Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Egg Harbor and Peninsula State Park

From Sturgeon Bay we had a nice (motor) sail up to Egg Harbor. We had talked to people at the marina in Sturgeon Bay that said we would most likely need to stay in a marina due to a lack of a good anchorage but when we arrived we found a large bay with great shelter from the southwest winds.

The tinkle string was deployed on the way

Once in Egg Harbor, some brave souls swam in the cold water:
Egg Harbor-We were pleasantly surprised by this little lakeside town, with its wide variety of stores selling anything from the usual trinkets to a store that made and sold every kind of hot sauce, olive oil and vinegar you can imagine. Egg Harbor is also home to the Shipwreck Brewing Company, who's beer Ron regularly drinks when working in Wisconsin. After shopping to our hearts content we stopped for lunch at the brewery and had some divine fish tacos. Also, thanks to Jeremie, Ron is now a member of the Shipwreck Brewery's Captain's Club. This exclusive club offers it's members discounts on apparel purchased from the brewery's store...and also expires at the end of the year. I doubt that we'll be back in time to take advantage of this club, but Ron did get a "Don't judge the captain by the size of his dinghy" t-shirt at the discounted price. Thanks Jerm!
The night in Egg Harbor didn't go exactly as planned. As in; we got HAMMERED by an unpredicted storm from an unpredicted direction. The forecast had been for 10-15kt winds from the southwest through the night with a slight chance of showers. We woke up at about 2am with howling winds that were soon accompanied by sheets of sideways rain. We turned on the VHF to hear that this particular storm was coming out of the north (the one direction this bay didn't provide protection from) with wind gusts expected to hit 70kts. Luckily, when we'd gone into town we used the dinghy dock at the municipal marina so we had an idea of the layout and possible places to tie up for a few hours to ride out the storm. Poor Angela was a bit freaked out by the winds and rain and the 2-3 foot waves we were bouncing on in the harbor. We were definitely glad to have extra hands aboard for this...event as Jerm helped pull up the anchor and get us into the dock while Angela and Lexie freaked out together. I'm not sure how we would have done it without them (no, really, Lexie would have been in our laps if it weren't for Angela). We had to dock with the wind on our beam pushing away from the end of the "T" dock. Fortunately, the owner of the sailboat we were coming in next to was up and also braved the driving rains to come out and offer some help getting tied up. He couldn't believe that we were anchored out in the storm and said that just sitting at the dock his boat was heeling over pretty hard. We slept a few hours and by morning all was fine so we moved back out to anchor.

Let's just chalk this all up as a little more experience under our belts. Thankfully, all on board and the boat itself made it through just fine. So much for light winds and a peaceful night at anchor. Thanks for nothing Mr. Weatherman, nothing but a near heart attack.

Peninsula State Park-After thanking our lucky stars to still be alive, we made a 15 mile trip to Peninsula State Park. We planned to anchor out at Horseshoe Island, which is a part of the park just off the mainland. With absolutely zero wind we had got it....motor there. At least it was a nice, sunny day.

 Horseshoe Island offers great protection from north winds, which were still hanging around. Because the anchorage is a little snug, most people either throw a stern anchor or tie their sterns to shore. That way boats swing less and more boats can fit into the harbor. We threw a stern anchor. Our neighbors however, did not. As they started swinging, we were given the evil eye. We weren't going to hit, but we were probably 30feet apart. Hey, not our problem they were being space hogs right? Well, they left soon after and we were left with about 5 other boats for the night. All of whom were stern-tied/anchored.

Cooking dinner in a nice, calm anchorage
Plenty of space after our neighbors left

View of the cliffs at sunset
After enjoying a full night of calm, quiet sleeping conditions, we motored the short distance to Nicolet Bay on the mainland part of the park. There are miles and miles of biking and hiking trails in the park and there was a lighthouse to hike to with my name on it.
Beautiful scenery...and lovebirds

The Eagle Bluff Lighthouse

I <3 lighthouses

View of Green Bay from the lighthouse

Walking Hiking trail

A happy boat dog=A tired boat dog
I could have easily stayed at the State Park for a couple days. We didn't have a chance to explore the caves and cliffs on the other side of the park or the many more hiking and biking trails that the park offers. If we get over here again, we'll be sure to leave at least a couple days to spend here.

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