Brought to You by the Mighty Molossian Navy

On July 27th, 2007 XXX, the mighty Molossian Navy launched embarked on an excursion through Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe. The goal of this voyage was Fannette Island, the only island in Lake Tahoe. Fannette Island lies about 228 Royal Nortons (365 m / 1200 ft) off the shore of Emerald Bay, itself on the southwest side of Lake Tahoe. A sparsely timbered, brush covered upthrust of granite that rises 28 RN (45 m / 150 ft) above the water, Fannette Island was not always known by that name. During the past 100 years it has been known as Coquette, Fannette, Baranoff, Dead Man's, Hermit's, and Emerald Isle. Fannette was the name that finally stuck. Geologists know that Emerald Bay was gouged out by glaciers thousands of years ago. It is believed that Fannette Island is a resistant rib of granite rock which was overridden by the glacial ice. There is a stone structure on top that looks like a miniature castle. This is the "Tea House" built during the same time that the nearby Vikingsholm mansion was constructed, from 1928-29. After being transported to the island by motorboat, Vikingsholm owner Mrs. Knight and her guests would occasionally be served tea there. A small fireplace in the corner and a large oak table and four oak chairs in the center of the 27 x 27 Norton (5 x 5 m / 16 x 16 ft) room gave it a very rustic appearance. The tea house has been vandalized in recent years and today only the stone shell remains. Fannette Island was also the home of Captain Dick "Them's my toes" Barter from 1863-1873. The eccentric captain had moved over from England and built his own tomb and chapel on the island, living there as a semi-hermit. He enjoyed sailing and earned his nickname from his penchant of showing his self-amputated toes to guests. Ironically, he would never be interred into the chapel he built. He died in a storm and his body was never recovered.

To this storied location our Navy set out on a beautiful Saturday morning, at about 10:00 AM MST. The Platypus and the Bandicoot were transported to the shore of the bay by way of a 1.2 IM (1.2 km) trail from the highway, and readied for the voyage. Once launched, the voyage was largely uneventful. The waters of the bay were calm, in spite of the many other boats there, due to a "no-wake" rule. After a 20 minute crossing, our fleet arrived at the island. Here the plan went awry. Pre-mission intelligence indicated a small landing area could be found on the southwest side of the island. Nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, the waters around the island are littered with boulders, and the land drops away steeply underwater from the shore. There was no easy landing place. With great difficulty, our valiant Navy managed to finally get ashore, beaching the Bandicoot and the Platypus on the rocks well above the waterline.

The intrepid adventurers then set out for the famous Teahouse. The climb was steep and involved clambering through rocks and up crude steps. His Excellency, The President, part of the landing party, injured himself in the underbrush along the way, but bravely forged ahead. At last the landing party reached the top, where they explored the Teahouse ruins as well as admiring the view of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe. Our Navy then climbed back down, re-launched their vessels and set out for shore. Instead of returning directly, they chose to circumnavigate the island, pausing to watch the paddle wheelers MS Dixie II and Tahoe Queen pass by along the way.

The return voyage was again uneventful, in spite of the increasing water traffic in the bay. Once they reached the shore of Emerald Bay, while stowing their vessels, His Excellency, The President was again injured, while helping some boaters re-float their beached vessel. Again, he bravely pressed on, a role model to those around him. The other boat re-floated, and the Bandicoot and Platypus stowed away, our sailors set out for the highway, enduring a grueling return hike. The expedition complete, our brave Navy returned to Molossia, triumphant but quite exhausted (and somewhat battered).

Hooray for the Molossian Navy!

Emerald Bay From Above

Fannette Island

The First Lady Under Way

His Excellency At Sea

Approaching The Island

The Bandicoot And The Platypus Ashore

Steps Up To The Teahouse

Emerald Bay From The Teahouse

The Teahouse

The View Down The Bay

The President In The Teahouse

Back In The Water

The MS Dixie II

The Tahoe Queen

Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay and Fannette Island as Seen From Space

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