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Going home

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This past weekend, I went home to Wisconsin. And it was fantastic—There was grilling and beer and boats.

On Sunday, I spent some time in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. It's been a few years since I've visited, but I used to spend weeks there in the summer with my cousin and my grandpa. And not much has changed.


I did get to meet Dave and Darlene Balza (above, right) and their 30-foot Carver Santego, Journeyman Too (behind). I wrote about the couple in last October's issue. They have turned a neglected old boat into a personalized home on the water.

And they aren't done yet. They are looking to replace the hard bimini top (that they added) with a soft top with a possible retractable canopy to cover the cockpit. Plus, they keep added stowage behind every cushion.

Just across the harbor, however, was another personalized yacht—but on a completely different scale.


The 127-foot Bella Una had been causing a stir since she'd arrived at the Alibi Dock a few weeks earlier. The 2003 yacht from Burger, the Wisconsin-based builder, was originally the Sis W built for the owner of Walgreens. She can sleep 10 and can accommodate up to 20 crew (if the crew are coupled up and share bunks). When she launched, the owner was already 97, so Sis W was designed to suit his needs. There is an elevator that spans the entire yacht (from guest cabins to sundeck).

Her new owners had upgraded from an 85-foot Burger, which is still for sale.

Bella Una will be making a cruise down to Chicago, with a brief stop in Manitowoc , before returning to Door County. And I understand the need to return. Door County is definitely a great place to relax.