Death's Door to Washington Island Professional Review and Guide
"Depending on the weather you'll either enjoy the half-hour, 6-mile crossing from the Door Country peninsula to Washington Island or wonder whatever in the world made you attempt such foolishness. When the wind whips across the channel, known as the Porte des Mortes (Death's Door), and the little car ferry bobs in the wind and waves, you'll have a firsthand idea of why this stretch of water has claimed many a life through the years. Between 1837 and 1914 twenty-four vessels were lost at Death's Door, and another forty were lost in the nearby islands.
Although a rough crossing might make you nervous, be comforted in the fact that the car ferries don't run if the crossing is dangerous. Washington Island has about 650 year-round residents and relies heavily on the tourist trade. In the summer months, the island's population swells to several thousand. Fishing is still an important industry for islanders, many of whom are descendants of Icelandic settlers who came to the island in the 1800s. Things to see: Ferry crossing, Detroit Harbor; West Harbor; School House Beach, Washington Harbor; Mountain Park Lookout."