Saturday, July 12, 2008

3 Hour Tour - Lake Superior, Pictured Rocks and AMBER'S first BIG BOY!

We set off on a 3 hour tour only to find that Am didn't know about Gilligan's Island, so our lame jokes about the S.S. Minnow were lost on her. We decided to take a glass bottom boat tour of Shipwrecks, but at the last minute had to change to the Pictured Rocks cruise because of timing.

Pictured Rocks are 200 foot sandstone cliffs that have been mineral stained over the years by iron, calcium and copper. They are also being eroded away by the 30 foot waves that crash over them and carve out sea caves.

Lake Superior is the largest (400 miles across and 160 miles top to bottom) of the Great Lakes and the deepest. The water is so clear you can see the bottom in places. It started out quite nice and a bit warm, but before long sweatshirts won out as the air became so much cooler the further away from shore we were.

The schooner Madeline was in bay today and there was a music jam in the marina.

The soft sandstone sides are stained from the minerals that run sometimes continuously from natural springs.

The arch below has been carved through the centuries as have the sea caves.

This is Indian Head point and this arch used to have room for a small boat to travel under it until it's collapse a decade or so ago.

See how perfect the break is on that huge rock? Makes you realize how soft and breakable these sandstone rocks must be.

The 2 pictures above and the 2 below are of Chapel Cove. They leave you a bit awestruck as you see the many layers upon layers of sandstone. The captain took the boat all the way into the cove so we could get a better perspective and closer view.

Notice the tree growing on top of that pile of rocks. If you look closely, you'll see the roots actually drape across to the land!

Notice how clear the water is. You can see the previous remnants that have fallen from the cliffs above in the water below. It is quite shallow at points.

The lighthouse is on Grand Island on the last stretch of private land on the island. There are only a few houses, but if you own one, you own a percentage of the lighthouse too. It is no longer in use, but there is a conservation committee to preserve it. It was decommissioned a century ago and stands tall and proud still. Grand Island is a HUGE (larger than Manhattan) island that protects Munising Bay from the elements to some extent. The island is now owned by the forest service and it is a recreational area that you can ferry out to.

Obviously the wind blew a bit today, but we had fun and finished the day with hot fudge sundaes at Bob's Big Boy.

She pleaded with me not to take these pictures and then reluctantly acquiesced to my request.

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