It took him 3 years to do it the first time. Now Mike McCarthy is on a mission to bring awareness to Door County’s maritime history, the ecology of Green Bay and Lake Michigan, and that yes, you can kayak around the Door Peninsula. McCarthy, co-owner of the Village Green Lodge in Ephraim with his wife and circumnavigation support crew Jamie, will pedal his Hobie Outback kayak with a Mirage Drive pedaling apparatus more than 110 miles, solo.
McCarthy will share his kayaking experience via social media and a short film (release date TBD). He will be filming with his GoPro camera for up to 10 minutes an hour, highlighting historical maritime sites with information and stories to bring awareness to the programming and education the Door County Maritime Museum (DCMM) develops and provides. He set-up a GoFundMe page with all proceeds going to DCMM, and a goal of $5,000.
Sonar readings, water temperatures and GPS coordinates taken by a Lowrance fish finder attached to his kayak will be shared with Wisconsin Sea Grant for study. McCarthy will also show the sometimes hard-to-find locations of silent sport launch sites around Door County, as a means to stimulate the creation of a designated paddling/peddling trail.
“Why am I peddling my kayak around the peninsula? We, as a society are dealing with a lot of heavy challenges right now. If anyone gets a little bit of joy, a little respite, from sharing this experience with me, and focusing their energies on the Maritime Museum’s programs, awareness or action of our water’s ecology, or the creation of a designated kayak trail, it will be worth the effort. This lets us, just for a moment or two, forget our challenges, and focus on something positive.”
McCarthy is scheduled to launch his kayak from the Ephraim Visitor Center at 2 p.m., Monday, June 22, 2020. He will travel south, stopping for the day at Frank E. Murphy Park in Egg Harbor. On Tuesday, McCarthy will again depart at 2 p.m., from Murphy Park, traveling south to the Door County Maritime Museum, ETA 7 p.m. He will depart the Museum Wednesday at 7 a.m., travel 34 miles along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, and then camp overnight (with permission from the County of Door Parks Department) on Cana Island. Thursday morning, McCarthy will depart Cana Island at 7 a.m., arriving in Gills Rock about 4 p.m., where he will camp on the grounds of the Death’s Door Maritime Museum (with permission from the Town of Liberty Grove). Friday morning, he will depart Hedgehog Harbor, pedaling 15 miles south, and returning to Ephraim at 5 p.m. *Weather conditions may change departure and arrival times.
“As an avid kayaker, I hope to join Mike for part of the trip,” said Kevin Osgood, Executive Director of DCMM. “We are delighted that Mike has designated any GoFundMe donations to support and highlight DCMM, while he pursues his quest around the peninsula.”
Any kayakers – be they peddlers or paddlers – canoers or SUPers are invited to join McCarthy for any legs of his circumnavigation. As many are aware, Ephraim’s annual Fyr Bal Festival was cancelled for 2020. To capture the spirit of the Chieftain ceremony arriving via the water, McCarthy is encouraging an organic celebration at his arrival in Ephraim on Friday evening. All are invited to launch their own Kayaks, SUPs or home-made craft to celebrate the completion of this expedition.
Support for this four day expedition comes from Waseda Farms, Ephraim Coffee Lab, The Red Putter, Door County Digital, Wisconsin Sea Grant, Ephraim Business Council, Door County Maritime Museum, Oh! What a Sunset! Guided Hobie Kayak Tours, and Village Green Lodge.
To donate fund for Mike McCarthy’s kayak circumnavigation, in support of the Door County Maritime Museum, please visit: GoFundMe Peddling around the Door