A Coast Guard patrol spotted the wrecks in shallow waters that are only clear after the lake’s ice melts and before summer sediment swirls and algae blooms
Though the past winter was the hottest on record, it was chilly enough on the East Coast to send seasonal sheets of ice creeping across the Great Lakes. Now that that ice has cleared with spring, Lake Michigan is clear enough that shipwrecks lying on the lake bottom can be seen from the air.
The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City noted the crystal clear water conditions and the lost ships during a routine patrol. Last week, they posted a handful of pictures to their Facebook page. The images come from the area near Sleeping Bear Point known as the Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve, which is “one of the richest areas in Michigan for shipwreck diving,” according to the preserve’s website. The lumber industry put the area on a shipping route. The North and South Manitou Islands, just north of the point, provided a somewhat sheltered area for ships hiding from storms.
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