Reluctantly we left Fish Creek this morning at 8:55 am. The Admiral was up way too early, but she managed to take this lovely photo (at right) of the sunrise over our marina. Our route today is 39.2 miles and includes stopping at Sister Bay for lunch before continuing North to Washington Island, which is a couple of miles off the north end of the Door Peninsula that separates Green Bay from Lake Michigan. Jackson Harbor is on the northeast corner of Washington Island, and it is going to be our jumping off point for crossing to the other side of Lake Michigan. Tonight we will review the weather for the next few days to determine when we leave. Wind is the big factor in choosing the day to cross. With the early sunrises we have already discussed getting a very early start to take advantage of the usual morning calm.
The next photo shows us backing away from the T-head where we were docked. About two hours after departing, we reviewed the weather forecasts and decided to cancel the stop for lunch at Sisters Bay and go directly to Washington Island. This changes the trip from 39.2 miles to 34.2 miles. Our main reason is a weather update that forecasts an increase in wind to as high as 15 to 20 mph this afternoon. That much wind would certainly be at the upper end of our comfort range so we decided not to take the chance.
We have mentioned before that Lake Michigan is up about 4 feet over just a couple of years ago. The photo at the right shows some of the evidence that we regularly see for that rise. This line or shrubs and small trees is in several feet of water just off the end of a small rocky island. They would almost certainly never start growing there nor will they likely live much longer.
As we continued up the west coast of the Door Peninsula, we saw some scenic sea cliffs formed by the (Silurian) Lockport Dolomite. The Door Peninsula is formed by these resistant rocks while the glaciers eroded away other less resistant formations above and below the Lockport Dolomite. This is the same rock unit that forms Niagara Falls, islands in western Lake Erie and several other features around the Great Lakes.
We arrived at Jackson Harbor at 1:00 pm, and this was our view of Jackson Harbor as we approached the marina. My first thought was that we had somehow been magically transported to New England (photo at left), as we saw salt box style buildings and the gaff rigged, cat boat, etc.
The Jackson Harbor Maritime Museum has several building that fit nicely into the New England maritime theme (photo at right).
We did not go into any of the buildings, but they had some nice exhibits on the grounds of the museum, which were more to my liking. The old US Coast Guard patrol boat is the Plum Island, which reminded me of the recent movie "Finest Hours" about a Coast Guard rescue off Cape Cod, which was done in an all wood boat about this same vintage.
The also had four gill net commercial fishing boats in the harbor, and at least 2 of them are currently active. They also had this well preserved gill netter displayed on land (photo at right), and I had a good time walking around and peering into it. There is no cell service here so the Admiral had to find wifi at the nearby inn that is associated with the marina. No one was around, but the password was on the chalk board so she helped herself. However, I was not going to sit outside as the evening got cool and work on the blog. So, I very graciously gave myself the day off from blogging...
After we had lunch on the boat we struck out walking to what the Admiral thought was a fiber arts museum. It turns out that it is a store associated with a fiber arts school, and of course, instead of a little over a mile, it turned out to be a little over 2 miles one way. She did alert her sister that they might have to spend some time here in the future. She also managed to purchase a basket that fits on a shelf above the sink in the galley and will hold potatoes and sweet potatoes. She thinks that the basket is perfect, and the 4.1 miles from that one walk made my Fit Bit very happy for the day. As for Lucky and me, we were happy to be back in the air conditioning on Lucky Us.The photo at the left is a old lifeboat that is also part of the museum's collection. It looked nice, but I surely would not want to be caught out in a severe storm in it. On the other hand, if it were the only thing afloat, it would look pretty good.
We have checked our usual weather sources, and tomorrow we will be heading out to cross to the other side of Lake Michigan with plans to leave no later than 4:30 am. The wind is supposed to slowly shift from NE to SSE and not to build up any higher than 8 to 10 mph until long after our arrival. Our destination is Northport, MI, specifically the G. Marsten Dame Marina. This is a 79.5 mile trip which should take slightly less than 10 hours, and depending on how the weather looks, we may speed up a little and take an hour off the trip. Also, we lose an hour tomorrow as we leave the Central Time Zone.