Anchors Aweigh Sturgeon Bay
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This is a multicache that will take you to four places in Sturgeon Bay - three that have ship’s anchors on display. There is a distance of approximately 3 miles from beginning to end. It makes a nice bicycle ride through Sturgeon Bay or can be accomplished via moped or car. At the final waypoint is a medium sized Tupperware container.
There are many different types of anchors that were used on ships and boats. These anchors are classified according to their shape and size. There are three different types of anchors on display in Sturgeon Bay, and you will see each of these on this tour and learn a bit about anchor nomenclature.
The coordinates of the first anchor are:
44° 50 .519’
This is a wood stock anchor, a type that was commonly used on Great Lakes ships from 1800 to 1850. The stocks were generally made of two pieces of timber (most commonly oak) and then joined together with bolts (wood or iron) and iron bands. Set at a right angle to the flukes, the purpose of the stock is to force the flukes to dig into the lake bottom.
Read the interpretive panel adjacent to the anchor to find the first clue. Subtract 976 from the date the ships burned to decipher the coordinates to the second anchor.
44° 50. ABC’
087° 24. 039’
The year in which the ships burned – 976 = ABC
The second anchor is an iron folding-stock anchor, meaning that the stock (the long arm that is bent on one end) can slide through the shank and collapsed, making it easier to stow the anchor aboard a ship. A small pin keeps the stock from sliding through the shank when the anchor is in use. Anchors like these were common on Great Lakes ships from around 1850 to 1900.
The name of the property where you are standing is called
B_ _ _H _ A _ _ _ R RE_ OR _
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Use this information to decipher the coordinates to the next anchor.
HH° HT. 7TB’
087° AC. 026’
The third anchor is a Federal or Navy stockless anchor. These anchors were most common on steel-hulled ships and were rarely used on wooden ships. Because they do not have a stock, (the large cross-piece at the top of the anchor) they do not have to be hauled onto the deck of a ship to be stowed. Instead, they were simply pulled into a ship’s hawse pipe, or the hole where the anchor chain enters the ship’s hull
If you look carefully at the anchor you will see writing stamped into its flukes. Use this text to answer the following question to find the final waypoint.
This anchor was forged in which city?
_ _ _ _ _ _ _, _ _
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
087° HH. RA3’
At the final waypoint, imagine that you have gone back in time to the mid-1800’s . Standing here and looking out over the water, you would have been looking at numerous sailing ships anchored along the shore.
This cache was placed as a partnership with Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Door County Maritime Museum, and University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. We hope you enjoyed learning about the anchors of Sturgeon Bay. To learn more about Wisconsin’s maritime heritage please visit our other geocaches in Door County and throughout the state, or visit wisconsinshipwrecks.org!
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum