Washington Harbor, Washington Island, WI

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You might have to travel a bit for this one. Washington Harbor cuts into the north side of Washington Island. Washington Island is a short ferry ride beyond the tip of the Door Peninsula. The dive site is on east Dock Road, which puts you on the west side of Washington Harbor. East Dock Road terminates at a private residence, but there is beach (well, rocks really) access and some parking along the side of the road. Please be respectful of private property and other people swimming or soaking up the sun. Check the mapquest link for the way to get there from the ferry landing at Detroit Harbor.
The way to get to Washington Island is via ferry from NorthPort at the end of Door Peninsula to Detroit Harbor on Washington Island. Check the link to the Washington Island Ferry Line for directons to NorthPort on the Door Peninsula, and for the fees per car and passengers for the round-trip ferry ride. Also check the ferry schedule so you don't end up stranded on the island, unless you really want to be stranded there overnight. There's worse places to be stranded overnight, and we're collectively sure that anyone stranded there overnight could find enough libation, chow and shelter to have a good time of it. But anyway, if you plan on being back on the mainland at a certain time, take note of the schedule and plan accordingly.
The dive site entry puts you at the west side of the harbor, and you can go north or south, diver's choice. As with most entries on the Door Peninsula, this entry on Washington Island is also completely rocky. And when you get a few feet into the water, those rocks are very slippery, so take your time getting in and out. You may want to wade in about shoulder deep before trying to don your fins. From the entry point you can go out a ways till you reach some depth (we maxed at around 50' or so) and then head north or south, working your way along the rocky slope. The bottom is a mixture of mud and mussel shells and rocks, various timbers from fish cribs, and assorted debris. Tons of gobies, a few crayfish, and some small mouth bass hanging about in the kelp-like weeds looking for an easy meal. Viz is probably best in spring and fall, but we did it in late August and it was still decent viz, and the water was pretty darn comfortable. Its also a popular location for swimmers and water skiers, so its advisable to dive with a flag.
After the dive, time permitting, head on over to the Albatross for a burger and a shake before high-tailing it back to Detroit Harbor for the ferry ride back to the mainland. But whatever you do, no matter how crazy you get, DO NOT REMOVE THE ROCKS!


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Washington Island Ferry Line
Washington Harbor on Washington Island July 2008 (photos by Jim Bach)
Washington Harbor slideshow (photos by Smoothfin)
Washington Harbor Shore Dive (Washington Island, Door Peninsula, photos by Jim Bach)
Washington Harbor Shore Dive Video (Jim Bach, Watertight Productions)
Albatross Drive-In
Washington Island Information Site
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