In Michigan’s Upper Thumb, Charity Island commands the skyline of Saginaw Bay, but the island and its lighthouse are visited only by a handful of weekend tourists each summer. Last year we rode along with Captain Tom Carriveau, owner of Explorer Charters, on one of his trips to the island. Captain Tom has been taking visitors out on Charity Island Tours for over eight years. However with the COVID 19 Pandemic he has had to make some adjustments. Captain Tom is looking forward to the summer of 2020 with a simpler Charity Island Picnic Cruise and smaller number of people on the excursions.
In 2019, Captain Tom brought the Lady of the Lakes over from Leland Michigan where it had been conducting ferry service between Fishtown and Manitou Island in Lake Michigan. The 50-foot tour boat was refurbished for tours and Scuba dive chartering on Saginaw Bay this summer.
“Last year we updated electronics including radar, VHF with AIS and a new stereo system” Tom noted. “We can take a passenger’s smartphone and play his or her favorite playlist on our onboard stereo speakers. It will be a great personal touch. ”
With the Corona-virus affecting businesses, including tour boat operation we asked about what impact the Executive order Stay Home, Stay Safe will have on the season. “Since the safety of my passengers is always my number one concern, I will be limiting the number of passengers on board to about a third of capacity. With the top deck open, folks can comfortability spread out.” Tom concluded.
Charity Island Picnic Cruise
If you have a group or a family, create your own adventure by exploring one of the least visited lighthouses and island’s on the Great Lakes. This five-hour trip from Sand Point will let you see both sides of Saginaw Bay as you come into Charity Islands harbor. For the 2020 Season there will be Picnic Day trips to Big Charity Island Saturdays and Sundays from July 1 through Labor Day. Bring your own picnic lunch and enjoy it on the island or while onboard.
After lunch, there will time to walk the beach a bit, take pictures of the lighthouse. There are a number of kiosks that explain the high points of Big Charity Island history. Total time on the Island 2 1/2 to 3 hours, then the 80 minute ride back to the mainland.
Pop and bottled water are provided, or you can bring along your own small cooler and BYOB. $49.00 per person, those age 12 and under $22.00. Weather permitting, 6 passenger minimum. See the Explorer Charters tour calendar for more details.
For more information about the Charity Island Picnic Cruise and other charter opportunities call Capt. Tom at 989-550-1234 or visit Explorer Charters for details, schedules and costs. Explorer Charters offer company events, weddings, lighthouse tours, sunset tours, kayaking, scuba charters, and commercial and charter services.