Living in Michigan, it’s not hard to find something to do with water. But, if you want to get away and experience a new adventure, take a half day and drive to Alpena where you can ride on Alpena Shipwreck Tours. This trip is a two-hour ride in a glass-bottom boat through the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary which has over 50 identified shipwrecks. You can order tickets online and save your spots at www.alpenashipwrecktours.com. The main building houses the museum. We arrived early for our time slot so; we got to spend some time looking at the exhibits. There was the requisite gift store which came in real handy since we weren’t dressed appropriately for the wind on the water. I was able to buy my niece, Madison, an over-sized sweatshirt that she was excited to wear as a dress. There were several hands-on ships to enjoy that you can see from the below picture that my nieces, Kayla & Madison, are such hams and were acting out their very own shipwreck! My favorites were the detailed displays on the shipwrecks in the area. I could have spent hours looking at everything in the museum.
We went on a slightly overcast day and still were able to see the wrecks through the glass. On a clear day, you could see the shipwrecks from the top deck of the boat. We were one of the first people on the ship which gave us first crack at where to sit and get the best viewing of the glass bottom portion of the vessel. The short ride before you get to open water of Lake Huron has lots of photo opportunities. The historic Second Avenue Bridge won a beauty award in 1939 from the American Institute of Steel Construction which you happen to go right under. Plus, you go right by the Alpena Light station that has been there since 1877.
As the boat gets out in Thunder Bay, it might take a bit of time to get to the first shipwreck site. Once there they will slow the ship and hover over the site so, you can get as many pictures as you like through the glass bottom. The tour goes over several wrecks of barges and steamers so; you can see everything from wooden planks to metal. I was surprised on how well you could see through the glass and that the wrecks seemed to be so close to the bottom of our boat.
This tour was quite an experience that I normally would not have tried if someone hadn’t mentioned it to me in passing. Since I don’t dive under water, this is as close to a shipwreck as I’ll get. I have every intention of going back some day and hopefully get a clear, quiet day that will allow us to see even more in the water.
Have you ever been someplace that was unique and exciting that you would like to share?