Sunset on Michigan’s “November Summer”

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Port Austin Sunset, photo by Sarang Patki

While the implications of it are not good for the long term, there’s no denying that we’ve had a truly incredible run of warmth this November. The Detroit News reports that a new November 18th record high of 71 degrees was recorded yesterday at Detroit Metro Airport. Today however, temps there are barely expected to get above 40 with strong wind and rain. Elsewhere in Michigan:

Waves in the Lake Superior are forecast to reach 22 to 33 feet in Lake Superior between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Saturday.

Northern Michigan is set to receive strong winds and snowfall in places such as Gaylord could accumulate, according to NWS. “The combination of gusty winds and snow will create near white-out conditions at times Saturday afternoon and evening, especially in lake-effect areas off Lake Michigan and Lake Superior,” the NWS says in a statement on its website.

The Thumb area of Michigan is also in for severe weather. Port Hope, off the coast of Lake Huron, will see ongoing rain and snowfall. Waves will be up to 12 feet on Saturday night and could possibly hit 16 feet on Sunday. A gale warning is in effect from 1 a.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Monday.

It was fun while it lasted I guess and I hope you stored up plenty of Vitamin D and sunny feelings!

Sarang says that it was totally worth stopping at this roadside park near Port Austin for a sunset pic over Lake Huron – I quite agree! View the photo bigger and catch another shot from this beach and more in their slideshow.

More beaches and more Lake Huron on Michigan in Pictures.

God Rays on Saginaw Bay

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God’s Rays over Saginaw Bay, photo by Tom Clark

Awesome shot from one month ago on Saginaw Bay! View Tom’s photo bigger and see more in his Skyscapes slideshow.

More from Saginaw on Michigan in Pictures.

The Great Storm of 1913 and the Charles S. Price

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I’ve featured the worst storm in Great Lakes history before, but ThumbWind has a cool feature on The Great Storm of 1913 that includes some interesting information and photos. It says in part:

…the most savage storm in the history of the Great Lakes swept the inland waters November 7-12, 1913 resulting in much greater loss of life. Combined of the forces of two storm fronts colliding with hurricane force bringing monstrous waves and driving snow and ice that doomed anyone caught out on the big lake. The greatest losses in lives and ships occurred on Lake Huron where 24 vessels were lost or severely damaged. 10 ships went to the bottom of the lake.

…On Lake Huron big freighters were tossed about by winds blowing from seventy-five to eighty miles an hour. One of these steamers was the Charles S. Price which received more space on the front pages of newspapers than any other ship. On Saturday morning, the Price, laden with soft coal, left Ashtabula, Ohio. When the freighter passed the town of St. Clair before dawn on Sunday morning, November 9, Second Mate Howard Mackley gave a short blast of the whistle as a signal to his young bride that he was passing and in reply she turned on an upstairs light in their home. By dawn the Price was making its way up Lake Huron. About noon Sunday the Price was seen north of Harbor Beach by Capt. A. C. May of the Steamer H. B. Hawgood.

On Monday afternoon a big steel freighter was seen floating upside down in the lake about eight miles north and east of the mouth of Lake Huron. Many people were anxious to learn the name of the steamer, although it was generally believed to be the Regina. On Wednesday morning an attempt was made to find out the identity of the vessel, however, owing to the high sea the diver did not make his descent. Lake Huron kept its awful secret for almost a week. It was not until Saturday morning, November 15, that William H. Baker, a diver from Detroit, solved the mystery. When he went down he read the name of the steamer twice and the letters spelled out Charles S. Price. The forward part of the bottom of the ship was buoyed up by air that was held in her when she turned turtle, but two streams of bubbles were coming out of the bow which meant that she would settle gradually. On Monday morning, November 17, the Price disappeared from view.

Read on for much more and follow Thumbwind on Facebook too!

More Michigan shipwrecks on Michigan in Pictures.

Round Island Run

Ferry & lighthouse

Round Island, MI, photo by Bill Johnson

Bill took this photo 21 years ago on September 21, 1995! It shows the Star Line Ferry’s Nicolet speeding past the Round Island Lighthouse. Star Line explains:

Star Line Ferry was started by Tom Pfeiffelmann, Sam McIntire, and others in the late 1970s. They purchased Argosy Boat Line. The company was then renamed Star Line after the 5 original stockholders making up a 5 pointed star. At that time they operated slower ferries including the Nicolet, Treasure Islander and Flamingo.

In 1979 Star Line bought their first fast ferry, Marquette. Over the next few years the old LaSalle and Nicolet were replaced with sisters to the Marquette. In 1987 Star Line decided to take it up a notch with Radisson, an 85-foot fast ferry which was modeled after a luxury yacht.

View Bob’s photo background big and see more in his Lighthouses slideshow.

PS: Check out this cool yesterday and today at Round Island Lighthouse on Michigan in Pictures!

Rockport State Recreation Area on Lake Huron

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Rockport State Recreation Area – I, Alpena, MI, September, 2016, photo by Norm Powell

The Alpena CVB’s page on Rockport State Recreation Area says:

Rockport State Park, Michigan’s 100th State Park and an official Dark Sky Preserve, has over 4,237 acres of land located on the shores of Lake Huron north of Alpena. The property includes a deep-water protected harbor, an old limestone quarry of approximately 300 acres, a unique series of sinkholes, Devonian Era fossils, the Besser Natural Area, and a broad range of land types, vegetative cover, cultural resources and recreation opportunities. At the harbor the DNR has a boat launch facility, and there is a small park with picnic areas.

If you click through, they have a nifty guide that includes more information on the offerings including the fossils and sinkholes! You can get a map and more info from the State of Michigan’s page on Rockport Recreation Area.

View Norm’s photo bigger, see more in his slideshow, and view and purchase his photos on his website.

Many more Michigan parks on Michigan in Pictures!

#TBT Tawas Point US Lighthouse Service Crew Training

Tawas Point Lighthouse USLSS Life Saving Service Crew Training on Tawas Bay

Tawas Point Lighthouse Crew Training, photo by UpNorth Memories

The U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association has an excellent history of the U.S. Life-Saving Service that says in part:

In 1878 the growing network of lifesaving stations was finally organized as a separate agency of the Treasury Department and named the U.S. Life-Saving Service. Sumner I. Kimball was chosen as the General Superintendent of the Service. Kimball held tight reign over the Service and, in fact, remained the only General Superintendent of the organization. The law which created the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915, also provided for the retirement of Kimball. The Service’s reputation for honest, efficient, and non-partisan administration, plus performance of duty, can be largely attributed to the efforts of this one man.

The stations of the Service fell into three broad categories: lifesaving, lifeboat, and houses of refuge. Lifesaving stations were manned by full-time crews during the period when wrecks were most likely to occur. On the East Coast this was usually from November to April, and was called the “active season.” By the turn of the century, the active season was year-round. Most stations were in isolated areas and crewmen had to be able to perform open beach launchings. That is, they were required to launch their boats from the beach into the surf. Before the turn of the century, there were very few recreational boaters and most assistance cases came from ships engaged in commerce.

Lifeboat stations were located at or near port cities. Here, deep water, combined with piers and other waterfront structures, allowed the launching of heavy lifeboats directly into the water by marine railways on inclined ramps. In general, lifeboat stations were located on the Great Lakes, but some lifesaving stations were situated in the more isolated areas of the lakes. The active season on the Great Lakes stretched from April to December.

…The U.S. Life-Saving Service had two means of rescuing people on board ships stranded near shore: by boat and by a strong line stretched from the beach to the wrecked vessel. The Service’s boats were either a 700 to 1,000 pound, self-bailing, self-righting surfboat pulled by six surfmen with twelve to eighteen foot oars, or a two to four ton lifeboat. The surfboat could be pulled on a cart by crewmen, or horses, to a site near a wreck and then launched into the surf. The lifeboat, following a design originated in England, could be fitted with sails for work further offshore and was used in very heavy weather. Some crews, at first, viewed the lifeboat with skepticism because of its great weight and bulk. The skepticism soon changed and crews began to regard it as “something almost supernatural,” for it enabled them to provide assistance “when the most powerful tugs and steam-craft refused to go out of the harbor. …”

Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light has a bunch of information and photos of the Tawas Point Lighthouse.

This photo shows the crew of the Tawas Point Lighthouse participating in USLSS crew training on Tawas Bay. Check it out bigger and join the Northern Michigan Photo Postcards – Our History and Heritage group for more great old photos from Don and others.

More history from Michigan in Pictures.

Bridge with a view

Bridge with a View

Mackinac Bridge from Michilimackinac State Park, photo by Todd Marsee, Michigan Sea Grant

Todd took this a couple of weeks ago from Michilimackinac State Park in Mackinac City. One thing that continually strikes me about Michigan is how easy it is to find space to enjoy our scenic beauty in relative isolation. What’s your favorite spot for quiet contemplation of Michigan’s beauty?

View Todd’s photo background big, see more in their Summer Fun slideshow and definitely follow Michigan Sea Grant on Flickr for all kinds of great pics from the Great Lakes!

Tons more about the Mighty Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures!