Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sturgeon Bay

We decided to spend a few days touring Door County, Wisconsin, so we checked into Potawatomi State Park located on the point of land between Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay.  We wanted to stay three nights, but because of the profusion of trees, our solar panels would not be doing their job.  I know what you're thinking, "They don't like trees or campfires, why do they go camping?"  Well, I guess our excuse is that we are RVers, not campers.

Door County is known for its lighthouses so they were on my list of must-sees.  Sherwood Point Lighthouse is located just outside the park.  It took some effort and we ended up on a dead end road with 'no trespassing' signs, but I got a shot.

On our way to visit the town of Sturgeon Bay we passed these Sandhill Cranes.

Since the town is on the bay, you can imagine their interest in all things nautical.

We arrived at the end of the 24th Annual Classic and Wooden Boat Festival, so we only caught a bit of the festivities.  We admired the beautiful hand-crafted boats on display.

But we were really disappointed that we missed the giant sea battle.  It seems two-person teams are given plywood, boards, a caulk gun, and Sikaflex (adhesive/sealant) and they construct a boat on the spot in four hours.  Plastic cable ties can be used during the construction process, but must be removed before the water trials.  Then the builders take the boats out in the water and the ones that don't sink naturally, battle each other until only one boat is floating.

We talked to the couple who constructed this one and they said it wasn't as unstable as they thought it would be.

Some didn't hold up very well,

These girls look like they did pretty well.

This team and their 'Yellow Submarine' look like they did well.

I found a YouTube video of some of the boats if you want a laugh.

Then we were off in search of more lighthouses.  First a little background.  As Carol did in her blog, I'll quote Widipedia.

The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal is a shipping canal connecting Sturgeon Bay on Green Bay with Lake Michigan, across the Door Peninsula, at the city of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, United States.

The canal is approximately seven miles in length, and consists of two parts: a dredged portion of Sturgeon Bay, and a 1.3-mile canal dug through the eastern side of the Door Peninsula. This shorter portion was dug by a private group headed by then-president of Chicago and North Western Railway, William B. Ogden, between July 8, 1872 and the late fall of 1881. Although smaller craft began using the canal in 1880, it was not open for large-scale watercraft until 1890.

At the Lake Michigan end of the canal is a Coast Guard Station and two lighthouses.  The first is the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Lighthouse at the entrance of the canal.

But there is also the North Pierhead Lighthouse at the end of the pier that extends into the lake.

If you want more information on the specifies of the lighthouses, check out Carol's blog here.


  1. The Coast Guard has a 140 Icebreaking Tugboat named Sturgeon Bay. Of course, its homeport is Bayonne, NJ.

  2. More cool lighthouses! I used to love one block from a decommissioned lighthouse it was always fun to be around it...light or not...I'm so jealous of the crane sighting~

  3. It would have been fun to watch them build those crazy boats.
    We're with you. Trees and campfires don't make us happy, either.

  4. There is indeed a difference between being campers and RVers ;-) Love that decorative kayak ... and who doesn't like lighthouses. I like the first and last one best

  5. OOOooohh...didn't know about the wooden boat festival! Wayne loves those, guess I know one of our weekend jaunts for next year.