Tag Archives: Lake Huron

First Ice on Lake Huron


It happens quickly. Ice. Forming drip by drip with the waves after a chilly night with northern winds. But the beautiful formations seldom stay long.

Film maker Coulter Stuart posted this beautiful video a showing the first ice forming at the tip of Michigan’s Thumb.  


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Tawas – Fun Across the Bay


On summer evenings we can see the blinking lights of the Tawas area from our beach. Its a day’s sail from Caseville but a several hour drive from the Upper Thumb.  The bay is  clear due to the currents coming in from Lake Huron and the little town nestled near the harbor is a charming mix of tourist and art colony.


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Small Town Charm

East Tawas might be a small Michigan harbor town located on Tawas Bay, but that doesn’t stop this fascinating area from being known as a four season destination. East Tawas is an exceptional port of call and vacation spot if you’re a passionate boater. The town is filled with charming restaurants, small artisan shops, lively pubs, and even a movie theater within walking distance of the harbor. The Tawas Point State Park with its iconic lighthouse is also not far away, so there’s a virtually endless list of things you can do while vacationing at or touring East Tawas.


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Boating and Sailing

East Tawas is located on Tawas Bay, and known as a prime cursing destination for sailing in Lake Huron. It has a safe and beautiful harbor, and this makes it the perfect fit for just about every float plan if you near Saginaw Bay. The East Tawas State Dock is a 140-slip marina that attracts boaters from all over the Great Lakes area. It has state-of-the-art features such as a comfortable dock office, a new shower facilities, a boat launch, and a park with a playground. The facility is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation so expect some construction impact if you plan to visit. There are also many boat rentals in East Tawas where you can motor a small boat or sail out on the bay.


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Visit the Tawas Area Beaches

You have a long list of options when it comes to the beaches at East Tawas. East Tawas offers public swimming beaches that are fitted with amenities including picnic areas and playgrounds. City Park in East Tawas has camping areas that are situated on the beach. The neighboring Tawas Point State Park offers miles of sandy beaches, either along the cooler waters of Lake Huron or, the warmer waters of Tawas Bay. Tawas Point has been referred to as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” With its iconic lighthouse standing guard on the point.


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Enjoy the Local Food

While the food at your hotel, camp or on deck may be perfect, you can find a fine selection of cuisine within walking distance of the harbor or a short drive. Treat yourself to the fantastic locally caught walleye or great homemade fudge and candy. Some of the notables in town include G’s Pizzeria & Deli, Craving, Northwoods Steak House, and Tawas Point Grille.


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Go Fishing

Tawas Bay is a fishing spot, situated at the confluence of the Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay waters it’s known as the feeding ground for much of the fishery in Lake Huron. The waters of northeast Lake Huron are cool, while the waters of southwest Saginaw Bay are warm. As a result, many species are thriving here; walleye pike, yellow perch, and salmon are what the charter boat captains go for. If you’re after the elusive bass you can try at the Huron National Forest.


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Go Skiing

When the snow fly’s its time to rethink your activity. East Tawas is active during the winter, cross country skiing is a high impact option and draws enthusiasts from around the region. There are major trail systems for you to choose from in the Tawas area- the groomed Corsair Ski Trails, and the un-groomed Highbanks Trails. The Corsair Trail System, is situated in the beautiful Silver valley surrounded by the 120,000-acre Huron National Forest. The Corsair system is considered one of the largest groomed trail networks in Michigan. Iosco County has 94 miles of trails for snowmobiling that are spruced and ready for action in wintertime.

There are numerous activities in the Tawas area. Shopping, hiking in the Huron National Forest or check out the nightlife in town. Possibilities are endless, and your adventure in upper Saginaw Bay promises to be a memorable one.

Graphics courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, Tawas Bay USFWS photo by Frank Horvath

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Transom Charm – What’s In a Name


“The name selected for a boat may not seem like an important thing. But, considering the strong feelings many of us have for our boats; the fact that we put so much work, and sweat and money into them; the fact they are a big part of our memories of so many good times, with family, with friends; the fact that sometimes our very lives are in the safekeeping of our boat; most of us feel that selecting the right name for our boat is important.”- The Frugal Mariner

 


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A Look Back – 2012 Marina’s Scramble as Water Levels Dropped


We tend to focus on the here and now. However its great to step back and take a look at the recent past. Five years ago the entire Great Lakes was witness to low water levels not seen since 1964. Marina’s were dredging, boats were being damaged on shallow reefs not seen a generation and lake shipping was facing hard times.  There was serious concern on how far it would go and what would happen next.  Some credit the winter of 2014 with turning things around. With the lakes frozen over evaporation was minimized and the levels rebounded.  Here is a post from September 2012.


I got a voice mail early Monday morning from Hoy’s Saginaw Bay Marina in Caseville, “Mike, the wind was really blowing last night and we would like to get your sailboat out. It’s bouncing on the bottom.”  It was the last week in September and we usually try to squeeze one or two of the last day-sails in early October. However I had been monitoring the MichiganHuron lake levels an knew that we had a good chance of seeing a record low last seen in 1964. With a four foot draft we had already settled in the thick muck in our slip in August. I imagined our Catalina 27 hung fast and listing in the shallows. I called back, and Pete told me that they were looking to get all the sailboats out. I told him to go ahead and pull her out. I would see him on the weekend.

Caseville Harbor

Pulling into the marina Melissa and I were shocked to see the boat yard full of boats on hard dock in late September. Over the week the Hoy’s crew managed to get all of the big Trawlers out and most of the “Sticks”. (Sailboats)  When we rolled in, there were two boats idling in what was left of the narrow channel waiting to be hauled out. We took a walk up toward the break wall of Caseville harbor and noticed the inner most red can channel buoy hard aground just outside the Huron Yacht Club. This is the mark where I drop our speed in order to not make a wake as we enter the inner harbor. We took shots around the break wall and back just outside the HYC which you can see here.


Channel Bouy Aground at Caseville Harbor
Channel Bouy Aground at Caseville Harbor

Caseville Harbor


The Official Account

The US Army Corps of Engineers noted that Lake Michigan-Huron is 12 inches lower than its level of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are down 14, 15, and 10 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lake Superior is forecast to drop another 1 inch from its current level, while Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to fall another 2 inches. The Corps noted that as of now Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are below chart datum. They are in record low territory. At this point we are wondering if we will be able to get “Trillium” back into the water next Spring.


Low Water Make Narrow Channel At Caseville Harbor
Low Water Make Narrow Channel At Caseville Harbor

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