I will try and find the name of the shop.

Any way, it looks like I will likely be heading up for the weekend with my Father and 2.5 year old son. We will not be making the crossing with the little guy but, would still like to meet up with everyone. I hope to be up there Thursday evening so, when people get in town on Friday we can help with launching and vehicles if needed. Also, we are only a few blocks from the marina so, since we will likely have a campfire Friday you all are welcome to come on over for that. Bring a chair if you got one and a drink if you want. I think I only have my PBR's stocking the fridge right now : ].

K Albus posted 07-27-2010 12:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Bad news . . . my tow vehicle got rear-ended today on the freeway. The damage is relatively minor, but enough to make the vehicle undrivable. The rear bumper and fascia were damaged, and the muffler was jammed into the rear tire. It looks like it only needs a few parts replaced, but with the insurance company involved, I can't see any way that I'll have it back for the weekend.

I have made arrangements to borrow another tow vehicle for the weekend, but the source is not reliable. I'll know more in the next couple of days. I will you keep you all posted.

home Aside posted 07-27-2010 01:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Sorry to hear that Kevin, check some of the rentals like enterprise, rent an SUV, just don't mention you're towing anything.
K Albus posted 07-27-2010 08:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
The weather and wave forecasts are both looking good, so far.

Lake Michigan Offshore Wave Forecast: great_lakes/lm/lmz565.txt

Frankforth Weather Forecast: site=APX&textField1=44.6369&textField2=-86.234&e=0

Sturgeon Bay Weather Forecast: site=GRB&textField1=44.835&textField2=-87.375&e=0

PeteB88 posted 07-27-2010 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
I'm trying to free up some time and might come up w/ Outrage and cruise part way out w/ the group - would love to go.

Buckda posted 07-27-2010 11:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
It will be interesting to see what the East wind does - will it build, or veer into a SW or W wind for the return trip on Sunday?

I'm still thinking. I need to sit down and crunch some numbers - I don't want to rob my budget for Isle Royale...


prj posted 07-28-2010 05:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
The wind is swinging around to southerly in the NOAA forecast (linked above) as we move closer to the weekend. Conditions look favorable with comfortable temperatures in the middle 70s for Saturday. May just be cool enough on the water to don my favorite wool in the morning or evening.

Tough luck on the accident, Kevin. I hope you get your vehicle repaired, a reliable loaner or a plan for rental.

I'm out splashing some fresh teak oil on my boat and daydreaming about running along the Door Peninsula in a couple days. Looking forward to seeing and meeting you fellows this weekend, assuming conditions allow the crossing.

I'll remain flexible on the boating day, but intend to stay overnight in Sturgeon Bay at the Holiday Music Motel near Stone Harbor regardless of the Michigander's plans. Maybe I'll see if Andy / Ablewis will loan me some of his hot fishing spots...

tyno22 posted 07-28-2010 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for tyno22  Send Email to tyno22     
Here is website I frequent quite a bit to get a picture of the lake conditions. Has a link at the top of the page to view a live web cam of the lake in Algoma, WI; which is south of Sturgeon Bay. Also has links for water temp and conditions.


Buckda posted 07-28-2010 06:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I'm 75% and looking better...
K Albus posted 07-28-2010 06:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
As of right now, I'm in. I have the loaner vehicle lined up, and the weather looks good enough to me. I'm just praying that the replacement tow vehicle works out as planned. If it doesn't, I'll still try to make it by hitching a ride with somebody else.
skred posted 07-29-2010 12:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
Patrick, I'm heading up Thursday. Hopefully, I'll look you up at the Holiday (Thur. nite?) barring any last-minute disasters.
I used to know most of the folks at the cocktail lounge at Stone Harbor, so I'll check there too.
My son has a friend who lives in Jacksonport, and I may bed down there...
In any case, I'll hunt you guys down somehow... My cell is 262-573-1376.

home Aside posted 07-29-2010 02:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Buckda & Pete,
I got both of your voicemails, unfortunately I got them late in the evening (had ringer off on my phone) I'll give you both a call in the AM asap.

I'm about 80% at this time, I will leave as early as possible on Friday, put the boat in the water Friday, sleep aboard Friday night.


Buckda posted 07-29-2010 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
40% chance of rain/thunderstorms on Friday night through Saturday.

This high pressure system we have right now needs to just

K Albus posted 07-29-2010 11:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
The wind and weather forecasts changed several times yesterday. I'm hoping it will change again today, this time for the better.

At least five or six times this summer I've canceled Saturday boating plans on Lake St. Clair due to forecasts of a 40% chance of showers or thunderstorms. Every time I have done so, it has failed to rain at all. I'm not sure if a 40% chance of rain will stop me from making this trip.

Buckda posted 07-29-2010 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Yep. Hopefully the 3 PM update is for the better.

Buckda posted 07-29-2010 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Wx changed again. Chance of showers and T-Storms Friday night only.

South winds, waves 1-3 ft mid lake.

prj posted 07-29-2010 06:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
The wind is still spinning to S-SW with precip. chance reduced to 20% in Sturgeon Bay on Saturday. site=GRB&textField1=44.835&textField2=-87.375&e=0

My plans are to travel north tomorrow (Friday) pre-dinner to my city friends-turned-farmers outside of Algoma. Thanks for that cam-link, Tyno.

I'll pull into Sturgeon Bay Saturday morning in time to launch and meet potential Crossers outside of the Sturgeon Bay Shipping Canal on the East. I'm overnighting in SB on Saturday only.

I've emailed my cell phone number to all those with at least a 75% chance of attending.


PS: Don't we think that Larry and his 19' Outrage are up in Door County right now? Should we crash his place and surprise him? We'll let Optimax Kevin knock on the door, put black painted mimicry Hart in the rear...

Jeff posted 07-29-2010 11:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
Hope you are all still heading up to Frankfort tomorrow for the trip. My father, son and I should be heading up there around 9am tomorrow so, as you get into town give a call on my cell and I would be happy to help you guys out at the boat ramp and marina.

Also, I know all of you have said you were staying on your boats but, I wanted to invite you all over for an evening camp fire, a couple drinks and a good GAM at our house.

I have emailed all of you my number and directions to the house.


Buckda posted 07-30-2010 12:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Things are coming together. Kevin is about ready to get on the road. He has reservations at Gold Coast Marina in Frankfort, as the Municipal Marina apparently doesn't have room for his 18' Dauntless.

I'm in the process of getting a slip assignment at Gold Coast for tonight as well.

Dave and Kathy should be on the highway soon and back in cell phone range from their getaway in the UP.

Wx looks okay still...just cloudy and overcast tomorrow with chance of rain.


Ablewis posted 07-30-2010 01:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ablewis  Send Email to Ablewis     
I will be leaving shortly. I will have my wife and 2 friends with me and we are staying at Stone Harbor. My cell is 608-827-8476


L H G posted 07-30-2010 04:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Patrick - thanks for thinking of me, but we will not be up in Bailey's Harbor this weekend, although I was thinking of making a surprise showing since I am a member of the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club. Since we up there last weekend, just couldn't swing it this week. Also, this season so far, the ribside 21` Outrage is up there, rather than the 19. So that's the boat to keep an eye out for the rest of the season. Will be up next weekend.

Sounds like good weather and a great time.

Hoosier posted 07-30-2010 04:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Sitting a Mickey D's just north of Traverse City and should be in Frankfort by 5:30. Gold Coast doesn't have a ramp so we have to use the municipal one.
MarthaB posted 07-30-2010 05:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for MarthaB  Send Email to MarthaB     
2 BW sighted on m115 at 5:45 pm 2nd bw, confirmed as Homeaside

Ablewis posted 07-31-2010 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ablewis  Send Email to Ablewis     
What an awful night. I burned out a bearing just outside of Algoma last night. The Montauk spent a lonely night on the side of the road but I got it fixed this morning in the rain. The crew from Michigan should be arriving soon. Patrick made it and is going to serve as the welcoming crew. If anyone else is up in the Door County area we are likely going to have lunch and cocktails at stone harbor around noon.

A little late now, but we should have extended an invitation to Sue in Two rivers. I also just relized there is a whaler dealer in Door County while looking for where I might get trailer parts.

I will have to post later on some additions to a trailer hub repair kit. I had a heck of a time with the reminants of the old bearing that I couldn't get off the spindle.


Jeff posted 07-31-2010 10:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
I met up with Pat and Kevin yesterday at the ramp and helped them unload and tie up at the Marina. We chatted with the Heart's, put up canvas and head back for a campfire at our place where Buckalew and Pete B showed up later.

This morning we awoke and caught the crew up on te waterfront. After a short chat we decided to luanch the Guardian and ride along for a while. So, my son, father and I followed the group out about 8 miles in to the lake where we turned around to make harbor before the next rain band came over us.

I got shot good shots and will post them when I get back home.

Buckda posted 08-01-2010 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Yestrday afternoon and evening were awesome. Long run in the boat up to Fish Creek for a wonderful perch dinner and flat calm and sunny.

Yesterday morning was not as nice but it was an easy, if wet, crossing.

Today looks spectacular. Great photos. Will share when I get back.

Buckda posted 08-01-2010 10:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
The Michigan contingent made it back around 2 this afternoon with no problems. A long couple days but a great time.
PeteB88 posted 08-02-2010 01:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
The trip was awesome, lots of photos, good time and must do. It was Pure Michigan!! and Wisconsin too.

Thanks guys!

Really, this is something everyone should do at least once. The reality of that much fresh water in one part of the globe is staggering. No wonder other states want it.

Jeff posted 08-02-2010 03:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
Here is a link to some images I some. Unfortunately I did not have my nice DSLR and the point and shoot I was using was having a hard time focusing.

home Aside posted 08-02-2010 05:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Awesome time, a must do trip, I still have to download my photos, thanks to Patrick & Andy on the Wisconsin side and all otyhers who attended and/or made this happen....


Hoosier posted 08-02-2010 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
We finally got back to Fort Wayne and an internet connection. Mark slept most of the way. It's gratifying for us old folks that a 14 year old Boy Scout couldn't keep up with us. The run to Fish Creek was like a lab test, no wind, flat ass calm, and I got to 34 mph and still had 200 rpm to go till red line.
Ablewis posted 08-02-2010 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ablewis  Send Email to Ablewis     
Kevin & Company,

Thanks for making the trip over to Wisconsin! Kevin, we really appreciate your efforts to put this trip together. It was great to see some familiar faces and meet some other whaler folks. Glad to hear the trip went well! My trailer bearing repair held just fine!


prj posted 08-02-2010 10:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
I had a great time as well, particularly pleasant meeting a few new characters in the flesh that I've "known" from this website for years. Of course, great seeing those I met during last year's Crossing as well.

I hope your return crossing was as smooth as our run to Fish Creek, though a building SE wind may have made it a tougher slog uphill than that glassy 5 boat sprint. Watching the different running angles for each of the relatively diverse vessels that we had was an interesting study in trim, center of gravity and speed of travel.

I look forward to seeing some more photos and lament that I can't add to the collection; my lovely wife still thinks photos of the boys trump the boats, so our camera went with them.

K Albus posted 08-02-2010 11:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
My Trip Report – Part I

After the success of last year’s Lake Michigan crossing from Grand Haven, Michigan to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I was really looking forward to this trip. I had met a lot of really nice people in Wisconsin, and I was looking forward to seeing them again. I was also looking forward to seeing some of the reportedly beautiful waters and scenery of Wisconsin’s Door County.

In the week leading up to this year’s trip there was a bit of uncertainty as to who would be participating from the Michigan side. Pat Henahan (Home Aside) had expressed interest but was having some trouble with his boat. Dave Buckalew (Buckda) was also interested, but he needed somebody to join him and share expenses before he could commit to the trip. As of Wednesday morning, only me and David Hart (Hoosier) and his family were confirmed.

To complicate matters further, the weather forecast and the wind and wave forecast for the weekend were changing almost hourly in days leading up to the trip. At different times the forecasts showed chances of rain varying anywhere from 20% to 40% for Friday evening and Saturday morning, and winds coming from just about every direction on the bottom half of the compass for the weekend. Fortunately, the forecast called for waves no larger than two feet at any point during the weekend. In my blissful ignorance, I believed that if the waves weren’t too bad we would make the trip and a good time would be had by all – little rain couldn’t possible hurt anything.

By Friday morning the plans had solidified, and Pat and Dave were in. As a bonus, Pete Bosheff (PeteB88) would be riding along with Dave. Before leaving my office, I called the Frankfort Municipal Marina to secure my dock space for the night. The Municipal Marina is the closest marina to the Frankfort boat launch, within easy walking distance, and I had called a couple of weeks earlier to reserve a slip. I was told that no reservations were accepted, but that it would be no problem getting a slip for the night. Imagine my surprise when I was told on Friday morning that there were no slips available for an 18-foot boat! I offered to pay for a larger slip, but was told that is not allowed. After a quick phone call I was able to reserve a slip at the Gold Coast Marina, another half mile down the street. I then left messages for the rest of the group so that they would know where to find me.

I left my office at noon, picked up my substitute tow-vehicle, and was packed and ready to leave home by 2:00 p.m. A few minutes after pulling out of my drive, I received a call from Pat. He was on the road, and he was taking the same route as me. He was only a little way ahead of me, so we agreed to meet up on the road and make the rest of the drive together.

Our drive to Frankfort was uneventful, but scenic. We arrived in town at 7:00 p.m. and stopped to fuel up our boats. For whatever reason, I believed before I started fueling that the 60-gallon gas tank on my boat was only about 10 gallons short of full. As I filled it, however, the pump kept going and going until it automatically shut off at $75, which was 25 gallons of gas. “Oh, well,” I thought, "now it surely must be almost full."

After fueling up, we stopped at a nearby grocery store so that Pat could buy some provisions for the weekend. We could see the Frankfort boat launch from the grocery store, so when Pat was done shopping we got our boats ready to launch in the grocery store parking lot. Before launching, Pat wanted to drive down and take a look at the marina. Pat and the others had all decided to stay at the Gold Coast Marina where I had my reservation.

When we arrived at the marina we saw that the Harts were already there. After checking the place out and having a brief conversation, we headed back to the launch ramp. When we got to the ramp, we were met by Jeff Rohlfing (Jeff), whose family has a place in Frankfort. Jeff was very helpful in planning the Frankfort portion of this trip, and he was very helpful in getting us in the water. After launching, Jeff even rode his bike over to the marina and helped get us settled in there.

The Gold Coast Marina is part of a condominium development which essentially includes two marinas – a nice, fancy marina up near the condos, and a secondary marina which is not quite as nice. Our group was put in the secondary marina. The service was good, but the facilities were just okay. The docks were fixed docks, which ironically needed some fixing. The piers were about six feet above water level, but the slips had various contraptions rigged to them for getting down into smaller boats. The dock master was very friendly, and the bathroom was clean. I’m not sure if I would recommend the place to anybody, but I would stay there again.

After getting our boats settled in at the marina, Pat and I followed Jeff back to his family’s place in downtown Frankfort. Jeff’s his father, Bill, and his uncle, Richard, had a nice bonfire going, and they let us use their grill cook our dinner – Johnsonville Italian sausages. Before our dinner was done cooking, Dave B. showed up with his gigantic Outrage 25 Cuddy on its brand new trailer. A short while later, Pete also showed up and joined us. We ate dinner by the bonfire, where we also speculated about the weekend’s weather. Scattered clouds drifted overhead, and we were able to see at least one passing satellite. We concluded that it would turn out to be a nice weekend. Again, blissful ignorance.

Sometime well after midnight, we returned to the launch ramp to help Dave get his boat into the water. We then headed back to the marina, had a nightcap, and hit the sheets at about 2:30 a.m. About a half an hour later I was awakened by the sound of rain drops on my canvas enclosure. Oh, no! I had been dreading this moment. The guy who built my canvas enclosure had warned me that the first couple of times it rained the enclosure would leak along all of the stitching. I had planned to leave the boat in driveway with the canvas up for a couple of rainstorms before the trip, but I got lazy and had never gotten around to it. I was hoping that any rain we got on this trip would come during the day when all of my sleeping gear (sheets, pillows, blankets) would be stored in dry bags. About ten minutes into the rain shower, there were no signs of any leaks and I was beginning to relax and fall asleep again. And then it started raining inside the enclosure. It didn’t matter where I moved, there was water dripping down on my head, on my feet, on my back, on my arms - everywhere. The only thing that kept me somewhat dry was a small waterproof blanket that I had packed at the last minute.

The rain continued for hours. I was able to sleep for short periods, but it was not good sleep. At about 4:30 in the morning, the local salmon fishermen began to show up and prepare their boats for the day, including at least one on the same pier as us. There were people walking back and forth along the docks, loud boats starting and idling, and various other marina noises. By 5:30 it started to get light out, and my last hope for any meaningful sleep slipped away. Although early morning fishermen and the sunrise are to be expected in most marinas, the indoor rain shower made for a short, miserable night.

With the morning upon us, and the rain continuing to fall, we decided to check the weather forecast to determine if and when we would be departing for Sturgeon Bay. David Hart has a Sirius satellite weather subscription which allows him to display up-to-the-minute weather radar images on his chartplotter. A quick check showed a band of rain about 20 to 30 miles wide extending in a straight line from Frankfort to Sturgeon Bay and into the waters of Green Bay. The heaviest rain appeared as though it would pass within an hour, so we decided to go into town for breakfast. We had a nice breakfast at the Betsie Bay Inn, and then returned to the marina.

With no end in sight for the rain, but relatively calm seas predicted, we finally left the marina at about 10:30 a.m. (Michigan time). We called ahead to let Patrick Jones (prj) know that we were on our way. Jeff and his father launched their Guardian 22 and joined us for the first few miles into Lake Michigan. We started the cruise at about 28 to 30 miles per hour. There was a light breeze and rolling swells of about one to two feet coming out of the southeast. This put the seas our rear port quarters. My Dauntless 180 really pounds hard in this type of following sea and I was not looking forward to the trip across the lake. My early morning misery was stretching out into a miserable day.

After a short while, David Hart called on the radio to let everybody know that his Outrage V-20 was pounding at any speed faster than 24 miles per hour. I had kept quiet about the pounding I was taking because I had a feeling that we would be hearing from David. When he finally asked everybody to slow down, it was music to my ears.

It continued to rain on us just about all the way across Lake Michigan. The sky was grey, the water was grey, I was operating on about two hours of sleep, and all of my sleeping gear was soaking wet. As we plodded along, rain continued to fall on me inside my canvas enclosure. I decided then and there to sell my boat as soon as I got back to land. I planned to use the money from the boat to get a hotel room and spend a couple of days catching up on my sleep. I would worry about getting home from Wisconsin after I got some sleep.

K Albus posted 08-02-2010 11:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
My Trip Report – Part II

After two and half hours of cruising, we were finally approaching the eastern shore of Wisconsin. As we neared the first buoy, we met up with Patrick who was on his beautiful Outrage 18. (To this point I hadn’t taken any pictures because I was miserable and I was worried about my camera getting wet – mostly because I was miserable.) Patrick quickly informed us that I was not the only one who had had a bad night. Andy Lewis (Ablewis) had experienced a trailer bearing failure the night before and spent a couple of hours trying to fix it in the rain on the side of the road. Andy ended up leaving his boat and trailer on the road overnight and went back Saturday morning to finish the repair. With luck he would be joining us later in the day. Dennis Wamser (Skred) had afternoon plans further up the Door County peninsula, and had to move on when he learned of our morning delays. For the time being it would be just Patrick joining us from Wisconsin.

Meeting Patrick: Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/MeetingPatrick.jpg

Entering Sturgeon Bay Canal: Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/EnteringSturgeonBayCanal.jpg

By the time we had entered the Sturgeon Bay canal, the rain had subsided, and my spirits were beginning to lift. We headed through the canal to downtown Sturgeon Bay and the Stone Harbor Marina. The marina is located right downtown, near one of the shipbuilding yards where there are number of Great Lakes freighters docked for various repairs. The marina is part of an upscale hotel/condo development. The docks were very nice floating docks. The bathroom facilities were okay. However, there was no on-site dock master or any other marina personnel. The marina is operated by Bay Marine which sits across the canal about a half mile away. This would prove a minor inconvenience for some members of our group who had not made advance reservations. We arrived at the marina at about 1:30 p.m. (Wisconsin time). After tying up the boats, we ate a leisurely lunch on the boardwalk, watching the boat traffic pass by.

Approaching Stone Harbor Marina: Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/ApproachingStoneHarborMarina.jpg

Stone Harbor Marina: Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/StoneHarborMarina.jpg Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/StoneHarborMarina2.jpg

At about 4:00 we decided to head out to the waters of Green Ba y and do some boating. The sky had cleared, the breeze had died down, and it looked very promising. Andy was staying at the Stone Harbor hotel, and he and his wife decided to join Patrick in his Outrage for the ride. Patrick and I untied our boats and moved out to the canal to wait for the others. The folks without marina reservations decided that this would be a good time to get their slip arrangements squared away, so they headed over to Bay Marine to take care of that. In the meantime, Patrick, Andy and his wife, and I enjoyed a slow drift down the canal, past the freighters in the shipyard. While drifting along, we were approached by a man and his son on Whaler Sport 130. As they approached, the man asked, “What is this, some kind of a Whaler rendezvous?” Almost certainly a Continuous Wave lurker.

Drifting on the Canal: Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/DriftingontheCanal.jpg

When the group finally caught up with us, we headed out to Green Bay. The water was calm, and the sun was out. We made a quick stop to decide our course of action. We then headed north for Egg Harbor, cruising at speeds from 25 to 40 miles per hour. It was a great ride, and I was actually beginning to smile again. After checking out Egg Harbor from a distance, we decided to continue northward because the water was so nice and there was still plenty of daylight. We proceeded to the next waterfront town which is Fish Creek, a favorite vacation spot of Patrick’s.

Invictus on Green Bay: Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/InvictusatGreenBay.jpg

Home Aside on Green Bay: Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/HomeAsideonGreenBay.jpg

Patrick’s Outrage on Green Bay: Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/PatricksOutrageonGreenBay.jpg

Pau Hana on Green Bay: Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/PauHanaonGreenBay.jpg

Door County Cruising: Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/DoorCountyCruising.jpg

As we docked in Fish Creek, Dave B. experienced a minor mechanical issue. While Dave and Pete performed a quick repair, Patrick, Andy and I walked into town and secured a table for the group at the Summertime restaurant on Patrick’s recommendation. We ordered various dinners, all of which received a fair amount of praise. I had the perch dinner, which was very good. Patrick’s local knowledge really paid off.

After a short walk through town, it was back to the boats. We headed back south along Green Bay, again through nearly calm waters, with the sun setting in the west. By this time I had completely forgotten about my plan to sell my boat. A high-speed twilight run on calm waters is food for the soul.

When we arrived back at Stone Harbor we found a wedding reception going on. The development has an outdoor bar near the marina, and a number of the wedding guests were out there whooping it up. The noise would eventually die down by 11:00 p.m., and really presented no problem for us. In the meantime, most our group hung around the dock for cocktails, beer, and cigars. We were joined for a short while by a nice couple from a nearby marina who had seen all of the Boston Whalers and wanted to see what was going on. They currently own a Whaler 13, and had owned other Whalers in the past. The gentleman also confessed that he occasionally visits the Continuous Wave website.

The proximity of the marina to the bar also had a somewhat amusing side effect. A gentleman with a 23-foot Formula go-fast boat spent most of the day and all night Saturday docked next to Dave B. This guy was something else. He explained to all of us that his boat had almost 700 horsepower and went 80 miles per hour. Earlier in the day he was seen stumbling around the docks, apparently a little drunk. After dark he took his boat for a short ride, apparently to check out another bar across the Sturgeon Bay Canal. He returned after a short while and explained to some of us that he intended to pick up some women from the bar and take them for a boat ride. He then went into the indoor bar at Stone Harbor. After our group had called it a night and gone to bed, the gentleman returned to the dock, set up a chair on the dock, turned on his boat’s stereo, and proceeded ask the few women who passed if they would like to go for a boat ride. Simply awesome. (An anonymous source from our group reports having seen the gentleman passed out in his chair later that night, with his music skipping in the background.)

I slept well on Saturday night, and awoke feeling much better on Sunday morning. After getting out of bed and showering (individually), most of us went to breakfast as a group. We enjoyed another good meal, this time at nice little diner in downtown Sturgeon Bay (the name escapes me – perhaps somebody else will post it).

By 9:30 a.m. (Wisconsin time), we were out of the marina and just about ready to leave for Frankfort. David Hart needed to take on some fuel, so we drifted in the canal while waiting for him. The gauge for my 60-gallon tank showed just under 1/2, so I decided not to get fuel. I had only burned 25 gallons in the 110 miles we had already traveled, so I thought the remaining 25 to 30 gallons in my tank should be enough to carry me through the 50 mile return crossing.

Patrick had taken his Outrage out of the water on Saturday evening. Andy, however, had put his Montauk in the water to do some fishing on Sunday morning. As we left the marina, Patrick jumped in with Andy and they joined us for most of the ride out to Lake Michigan. We said our farewells, and Patrick promised to plan an outstanding rendezvous for next year.

Leaving Sturgeon Bay: Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/LeavingSturgeonBay.jpg

The trip back across Lake Michigan was mostly uneventful. The water was much calmer than the day before, and we motored along at about 25 to 30 miles per hour. Shortly into the crossing my low fuel alarm began to sound. As I watched my fuel gauge, it was bouncing back and forth across the 1/4 mark. After bragging to Dave B. about my fuel mileage all weekend, I really did not want to run out of gas in the middle of Lake Michigan.

We made a couple of stops on the crossing, once because David Hart had a minor malfunction with his bimini top, and one or two other times just to take a quick break and chat. Each time we stopped, my fuel gauge rose back up well over the 1/4 mark. The closer we got to Michigan, the better my chances were getting for avoiding certain embarrassment. As it turned out, I made it all the way back with plenty of gas. (I’ll report back soon with exactly how many gallons were left in the tank.)

We arrived back at the Frankfort boat launch at 2:00 p.m. After loading the boats on to the trailers, I discovered that my boat had developed a really nasty looking scum line. Somebody had mentioned it to me on Saturday morning, but I didn’t pay much attention. I had assumed that it was the normal scum line you sometimes get when spending a night at a marina. Dave B. let me borrow some Fantastik and a rag to clean up the mess.

Scum Line: Frankfort%20to%20Sturgeon%20Bay/ScumLine.jpg

After getting all of the boats situated on the trailers, Dave, Pete, Pat and I made a late lunch from the leftover food we had. By 4:00 p.m. we were on the road and headed home.

Distance traveled by boat: 168 miles
Fuel burned: 36 gallons
Average fuel economy: 4.67 miles per gallon

K Albus posted 08-03-2010 08:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
A few additional comments:

Frankfort and Fish Creek were very nice little lakeside towns. Very quaint. I didn't see a Starbucks or a strip mall in either town. I would recommend either for a nice family boating vacation. I plan to visit Frankfort again, soon. And I hope to get back to Wisconsin some day to spend more time exploring Door County.

Sturgeon Bay was also a nice town, although a bit bigger and more industrial than the other two. If you're into boat (which I'm sure you are since you're reading this) you'll like Sturgeon Bay as well.

K Albus posted 08-03-2010 08:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
That last sentence should read: If you're into boating (which I'm sure you are since you're reading this) you'll like Sturgeon Bay as well.
Buckda posted 08-03-2010 12:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
At the beginning of the trip, Pete phoned Ellen to get a ride home. id=1383963684

But by the way back, he had changed his tune: id=1383963684

Here are three generations of Rohlfing enjoying a nice run in a nicely redone Commercial Hull: id=1383963684 Watch out Jeff, looks like Q is already ready to captain!

Here are Patrick and Andy and his wife running up Green Bay to Fish Creek: id=1383963684

Our cruise director under his protective canvas: id=1383963684

David Hart, on the lookout for obstructions and/or Bayliners: id=1383963684

Patrick, leaving Fish Creek for Sturgeon Bay into the sunset: id=1383963684

A local "tall ship" id=1383963684 (at Fish Creek)

Pau Hana running up the Door Peninsula id=1383963684

Pat and Pete work to solve the world's problems: id=1383963684

an86carrera posted 08-03-2010 08:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
Looks like a great trip guys, I gotta get up that way sometime.


jimh posted 08-08-2010 12:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There was a lot of boating packed into this two-day trip. Did you guys ever shut off the engines and get some sleep?
prj posted 08-09-2010 11:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
Another fine and prompt narrative, Kevin, supplemented by your photos and Dave's capturing some of the weather, the attire and the characters. Thanks for that, and don't think I didn't catch my "promise" that you slipped in there...

It was a busy couple days, Jim, probably 22 hours of which were spent in Wisconsin though I know The Crossers did more boating and traveling than I was subject to.

As my wife has grown fond of saying:

Winter is for resting.

home Aside posted 08-10-2010 02:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Here are a few of my photos from the Frankfort, Mi to Sturgeon Bay, Wi Lake Michigan crossing, wish I had more but had some camera battery issues, enjoy

Pat Frankfort%20Mi%20%20Sturgeon%20Bay%20Wi%202010/

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