Monday, August 12, 2013

Muskegon to Sturgeon Bay

I'm happy to report that the golf outing and the last minute running around for our trip to Dorr County, WI went of without a hitch. We didn't forget anything major and we had way more food than we could eat in 3 weeks.

We left Muskegon at about 10:30am on our way to Pentwater, about 36 miles north, where we'd stay overnight and make the crossing the next morning. We headed out in 1-2 footers and before too long we were bashing into 4-6 footers with wind right on our nose. So much for sailing today.
Lots of bashing
Pentwater-We got into Pentwater and by that time everyone was itching to get off the boat and stretch their legs. A lot of the shops were closed by the time we got there but we still managed to snag some ice cream while getting some circulation back in our legs and getting rid of the constant feeling of bouncing in the waves.
For anyone going into Pentwater: Don't follow your GPS if it indicates that there is a city dock next to the municipal marina. We returned to our boat after walking downtown to a real a-hole telling us that we either need to pay his marina, and now, or leave now. That really set Ron off, especially when the guy continued to be a real tool after Ron apologized and told him that we'd never been here before and were following info from our GPS. He didn't even want us to wait a few minutes for our friends to return before leaving. Someone needs to go back to customer service school, or remove whatever the object is that has been firmly wedged up his keester. His choice, but he definitely wasn't getting any money from us. Not a big deal as there was plenty of room to anchor out...right in front of our new friend.
The next morning we woke up at 4:30am, took Lexie to shore for a short walk and got the boat ready for the 'big crossing'.  We took off at about 5:30am in glass-like conditions.

And we're off!
The crossing was 71 miles, we motored in zero winds for the first 15 miles or so. Then the wind began to pick up enough for us to roll out our headsail and sail downwind. By the time we were midlake the following seas began building and wind was up to 18-20kts. The waves continued building and soon we were surfing along at almost 8kts in 6-8 foot waves. A little lot nerve wracking at first but as the boat easily took on each wave my confidence grew. Dare I say it was even a little enjoyable? And we made the crossing in only 10 hours, much faster than the 12 hour timeframe we were anticipating. Actually, the crossing went so well I was wondering how our trip back would be with 2 less people on board.

During calmer times

Surfing time

Sturgeon Bay- After not seeing land for a few hours (my first time ever), seeing the pier head to Sturgeon Bay was a relief, especially given the conditions we'd been in for the last 5 hours. Oddly enough, we hadn't seen a single other vessel, aside from fishing boats when leaving Pentwater, on the crossing. Not even a freighter. We only saw one other (sail) boat about 10 miles out from Sturgeon Bay. Did we miss something? I really hoped we didn't. But then again the forecast when we left was for light winds and waves 1-3 feet. Wrong Mr.Weatherman, very wrong.
We opted for a marina and some hot showers after the ride across then went out exploring the town and had dinner at the Nautical Inn, Sturgeon Bay's oldest tavern. It was here that I was introduced to fried cheese curds, and it's been a sick obsession ever since.
The next morning we did a little shopping and checked out the Maritime Museum. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, especially reading about the history of piracy on the Great Lakes. Everyone else though, I have a feeling were much less impressed.
Thankfully no one got seasick, including the dog

Sturgeon Bay pier head, a welcome site!

Sturgeon Bay Channel

Bayview Bridge, first of 3 through Sturgeon Bay

Ron swears we had "tons" of room, I wasn't so sure at first

Nautical Inn. Cheese curds, pizza and.....matching sweatshirts?? (Thanks again Angela!)

Passing by one of several shipbuilding yards in Sturgeon Bay

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I think all the parents breathed a little easier after getting texts from us that we'd made it. You would have thought they had no faith in us. Now that we had the crossing out of our way it was time to start exploring the best of Dorr County!

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