Tuesday, August 7, 2012

To the Point!

We headed north from Algoma to the lighthouse by the east entrance of Sturgeon Bay. We were expecting a larger bustling port, but I guess that's all on the Greenbay side. We paddled some more and then saw some storm clouds chasing us down. Tired already, we decided it would be best if we didn't try to out run them. We pulled up by Lily Bay on a little strip of beach. When we asked the homeowners if they minded if we camped on their beach they graciously invited us to stay in out of the rain in their guest bedroom. We couldn't say no after seeing those clouds! As we chatted with Tom and Kelly, the sun decided to come back out. Double rainbow!!
Tom and Kelly have a gorgeous home, surrounded by raspberry bushes! Yum :)
They also have an adorable loving dog named Spencer - we enjoyed just hanging out with him for the day as we had to take a weather day with the north wind that blew in. It seems that we keep washing up on reporters doorsteps - Tom wrote this article on us!
Then we were off towards Whitefish Dunes. Beautiful rock formations and clear water for a great lunch break spot!
We made it to Moonlight Bay that evening - about an 18 mile purely paddling day - our longest paddle day yet! The beach we pulled up on was full of blue-green algae and surrounded by tall phragmites. We always laugh when there are others vacationing on the beach, while we are out there surviving. We were exhausted so we set up our tent to dry up from the night before and made some tacos. We put on our leopard print pants and started relaxing. Or surviving. Just then we saw a group of people walking out on the rocks nearby. Probably vacationing was our guess. Surprisingly, the group came closer to us and then started yelling our names. It was Amy's mom's cousin Jack! They had searched and searched to find us and we were glad that they stopped by to say hi. Thanks for the burgers and beers Tom and Julie! And thanks for the fruits and veggies Jack and Karen!
In the morning we took off at sunrise to head for the tip of the peninsula. It always helps us get moving in the morning if its a good sunrise!
We arrived at Newport State Park on the tip of the peninsula and pulled Makeba up onto the beach. We were looking especially like a "just washed up on a desert island" story today. Everything was set out to dry. Now that we had reached the infamous Death's Door we would need to wait until the wind and waves were perfect. We didn't want to test fate. So we would need to wait out some less than favorable winds for a few days. Luckily we had been connected with some friends of friends that live just up the road from where we had landed. Hanne, Sid, and their dog Baby were a delight to stay with and get to know!
 Mary's mom and dad came to meet us to help us through Death's Door.  Unfortunately, they actual shadowing of Makeba didn't take place, but we made it through to Washington Island and Rock Island without much excitement other than some quick moving fog that almost put us on Hog Island for a short break.  We were able to sail into Rock and set up camp, but they had to deal with a bunch of boat troubles and caught the 2nd to last ferry to Rock, bringing us supplies, before they had to leave an hour latter :(  I'm still so happy we got to see you Mom and Dad!  Next visit will have to be by land!

Picture of us waving goodbye to them as they ferry back to Washington Island.  Byeee!
Little did we know Rock Island and Washington Island would become our home for week 1 of month 2!  Here's a view of Rock from Jackson Harbor, Washington Island.
There's some great stuff to check out on the Rock.  Their boat house, for one, is pretty pretty pretty.  And the rock carvings along the island's bluffs are awesome.  Native American's have left many artifacts and they are on display for visitors to see.
Water coloring + camping!
Day by day we attempted to leave the island, only making it further north until pulling ashore at the Pottawatomie Lighthouse. Since we would be stuck here a few more days we took a tour of the lighthouse and saw the giant Fresnel lens. Nerd Alert! A Fresnel lens works by reflecting a small flame off of the concentric rings of glass in order to direct the light in a single direction. In 1822 a French Physicist named Augustin Fresnel invented a lens that would make his name commonplace along the seacoasts of Europe and North America. It looked like a giant glass beehive, with a light at the center. The lens could be as tall as twelve feet, with concentric rings of glass prisms above and below to bend the light into a narrow beam. The Fresnel lens was able to capture much more light than previous designs, allowing the light to act as a beacon over much greater distances. When we were taking the tour, our tour guide Jim told us that this lighthouse didn't switch to a Fresnel lens until 80 years after it was designed - they thought it was just a passing French fad.

Climbing up the trail to the lighthouse from Makeba's beach - quite the trek!
Amy absorbing the idea of sitting still for a few more days.
We've been seeing all of these old fish tugs around these parts. They are the quirkiest boats we've ever seen! The owner of this one told us to hop on for an impromptu tour! Ken Koyen, owner of a local restaurant and Death's Door distillery, showed us the tug and the fish he had caught that day. Mostly burbot that day. Burbots go by many different names, but around here they are coined Lawyer fish - because their hearts are in their asses. (Sorry to our lawyer friends, but this gave us a chuckle!) Ken skinned this one for us in about 5 seconds flat!
Luckily we have a friend of a friend on Washington Island - Julie took us around the island and showed us the main attractions. Here we are at the maritime museum by Little Lake.
Then we went to the ostrich farm on the island - many other animals were also featured.
Checked out some old churches - we love how they hang old wooden ship replicas from the ceiling! A true fishing village.
A cool old French map of the Great Lakes - we are circumnavigating Lac Michigan.
We successfully made it across Death's Door (Port des Morts), now we just have to make it across the other passages to reach the UP!
This is our canoe friend Scott. He's doing the same trip we are - just in the opposite direction and he only has 30 days to do it, according to his wife's directions. We had been emailing to coordinate meeting up along the way - Scott was able to track us down on Washington Island by asking locals if they had seen "two sunkissed girls with long brown hair." Apparently a lot of people on the tiny islands had seen us the last few days. I'm sure it helps that we match all the time. It was fun to swap some adventure stories and we hope to see Scott and his family when we reach Grand Rapids area!
Julie took us to the Scandinavian Dance Festival that is held each year on Washington Island. Traditional dances in traditional garb - it was fantastic!
Here we are writing in our journals at Julie's. Always more journaling to do!
Look how far we've gone!
Since the NE winds were keeping us from making our crossing, we learned another mode of transportation. Our new friend Jim taught us how to windsurf!
This is how you do it! Okay, let's try! Hey look, we're doin' it!
Storms roll in quickly here; it can go from stormy to sunny in an instant. We've learned that pretty much any wind is bad wind when you live on an island. Going for the gold tomorrow! UP here we come!

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