Whoa, did not think we’d like this area based on the information we read online but they were wrong. Sturgeon Bay was beautiful – with a channel from Lake Michigan, three bridges, and an opening into a huge bay full of great wind!
We were greeted by a beautiful lighthouse on the Coast Guard station, the North Pierhead Lighthouse. We made our way up the canal slowly to an opening in Sturgeon Bay, when Chuck hailed the first bridge to let them know we were waiting to pass. The bridge attendant said we had to wait for a commercial boat entering the other end of the canal and the wait would be about 15 minutes. The photos above are from the bridge opening and our mast as we passed under. It was really exciting!
We stopped for fuel before passing through the next two bridges. The next two bridges opened only at 15 and 30 after the hour if a boat is waiting. so in between the two bridges, we had to circle until the time came for the Michigan Street Bridge to open.
Our marina for the night was just past the Michigan Street Bridge on the port side. Great spot for the sunset and in walking distance to the quaint town of Sturgeon Bay. We decided to make a pizza from the dough and cheese we bought at Tenutta’s in Kenosha. Whoa, was it delicious! Chuck was super surprised that we were able to get a nice crispy crust in the little gas oven.
On Saturday, we decided to stay for the morning because the Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club was holding its annual tour of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding yard. We walked across the street from the marina and got on a school bus headed to the yard. What an interesting tour and everyone was super nice (Marilyn would enjoy these folks – they were great!). The yard builds and repairs ships – most are over 1,000 feet long. The ship being built currently is an oil tanker heading to the Gulf of Mexico in August.
Below is the largest boat on the Great Lakes – the Paul Tregurtha, the Queen of the Lakes. At 1,013 feet long, she can hold 68,000 tons of iron ore or 63,000 tons of coal! She was the last ship over 1,000 feet built in Lorain, Ohio, launched in 1981. She was in the yard being converted from a dirty diesel burner to a new, more efficient and cleaner diesel scrubber. All boats on the Great Lakes are now required to change to this better way to use diesel. She is almost ready to be launched back into service too!