Presque Isle, Lake Huron, Michigan

Dark Skies and Pristine Shipwrecks

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I don't think I have ever seen shipwrecks as visually spectacular as in Presque Isle, Lake Huron.....well, ok, maybe in Truk--but that's the %$#*-tropics! I had always wanted to dive the wrecks in the Great Lakes, but never quite seemed to get there...until my friend Mike Boring set up a trip to Presque Isle, Michigan in the summer of 2015. This trip may have spoiled me forever, and I have Mike to thank for that! Fabulous shipwrecks in an incredible state of preservation, combined with amazing visibility.....what more could a photographer and diver ask for? As we spent a week diving pristine, stately ships, sitting upright on the bottom in (literally) crystal clear (fresh!) water, I found myself continuously asking....'why am I diving in New Jersey again.....?' We returned again in 2016, and I expect that more Great Lakes trips are in order....

Milky Way over Presque Isle marinaThe Cornelia B. Windiate's Bow (w/ Mike Powell)

Presque Isle is a fabulous place for a summer vacation, combining dark skies and simply amazing shipwrecks. Located on the Western shore of Lake Huron and between major cities, the dark nights make for wonderful night skies with the bright band of the Milky Way easily visible as it stretches across the sky in late summer. Combined with some of the best preserved wooden shipwrecks to be found anywhere, it is hard to imagine a better destination for those interested in photography of the night sky or shipwrecks....the only limiting factor seems to be personal stamina.....trying to stay up late to photograph the night sky, then getting up early to go diving can be challenging!

Divers exploring the foredeck of the schooner Typo with the bell still in placeMike Powell inside the bowels of the wooden freighter Florida

Corneila B Windiate (w/ Mike Powell)Constellation Cassiopeia rising behind the old Presque Isle lighthouseSteel freighter Norman

Mike Boring with Corneila B Windiate helmBroken stern of the FloridaThe Milky Way and constellations Cygnus & Aquila

The wrecks located in this region of Lake Huron are in a fabulous state of perservation. At one point as we were heading to the schooner Defiance, I jokingly said to Captain Brian Anderson, 'Another upright schooner with the masts still standing, is that all you have here!?' Our original plan on this trip was to spend half the week in Presque Isle, then move south to Thunder Bay....but as events unfolded we couldn't bear to leave the schooners and freighters of Presque Isle...Thunder Bay would have to wait!

The broad, bluff bow of the schooner DefianceThe Typo's magnificent bowsprit and forward mastThe Defiance's stern and rudder
The stern of the Cornelia B. Windiate (w/ Karen Flynn)The stack of the steamship Florida lying in the sand alongside the ship.
The incredible bow of the schooner Typo (w/ Mike Powell)Steamship Florida's Bow, complete w/ capstan cover (w/ Dave Etchison)Looking head-on at the steamship Florida's Bow (w/ Mike Powell)

Links to some of the great dive operators and other sites in the region:

Captain Brian Anderson's charter operation

Black Dog Charters

Straits Scuba Center in St. Ignace, MI

Straits Scuba Center

NOAA's Thunder Bay website

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Great Lakes Shipwreck MuseumEdmund Fitzgerald bellOld Presque Isle lighthouseLighthouse stairwellEdmund Fitzgeralds lifeboat

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