Recently while on vacation I had the chance to visit Alpena, Michigan and learn about the large amount of shipwrecks that are in the area. 

One of the areas of our great state I have never been to is Alpena.   Recently on vacation, my wife and I visited the city and the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center.

The center is apart of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and features many exhibits on the various shipwrecks and artifacts from the wrecks around the Alpena and Thunder Bay area.

It was surprising to hear how many ships are actually located in the area. The site for the Heritage Center says around 100 or so have been located in Thunder Bay and Lake Huron.

The Heritage Center is free center that gives you a preview of what to expect if you decide to explore more and take the boat tour or actually go out and dive at the various sites around Thunder Bay and Lake Huron.

Photo by Mrs. Fly

There is a two hour glass bottom boat tour that takes you out to a few of the wreck sites.   You only get to see a couple of them as some of the sites are either in too deep of water or too far out.  It also depends on the weather and water conditions on what you can see.

The day my wife and I went out we got to see wreckage of the New Orleans which you can see above.  This ship is one of the older wrecks in the area in only 15 feet of water. It is located near Sugar Island.

We also saw wreckage from a barge that I forgot the name of.  This was after we couldn't see one shipwreck as there was already someone diving near it.  One of the other highlights of the boat tour was the Thunder Bay Island Light House.

Photo by Mrs. Fly

I am not a diver but one of the things you can do if you are is check out the wreckage sites.  Most of them in Thunder Bay are marked with a buoy.  You can actually attach your boat to the buoy, dive in and check out the wreckage underneath.

I never knew the history of the area and was glad that I had the chance to check out Alpena and learn more about the history of the area and all the ships that have wrecked there.   It is an interesting place that is worth seeing if you are ever in the Northeastern part of Michigan.

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