How could you go to Lake Tahoe and not cruise its fresh waters? Our plan to visit Tahoe was a sudden one. As such, there were many things we ended up not doing. But a cruise? That’s one thing that we had to do! Our Tahoe cruise was aboard the Bleu Wave, a burger boat that now calls Lake Tahoe home. We were on a lunch cruise so we boarded the boat at Round Hill Pine Marina in Nevada at 11:45 last Monday. When the needles touched twelve Bleu wave set sail and we were on our way to the other side of the lake.
Our trip on the Bleu Wave was an Emerald Bay Cruise and Emerald Bay happens to be a a bay on the west coast of Lake Tahoe, on the California side. So, as the water gleamed in the afternoon sun we crossed the invisible watery border that the states of Nevada and California share. Captain Jeff who steered the boat told us that the lake was 22 miles in length and 12 miles in width. The bay that we were heading to — he said — was about a mile long.
About half an hour into the Lunch Cruise , we could see the mouth of the bay. Soon we were sailing into it and there ahead of us was the Fannette Island – the jewel of the bay. As we neared the island, Captain Jeff told us that this place was a safe haven for nesting birds. Just as he said that, we saw wild geese fly out into the lake. As we drew closer we saw more of these birds almost camouflaged against the rocks that stood out on this island.
The captain further told us that Fanette Island belonged to one Mrs. Knight who owned the Vikingholm Castle on the banks of the bay. It seems she had a little tea house built on top of the island. That was in the late 1920s. The island towered several feet above water and right on top we could see a part of a stone construction up there. When one of the tourists on board the Bleu Wave asked the captain if we could step on the island, I think I heard him say that this place is home to bears. We didn’t see any though.
We went around Fanette Island and as we got close to the beach, we saw the famous Vikingholm Castle on the banks of Emerald Bay. The stone structure had some scaffolding around it and we were told that it was undergoing some maintenence work. This stone castle is now supposed to be owned by the state of California and is generally open to visitors.
After we took a few pictures of this palatial house we were in motion again as it was time to cross the lake and head back to Nevada. On our way back, Captain Jeff pointed out several famous mansions that stood on the banks of this beautiful lake. Before we set foot on land again, we had had a drink or two and a small lunch aboard the boat.
At 2 pm, Bleu Wave docked and its doors opened once again. The scenic Lunch Cruise was done.