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Circumnavigation of Washington Island


Approximately 22 statute miles (19.12 nautical miles)


Race Start: Red Barn Park - Gislason Beach


East Channel of Washington island - Sandy to rocky bottom; 0 to 7 ft depths, gradually deepening to 5 to 10 feet further eastward. Rocky outcroppings and shallow waters close to Washington island shoreline.

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South East Side of Washington Island - From the Sand Dunes Park, to Njord Heim (small harbor with 100-ft tall flag pole).


Shallow and rocky shore of the Washington Island South East Side

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Hog Island and Percy Johnson County park are half way between East Channel and Rock Island Cut.

North east shore of Washington Island with flat ledges of table rock extending from shore into the lake.

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Rock Island Cut -- North east corner of Washington Island where waters of Lake Michigan join Green Bay. The small gap in the isthmus between Washington and Rock Islands, man-made in the 1930's, is known as "the Cut."


The Cut narrows is a small strait with some swift current that may be only knee-deep, or ankle deep, depending upon the day, wind direction, or lake levels. Approaches are shallow from the southeast (lakeside) with a sharp drop-off to the west of the cut.

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Jackson Harbor -- A boat channel marks passage for the Karfi Ferry between Washington and Rock Islands.


North Shore - Rocky shoreline with several low stone beaches. Approximately 4 statute miles of paddling between Jackson Harbor and School House Beach Town Park located in Washington Harbor.

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Washington Harbor - Few shorelines allow you to paddle so close to the beach. Clear waters and smooth stones characterize this harbor and School House Beach. Waters are 60 feet deep or more. No hidden rocks or shoals. Wreck of the Louisiana lies along the SE beach. Observe the orange buoys marking the public park swim area.


The Bowyers Bluff headlands create the northwest corner of Washington Island.

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West side - High limestone bluffs and rock shoreline mark the Island's northwest side.


West shore of Washington Island. Little Lake is the Island's inland lake seen in this view. South of Little Lake is People's Park with vantage point of Green Bay.

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West shore of Washington Island.


West Harbor

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Little Islands on the outreach of Figenschau Bay


Lobdell's Point -- The SW lobe of Washington Island

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Lobdell's Point wraps the SW corner of Washington Island.


Lobdell's Point marks the entrance to Detroit harbor.

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Outside the dredged channel is the Potato Dock, a long appendage of rock and steel that offers some protection.


Ferries enter and exit the island harbor frequently and are restricted in movement when in the channel.

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A tripod navigational aid marks the harbor entrance.


Detroit Harbor. Kayak route may cross the Harbor from the northern tip of Detroit Island or hug the Detroit Harbor shore. Pedersen Bay is the northern shore of Detroit Island and the southern boundary of Detroit Harbor.

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Eastern shore of Detroit Harbor includes Gislason Beach, Red Barn Park.


For the most accurate information on shoreline features, consult a nautical chart for the area. Observe water coloration for shallows, rocks and other obstacles.

Click to enlarge

nautical chart source: NOAA (Office of Coast Survey)








nautical chart of Washington Island >>>

source: NOAA (Office of Coast Survey)













































































































































































































































































































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