Saturday, July 9, 2022

Temperature 77 Degrees, Abundant Sunshine, Clear Blue Skies

Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tour

Miners Castle

Munising Falls

So today we’re just hanging out in the rig. I believe we sort of tuckered ourselves out from all the running around we did the last three days. But no complaints from either of us since we sure had a good time.

Now, about yesterday. We started the day out by taking a

This is the Miss Munising. She has an overall length of 60 feet, draws just 4 feet and is powered by a single 570 HP engine.


there are two glass bottom viewing ports – one to port and one to starboard – that allow a clear view of the lake floor and everything that is there.

The tour is a two hour narrated, historical, excursion of two shipwrecks, Bermuda and Herman H. Hettler. In addition the tour includes a close up of the East Channel Lighthouse and a tour of some of the colorful rock cliffs and beaches that make up Grand Island,

The first wreck we viewed was the Bermuda. The lead picture of this blog is from their web site and gives you an idea of exactly what you see.

The Bermuda is a 150 foot wooden schooner that foundered and sank in 1870 in Murray Bay on Grand Island. Her top deck is just 12 feet below the water’s surface where she has remained for 128 years.

The story is told that she was loaded in Marquette with 488 tons of iron ore. However, this being the last run of the season the captain wishing to make it a truly profitable one stuffed in another 88 tons. The captain and crew made it as far as Munising where the Bermuda’s seams began to open up and she began taking on water. The captain sought shelter in Murray Bay intending to make repairs and continue the journey. That was not to be. The ship sank almost immediately after entering the bay.

Eventually, almost all of the ship’s highly prized iron ore was salvaged. Today, the ship provides the opportunity to study an intact mid-19th century canal schooner.

I tried taking some pictures, unfortunately, though clear when viewed in person, the pictures didn’t really come out. But, here are a few

This is the bow of the boat, seen here from the rail of the Miss Munising and then

through the glass viewing port of the boat. We floated from bow to stern, peering into open cargo holes, noting were the main mast would have been, and looking down into the crew’s quarters. It was a fascinating experience looking down through the clear waters at what once was a proud ship that met it’s untimely death because of the greed of its captain.

We were able to view one other wreck, the Herman H Hettler, a traditional steam barge that was built in 1890. The ship was seeking shelter in Munising Harbor during a snow storm when due to a navigational error it ran aground on a reef off of Trout Point. Pounded by the storm it quickly broke up and the pieces of the ship lay strewn on the lake floor today. Once again the pictures I took through the viewing port didn’t really turn out, except for

this one which gives you idea of the amount of wreckage on the lake floor and

this one which if you look really, really hard you will see a small white circle. That we were told was once the captain’s toilet!

OK, since those pictures were really a bust, let’s turn to some others that did come out. The really neat thing about this cruise is not only did we do the wrecks but we also did the cliffs of Grand Island.

Here they are, in no particular order and of course with no names but none the less just as beautiful as those in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Now this one was especially interesting. Note the little gravel beach there in the background?

Just minutes later our captain had us just feet from that beach!

The ceiling of the cave that we found ourselves in. It was an extraordinary experience, inside a cave on a boat. And the colors all around just took your breath away.

OK, that is how we started our day. But even though it was going on 2 pm we were far from done for the day. Now about that castle. Remember on our first cruise we talked about Miners Castle? Remember we said that it was the only part of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore that was accessible by car? Yup, it is and we were going to find out how to get to it.

We went hunting for and did eventually find the road to the castle.

This is the view of Miners Castle from the upper observation deck. Look at that water, it is so clear, and such a vibrant green. What a magnificent world we live in. I feel so sorry for anyone who doesn’t have the opportunity to witness firsthand sights such as these.

Hey, you mean there is another observation deck? And only 1,000 feet that way? Sure enough it was that way but what they don’t tell you is that it is a path that leads straight down to

the lower observation deck. Oh, of course what goes down also must go up. Once again I got a great workout on this trek.

Once there were three but now there is only one. The other two some time ago splashed down into the lake. How long will there be one? Time will tell.

And the view, I mean what a view. I just stood there for I don’t know how long taking it all in.

So, two down and one more to go.

We discovered this quite by accident. However, we also discovered that the visitor center is closed. Seems the floor has fallen in and currently there are no funds to repair it. But all was not lost

for there appeared to be a waterfall here that we needed to find.

A short walk later and there it was – Munising Falls.

The small brook that leads away from the falls.

Well, time to call uncle and head for home. We had an especially full day, actually the past three days were jam packed and so much fun. We’ve enjoyed our time in this region and are super glad that we came to the UP.

Thanks again for spending some time with us.  It’s always great to be able to share our story with family and friends. Comments? Feel free to share them with me. And always remember, cherish every moment of every day that God gives you and live those moments to the fullest. 

Our continuing mission remains the same: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before.


  1. Looks like an amazing area. Thanks for sharing. Oh, I did see the captain’s toilet. 😃 Did they indicate if the captain and crew survived when these ships sank?


    1. The captain survived, but three crew members lost their lives. I kept thinking, small mistakes can often have such horrible consequences. For instance, the second wreck they were off by just 10 degrees, yet the ship was lost. Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh what a wonderful day! In a way, it’s good your photographs weren’t as clear as real life. That’s a great reminder that seeing in person can’t be beat! I wondered the same thing as the other one who commented – did any survive? Was the captain who survived the one who made the greedy mistake? That water is mighty cold! So glad you are enjoying Michigan’s beauty! Thanks for your post!


    1. I’m glad I could share our journeys with you. In reply to your question, the first wreck, the greedy captain survived, but three crew members lost their lives. The second wreck they all survived. And yes you are so right, nothing like seeing something in person. How cold is the water? The answer is in the next blog.

      Liked by 1 person

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