Clear Waters of Lake Michigan Reveal Its Many Shipwrecks

 
rising_sun

This 133-foot long wooden steamer, the Rising Sun, is in 6 to 12 feet of water just north of Pyramid Point, where she stranded on October 29, 1917. All 32 people on board were saved. (U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City )

The ice over Lake Michigan has finally melted, but the water is still very cold. That, along with the good weather conditions, has left the water extremely clear. So clear in fact, that turn-of-the-century shipwrecks are visible from the air:

The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City noted the crystal clear water conditions and the lost ships during a routine patrol. Last week, they posted a handful of pictures to their Facebook page. The images come from the area near Sleeping Bear Point known as the Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve, which is “one of the richest areas in Michigan for shipwreck diving,” according to the preserve’s website. The lumber industry put the area on a shipping route. The North and South Manitou Islands, just north of the point, provided a somewhat sheltered area for ships hiding from storms…

Other wrecks in the Manitou Passage include The Francisco Morazan, an ocean-going freighter driven aground during a snowstorm on November 29, 1960. The Morazan sank right on top of the remains of the Walter L. Frost, a wooden steamer lost on November 4, 1903. Both wrecks are in shallow water just a few hundred yards from shore, the preserve’s website reports.

You can check out all the shipwreck photos here.

There are 15 comments.

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  1. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Almost makes me wish I was writing Michigan Shipwrecks rather than Texas Shipwrecks.

    Seawriter

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Seawriter:Almost makes me wish I was writing Michigan Shipwrecks rather than Texas Shipwrecks.

    Seawriter

    When you finish Texas Shipwrecks, you could write King James and the Mormon Lumber Pirates of Beaver Island.

    Somebody ought to, anyway.

    EDIT: More on the Pirates of Lake Michigan.

    • #2
  3. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Percival:

    Seawriter:Almost makes me wish I was writing Michigan Shipwrecks rather than Texas Shipwrecks.

    Seawriter

    When you finish Texas Shipwrecks, you could write King James and the Mormon Lumber Pirates of Beaver Island.

    Somebody ought to, anyway.

    I grew up in Michigan, but have not lived there since I was in my 20s.  It is hard to write local history from halfway across the country.

    Seawriter

    • #3
  4. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    I’m guessing the invasive species Zebra mussels are contributing to the water clarity.

    • #4
  5. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Sleeping Bear Dunes is one of my favorite places in the US I’ve seen. Undiscovered jewel, right up there with some of the ‘biggies’ National Park-wise. Some of the best sunsets I’ve ever experienced – high recommend the trip.

    If you don’t feel like driving all the way around, on calm days you can paddle by my house about 1/2 mile south and see one on the Wisconsin side.

    • #5
  6. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    It would be nice if this could be the year that Le Griffon is finally found.

    • #6
  7. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    Percival:

    Seawriter:Almost makes me wish I was writing Michigan Shipwrecks rather than Texas Shipwrecks.

    Seawriter

    When you finish Texas Shipwrecks, you could write King James and the Mormon Lumber Pirates of Beaver Island.

    Somebody ought to, anyway.

    EDIT: More on the Pirates of Lake Michigan.

    Thank you so much!  The “mouth of the Kalamazoo” is my part-time ‘hood and it’s got a fascinating history.  But this is a really cool bit of local history that I’d never heard of.  I will be showing it off when I’m up there this weekend.

    • #7
  8. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    Martin O’Malley’s campaign is now sunk in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Does that count?

    • #8
  9. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Sheesh. It looks like Tahoe.

    • #9
  10. Badderbrau Member
    Badderbrau
    @EKentGolding

    Miffed White Male:I’m guessing the invasive species Zebra mussels are contributing to the water clarity.

    Miffed White Male:I’m guessing the invasive species Zebra mussels are contributing to the water clarity.

    Zebra Mussels are the Primary Cause of the Water Clarity.   However, they tend to filter out the food supply for the young of native species also.

    • #10
  11. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    Metaphorically, they try to keep the water rough and foggy, but every now and then you get complete stillness and clarity and you are able to see the widespread wreckage of Democrats policies.

    • #11
  12. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    If anyone does want to write Michigan Shipwrecks or The Lumber Pirates of Beaver Island, private message me and let me know. I can provide an introduction to the appropriate editor at Arcadia Publishing or History Press.

    Seawriter

    • #12
  13. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Badderbrau:

    Miffed White Male:I’m guessing the invasive species Zebra mussels are contributing to the water clarity.

    Miffed White Male:I’m guessing the invasive species Zebra mussels are contributing to the water clarity.

    Zebra Mussels are the Primary Cause of the Water Clarity. However, they tend to filter out the food supply for the young of native species also.

    Yup.  That’s what makes the water so clear.

    • #13
  14. user_245883 Member
    user_245883
    @DanCampbell

    My father was in charge of buying land for the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in 1971-72, before it became an official park.  I spent 6th grade at Frankfort, MI.  It was by far the best year of my pre-college life.  I started in Boy Scouts there and had daily outdoor adventures.  I was a feral child that year.  I’ve always been sorry we moved away.

    • #14
  15. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @MatthewSinger

    Are we to the point yet that saying “turn of the century” means “this century”?

    • #15

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