Waugoshance Shoal Lighthouse

Waugoshance Shoal, Lake Michigan

Waugoshance Shoal, Lake Michigan, photo by katbailey718.

The Waugoshance Shoal Lighthouse is one of only three remaining “birdcage” lanterns left on the lakes and is considered one of the most endangered lighthouses in the world. It marks the western entrance to the Straits of Mackinac and in 1832 was the site of the first Lightship. In 1851, the Lighthouse Board ordered the construction of the Waugoshance Lighthouse. In 1912 the light was superceded by the White Shoals Lighthouse. During WWII, the abandonded lighthouse was used as a practice bombing target, hastening the light’s decay.

Check out Waugoshance Shoal Lighthouse at Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light for much more history and some photos. Also see the Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society for information about what is being done to preserve this lighthouse (and a ghost story).

If you are interested in lighthouses and their preservation, be sure to check out out latest Michigan Site of the Week, the Michigan Lighthouse Fund.

Wind Surfer

Wind Sufer

Wind Surfer, photo by The Real Ferg.

Ferg says I did use a filter on this pic, the filter was my sunglasses and that the photo was taken near Betsie Point on Lake Michigan.

Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race


Check out the whole set of Chicago to Mac photos by biggunner.

The 98th annual Race to Mackinac starts tomorrow morning (Sat, July 22, 2006) from the Chicago Yacht Club. The race is sponsored by the Chicago club and they have a ton of race-related photos, videos and information.

You can watch the race online via t2p.tv. If you want to watch the boats pass, Torreson Marine lists some of the best locations on Michigan’s western shore to see them (and also has tons of info and photos from past years all the way back to 1995). The fastest boats typically finish at 30-40 hours and Sunday morning is a great time to see them in northern Michigan.

The online history of the race is scant, but Wikipedia’s entry on the Chicago to Mackinac Boat Race says:

It is one of the longest fresh-water races in the world with hundreds of boats entering the race each year. It starts at Chicago and finishes at Mackinac Island, Michigan crossing Lake Michigan and just entering Lake Huron. The race course runs 333 miles (536 km). 294 boats completed the 2005 race with finishes ranging from 33 to 69 elapsed hours. Steve Fossett set the overall race record, 18 hours, 50 minutes, in 1998 with the yacht, the Stars and Stripes. Roy E. Disney set the monohull record, 23 hours, 30 minutes, in Pyewacket in 2002.

The first race was run in 1898, with the sloop Vanenna winning against four boats. Racers who have completed 25 of the annual races are called “Island Goats”.

Dancing Waves

Dancing Waves by Tom McCall

Dancing Waves, photo by Tom McCall

Tom McCall is a member of the 73+ year-old Twin City Camera Club (of St. Joseph & Benton Harbor). I met Tom over the weekend, and even though the St. Joe North Pier Light is disproportionally featured in our lighthouse photos (I promise to address this!), I think it’s a great shot to use introduce you to both Tom and the TCCC.

So, visit club, view their many galleries and learn more about them. You’ll see a link on the right bar to the TCCC – we’re also going to be linking to other clubs (Michigan only) and representatives may want to send a note to michpics@absolutemichigan.com.

along the dock at lake michigan

untitled, photo by puja.

This picture wasn't exactly what I expected when I went looking for the most popular "michigan beach" picture on Flickr from the summer 2005.

Perhaps there's a message in there about respecting the power of the Great Lakes when enjoying them in the summer. It's always sad for me when I hear about someone who got caught in a riptide and drowned while enjoying swimming in the waves.

Water Safety & Rip Currents from Michigan Sea Grant has some great advice for how to avoid rip currents (which apparently grab 40,000 swimmers a year from US beaches and are deadlier than lightning or tornados). They also tell you how to handle yourself if you do get caught in one of these powerful currents: stay calm, don’t fight the current and swim parallel to the shoreline.

Ludington Sand Dunes


IMG_0319_2, photo by mc.jones.

Sometimes there’s nothing to say … except be sure to view this one large and enjoy your weekend!

#11 at Arcadia Bluffs

Arcadia-No11 boat- 128

Arcadia-No11 boat- 128, photo by Simonds.

This photo is part of a great set of photos that you will probably want to view as a slideshow.

Michigan Golf Magazine says that Arcadia Bluffs offers one the most dazzling collection of golf holes in the United States. Visit the web site for Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course (located about 20 minutes north of Manistee on M-22).

St. Joseph North Pier Lighthouse


Lighthouse, photo by jleemaster11.

St. Joseph's North Pier Lights from Tiscornia Beach in early May of 2006.

Travel Michigan links to St. Joseph Old Main Lighthouse at the Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy (which links in turn to this Lighthouses of the Western Great Lakes from Terry Pepper).

I hope everyone gets a chance to get out and experience some of this great state (or wherever you find yourself) this Memorial Day Weekend.

Little Traverse Bay Sunset

Little Traverse Bay Sunset

Little Traverse Bay Sunset, photo by nomm de photo.

"The waters are so great and my boat is so small."

You can see more of Rein Nomm's photos (including this cool shot titled "Pile Face") by clicking the photo above and even more (including a large collection of editorial stock photography) at his website.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Panoramas

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes Overlook, photo by Mark Houston

Mark Houston’s 360Michigan features a staggering number of 360 degree panoramas from all over Michigan. These images allow you to spin in every direction and if you’ve never experienced one, you owe it to yourself to check these out!

The photo above is a section of a panorama of the overlook on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. (trail information) Now get on over to 360Michigan.