Kayakers Attempt Death’s Door Crossing at Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Event

Sea kayakers will make history on June 16, when Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Event, gathers a flotilla of local and international paddlers to kayak Death’s Door. The kayak crossing of the notorious 3.7-mile open water passage from Washington Island to Northport, is sponsored by the Washington Island Ferry Line, watched by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and escorted by pilot boats.

Weather permitting, kayakers will launch from the Potato Dock on Washington island, skim the shoreline of Plum Island and land at Northport. Spectators can watch the crossing from the Potato Dock launch site, the Washington Island Ferry en route and attend the celebration landing party at Northport.

The expedition crossing of Death’s Door is part of the three-day Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Event, June 14 – 16, on Washington Island. The event includes a marathon kayak race circumnavigating Washington Island, half marathon, beginner and intermediate races in Detroit Harbor, a Great Lakes Coastal Sea Kayaking Symposium and Environmental Education Symposium.

Spectators can follow the racers from the vantage points of many public parks and beaches on Washington Island and watch the start at the newly restored Gislason Beach, Red Barn Park.

The event keynote is Saturday night at the Historic Island Dairy with Ferde Good, an Ojibwe-style canoe builder and historian. He will provide canoe-building demonstrations throughout June 15 at Gislason Beach.

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