Location: Alpena County Fair Campgrounds; Alpena, Michigan
|Thru stop # 10|
One of the main reasons for coming to Alpena was to take a boat tour on the glass bottom boats to look at the shipwrecks of Thunder Bay. Alpena sits on the shore of Thunder Bay with over 200 "known" shipwrecks in the bay, which is a lot considering the bay is only roughly 100 square miles. Notice the word "known". It is unknown how many shipwrecks are actually in the bay since ships disappear or never show up at their destinations and are considered lost but the location of the sinking is unknown. One of the known shipwrecks in the bay was thought to have been lost in a storm on Lake Michigan but apparently survived it only to sink in Thunder Bay. It was a surprise to everyone when it was found in the bay by divers and identified. Some wrecks iced over during the winter and sank due to the excessive weight. When ships sank from ice weight, they sank perfectly intact and are resting on the bottom sitting as if they were still floating. One of those is sitting on the bottom and their lifeboat is right next to it. Apparently, the crew left the ship before it sank only to have the lifeboat ice over and sink as well. I don't remember if the crew survived.
|It water was calm going out but got a little rougher on the way back in to port. The Captain explained that no one, not even experienced Captains and fisherman can accurately predict the condition of the waters in/around Thunder Bay.|
|Some of the Islands out in the bay.|
|What's left from a very large Fish Camp village on Thunder Bay Island.|
|Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse and Life Saving Station. There were hundreds of lives saved by both.|
|A picture of the deckhand and the viewing bays. Once over a wreck, everyone scrabbles to look. I learned quickly, that simply looking over the side you could see just as much because the water was so clear and shallow.|
|Looking over the side at one of the wrecks. One others you could see their propellers, boilers, etc.|
|A mooring buoy over one of the wrecks. The rope you see floating away from it is used to tie you boat too so you don't damage the wreck with your anchor. If you look a little bit into the distance, you can see another one.|
|Navigation aide leading to the Thunder Bay River. Nice large flag flying in the background.|
|It was a good day for a boat tour.|
|Looking out to the bay from one of the parks. I caught another gull in this picture. Pure luck.|
|A fishing/walking pier from one of the smaller parks.|
|Looking back from the end.|
|Looking down at the public beach area from the pier. Several people were swimming in very cool water|
The second thing I was reminded of was a joke about divers and is told by Thibodeaux and Boudreaux. I guess I first have to explain to my non-Louisiana friends about Thibodeaux and Boudreaux. To pronounce the names, think of "eaux" as "oh". So the names are pronounced, Tib-a-doe and Boo-droe. They are two fictitious Cajuns who are the butt of jokes similar to Aggie jokes, Polish jokes, etc. I have never heard any cajun say they were offended by the jokes and most are told by full blooded cajuns. I use the word cajun but if you're familiar with the area, substitute "coon-ass" and it will be OK. I was reminded of the joke when the tour guide mentioned divers diving on the shipwrecks. It goes like this:
Thibodeaux: "Hey Boudreaux, I wonder why dem divers always fall backward when dey leave da boat to get in da water."
Boudreaux: "I know da answer Thibodeaux, it is cause if they fall foreward they would still be in the da boat".
|Finishing the evening at the picnic table next to Liberty. The weather is nice. Highs in the upper 70's to low 80's with a cool breeze. Lows at night in the 50's. Rain is predicted for this weekend.|