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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Glass Bottom Boat Lake Superior Boat Tour!

On Monday, August 17th, we had the pleasure of one of the best outings this summer in the U.P.

A friend of mine belonged to his local Rotary group and they had a fundraiser activity of a glass-bottomed boat tour out into Lake Superior, near Munising, Michigan. The area is known for beautiful rock cliffs called "Pictured Rocks".

This was a sunset tour, so even though the boat was a "glass bottomed" boat to look at a shipwreck on the bottom of Lake Superior, the water was too dark for that part of the tour. However, the rock cliffs at sunset and the sunset itself were some of the most beautiful I have seen along the shoreline of Lake Superior.

Three of us are retired, and two were not. So, we decided to meet for dinner in a little town about 10 miles away from the boat launch at 5pm when the two (who still have the misfortune of having to work) got off work. (Sorry K and C, I couldn't resist saying that!)

We had a scrumptous meal at the Brownstone restaurant. I had whitefish...delicious!!! One of my friends (K) is having a birthday coming up, so C had a surprise birthday cake, complete with candles delivered to the table, along with the staff singing to him. He was embarrassed.
We loved it.
About the time the singing began, I glanced at my watch. We were supposed to be at the dock for 6:30p. We told the staff we were sorry, but we had to fly and take the cake in a "to go" box. They were so accomodating. They told us not to worry, though...they said the boat usually waits about a half hour and takes off around 7pm.

Worried, we rushed off and sped to the dock area. (Thank you State Police for not being in the area on Highway 41 as we sped to the dock area!)

So as we were pulling up to park ---I look out at the lake and see a boat about 100 yards away from shore, speeding out towards the middle of Lake Superior. I told my husband, jokingly....."well, we missed the boat...there she goes!" He laughs and says: "Oh, they have more than one boat you know!"

Here are my friends heading to the boat dock. C is way by the building telling K something:


We had MISSED the boat!!!!!

But, believe it or not....she is telling him something we couldn't believe!

They had radioed the Captain, and he agreed to COME BACK to pick us up!!!! this point we were laughing and we couldn't believe it.

And then, our second thought?...

Oh, God...we are SO embarrassed.

Here is the boat load of people pulling in to PICK US UP>>>>>

As we got on, we apologized....
and since there was a BAR right as we boarded, and it looked like the people were already pretty happy....
we were forgiven.
Teased, but forgiven.

So....out in Lake Superior we headed for the big tour!.....
Here is a shot of another (identical) boat just ahead of us beginning the tour:
See those rock cliffs?
They are called Pictured Rocks.
Aren't they pretty?
Who needs the Cliffs of Dover when we have these?

Our tour was going to take us around a large island called Grand Island.
So we headed straight there and picked up some more boarders:

Our tour guide announced that right around the bend, we might see either an adult eagle on its nest or an Eaglet.
Right up my alley!!
(My regular readers KNOW how I feel about capturing eagle pictures!!)
Sure enough....
we just went a little ways and we spotted an Eaglet in flight!:

Then we saw the mature eagle in the tree.
Unfortunately, the lighting wasn't right with the sun angle...and as wonderful as my zoom is, it wasn't strong enough to get a shot of him as close as I wanted, but I was lucky to get this shot of him anyway!:

I was very happy to see the two eagles and to be able to get a few shots of them!

The rest of the tour was wonderful.

Full of breathtakingly beautiful rock cliffs lit up by the setting sun
and of course
a beautiful sunset.

Here is our approach to a very old lighthouse on Grand Island:

Here is a little closer shot of the weathered lighthouse:

Isn't it neat?
I was tempted to jump off the boat and swim in to see it.
Oh wait, that must have been the wine talking!. :=}

Heading out from the island to look at the beautiful rock cliffs!:

Now THIS is what I am talking about!
(If you look close, there is another lighthouse on top of that cliff!):

Want a closer look?
Well....okay then!:

I was lucky.
The light could not have been prettier to take the shots of the cliffs:

I LOVED this cliff with the lighthouse on it. You can't get much more picturesque..and look at the cave on the far left!:

Here is a closer view of the little rock cave:

And here are more rock outcroppings.
I loved them all:

There was a tour guide there, telling us all kinds of interesting facts about the native Americans that inhabited the island and about some of the archeological digs.
The weather was PERFECT. It was about 80 degrees with warm, balmy breezes.
It was really wonderful being there with good friends, heavenly scenery, good wine
and of course....
a PERFECT sunset!!
So, pour yourself a little glass of wine before you finish this blogpost.

Go ahead.

I'll wait....

Got it?

Ok now.
Let's watch the sunset together, now shall we?

The sun is getting ready to set:

It's slipping away................

Look at the clouds!!!

I think it is the perfect sunset to the end of the perfect day......



Its a perfect memory.
Thank you so much K and C for inviting us!!!


Sandy aka Doris the Great said...


Barb said...

Ohhhhh - too early for the glass of wine, but I'll try and keep these images in my mind until tonight. Enjoyed your tour almost as much as you did - what a beautiful place! Since an eagle sighting portends good luck - you're all set for the future, too.

Sharon said...

Oh! Gosh!

This DVM's Wife's Life said...

I can't remember when I was up to Pictured Rocks last. I certainly need to pack up our fam and head there. Wow! Great pictures especially that sunset. Fantastic! I hope you print one or two of those and frame them because they are keepers!

Bernie said...

Beautiful, beautiful photo's Joan, I wouldn't be able to pick a favorite, at the doctor's office this morning I noticed the pictures on her walls and in my opinion they don't even come close to the beauty of yours. I was tempted to tell her about your work, as her office could use an upgrade, nah am not that rude but it did go through my mind.
So glad you had such a wonderful evening with your friends, you described my kind of a fun time.
Stay well my friend and keep these beautiful photo's coming. It brings us all so much joy....Hugs

Sara said...

I loved the sunset, what a beautiful place!

DJan said...

Sunsets galore! What a wonderful set of pictures, and the water, cliffs, eaglets and eagle were also really wonderful. Thanks so much for another great visit to the U.P.!!

L. D. Burgus said...

Wow, what a boat trip. Those pictures are unbelievable. The whole trip sounded like a lot a fun. I think I need to go out and get some wine and keep reviewing your blog, daily. Thanks for sharing....

Wanda said...

...ARE THOSE CLOUDS FOR REAL? You capture the most beautiful sunsets Joan...and that glistening water is perfect too...Wish I had been there, but your photos are the next best thing.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

beautiful! You shouldn't feel bad about making the boat turn around..after all, you had to get the cake!!
Thanks for the amazing pics! Nice to be back at your blog!

Cathy Clementz said...

I AM SO JEALOUS!!! Lived here for 17 years and have yet to be able for us to take either boat tour!! WONDERFUL SHOTS!! And I didn't need the wine!! DOES ANYONE WANT TO BUY A CAMPGROUND SO DAN AND I CAN DO THINGS LIKE THIS?????

rainfield61 said...

Ahh, after the beautiful sunset, then come the good night......zzzzzzzzzzz

Shelley said...

What a beautiful outing! Laughing about you missing the boat! That was nice that they came back for ya! I thought you were going to have to buy everyone on the boat a round! Thank you for the sunset too!

The Retired One said...

Sandy: You are welcome. We had SUCH a good time..I HAD to share the pictures on my blog.

Barb: We have seen many eagles this summer, so I must be lucky! We were lucky to be invited on this cruise. We had such a good time.

Sharon: That's EXACTLY how I felt when I was on the boat experiencing all of that beauty.

DVM's wife: I was thinking of blowing up one of the sunsets into one to frame...I won a free poster on someone else's blog's contest and I may do the one of the clouds and sunset...or maybe the cave one...I just can't decide which one!

Bernie: Thanks so are so great to give me all the nice feedback on my photos. I would have LOVED it if you would've told your Dr. about them and if she would have wanted some for her office...if the opportunity comes up again (and you just can't help yourself! ha!) go ahead and tell her. I would be so blown away if she wanted some!

Sara: It is even more incredible in person!

DJan: Thanks! And to experience it in person was quite thrilling. As you must know, from all of your great adventures!

L.D.: I hope you do (enjoy the blog daily) with or without wine. ha

Wanda: Oh yes...those sunsets are real..I have been so lucky this summer to have witnessed so many gorgeous sunsets and to have been able to capture them in my photography.

Roshni: It is so good to hear from you again~ thanks for stopping by my blog! Yes, we kept the cake (never ate any..we were too full from dinner and the boat's wine). In fact they had hors doeurves on the boat and we didn't even have any of those!

Cathy: If you get the chance by having someone babysit the campground for just one should try and do the tour...I can't imagine how beautiful it will be when the autumn leaves come...I want to go back then and do the Pictured Rocks tour this time.

Rainfield: Yes, we were tired when we got was a beautiful evening and the fresh air on the boat along with the wine made me soooo relaxed!

Brian Miller said...

ahh...thank you for sharing such a beautiful sunset with us...the light on the rocks was amazing as well...i wanna go!

Insanity Kim said...

The sun setting on the water is God's medicine, it so soothes and heals the soul!

Totally inspiring! Thanks Joan!

Alan Burnett said...

The tour sounds fantastic, and captured so well in your photographs.

J.J. in L.A. said...

Gorgeous sunset pics but that begs a question...why would they take you out on a glass-bottom boat at sunset!

Reminds me of the Alaskan cruise when we didn't get to Butchart Gardens til after dark! It's a can't see flowers at night! lol!

Sue said...

Sunset is one of those times you HOPE for a few clouds....makes it all the more spectacular!

Loree said...

Very pretty.

The Retired One said...

Shelley: That's EXACTLY what they said...that I should buy a round.Since there were 100 people on board, I didn't think I could do that.ha

Brian: You would love it if you come up here...lots of gorgeous nature to see. I can hear your writing now....

Insanity: Inspiring is a good way to describe how it was to be there in person. It was truly breathtaking.

Alan: Thanks so much. Of course I took over 100 photos, these are just some of them.

JJ: None of us minded...we wanted the party and the beautiful scenery ABOVE the water,not the shipwreck sighting. In fact, they had hors doeurves below deck and we were having such a good time,none of us even checked that out. ha

Sue: I agree. Although, clouds or not, there isn't a sunset I haven't loved or admired.

Loree: Yes, it was gorgeous out there.

Ashley said...

Thank you for the kind words! Glad you stopped by my blog.

Amazing pictures! Pictured rocks are beautiful anytime of the year. In my opinion they show just what God wants us to see in nature.

Looks like you had a wonderful time! :)

grannyann said...

Those were great pictures!! I liked the one of the light house on Grand Island. what a neat place. thanks for the tour

The Retired One said...

Ashley: Thanks so much. It did feel heavenly out there, for sure!

Grannyann: Thanks. I liked that old worn lighthouse too.

Jientje said...

That sunset made me gasp!!! WOW.
Just W.O.W.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

How fun and what beautiful scenery. I've never been to your part of the country and it's so interesting seeing what different parts of that area look like. I love all the lighthouses.

The Retired One said...

Jientje: Thank you so much! It was glorious in person, too...just glorious!

Catherine: I know...I love it when people post scenery from where they live. I am glad you liked this. The lighthouses here are all along the Lake Superior coastline, and they are all wonderful.

Ratty said...

Absolutely beautiful photos! I would be terrified to get on a glass bottom boat though. My irrational rational fear of drowning would refuse to let me go.

The Retired One said...

Ratty: you wouldn't have been afraid on that boat..the "glass bottom" part was just a few feet in diameter...the rest of the boat was solid. ha They also had life preserves...not to fear!
(you could always just have wine like me) :-}

jessica said...

Nice to "see" Pictured Rocks once again. I have not been in Munising in years and years. My mom was born and raised there, met my dad there, and they were married there in January of 1947. So thanks for the photos and the thoughts of that area.

The Retired One said...

Jessica: I didn't know they were married in Munising! It is such a pretty area.

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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