Isles of the Straits of Mackinac Region

Isles of the Straits of Mackinac Region

The Islands of Lake Michigan? There are many in the Northern one-third of the Lake.  There’s a lot to travel, to explore, and see.  The water is commonly clear to at least thirty feet of depth in this part of the Lake.

As Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are actually one Lake, technically, connected via the Straits of Mackinac, I would like to have you imagine the two lakes scaled down to a U-shaped hot tub in your backyard.  You jump into one side, and all of the water sloshes over to the other side.  Now picture a High Pressure weather system from coming across Lake Michigan from the west, not yet reaching Lake Huron.  What happens?  The water sloshes from Lake Michigan (the High Pressure is physically pushing down on the water surface) while the air pressure on Lake Huron is under Low Pressure allowing the water level to rise.  What do we call it when the water rises due to an air pressure change?  A Seiche!

As a result, there are currents that flow in either direction in the Straits of Mackinac  and at times in major storms that sweep across the Lakes quickly can be very significant and SCUBA divers have to be very careful not to be swept away from their boats at a dive site.

The borderline between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron is the Mackinac Bridge, the famous Mackinac Island is 7 miles into Lake Huron.

Legend

Legend

1 Green Island - Straits of Mackinac
2,000ft X 750ft in the shadow of the Mackinac Bridge.  It has some close by smaller unnamed Islands with trees.

Green Island

2 St. Hellena Island - Straits of Mackinac
A lighthouse on the Island protects ships, and at one time it was a commercial fishing station, to take freshly caught fish and salt them, placed in kegs and sent to market. Refrigeration ended this use of the Island.  At a little over 2 miles long and a little less than 1 mile wide. It also provided protection for boats to sit in its lee waiting for a southwester that drives waves up the length of the lake to end so they can proceed south down the Lake, at times fifty boats would lie at anchor. Today it is a breeding ground for ospreys and the great blue heron. Through time, the lighthouse was vandalized, the lighthouse keepers house and dock demolished, and the fishing encampments are gone.  A volunteer group is restoring the lighthouse today.

StHelenaIsland

3 Temperance Island - Straits of Mackinac
Has rocks, pebbles, and trees.  During WWII it was used for used for tactical bombing and strafing practice as well as experimentation with radio controlled (drone) aircraft.  And we thought drones were the latest hottest shnizzle today.  4,000ft X 12,000ft and stony with trees.  Waugoshance and Temperance Island hold 1/3 of the remaining habitat for the endangered Piping Plover.

Temperance

4 Waugoshance (nee Crane) Island - Straits of Mackinac
Has rocks, pebbles, and trees.  During WWII it was used for used for tactical bombing and strafing practice as well as experimentation with radio controlled (drone) aircraft.  Waugoshance and Temperance Island hold 1/3 of the remaining habitat for the endangered Piping Plover. 4,000ft X 13,000ft and stony with trees.

Waugoshance

5 Epoufette Island - at the North End of Lake Michigan
A meer spit of land 600ft X 1,000 ft. Not in the Straits of Mackinac.

Epoufette

6 Little Hog Island - at the North End of Lake Michigan
1,500ft X 1,000ft. Rocky, scrubby, some trees, connected via land in low water, separated and an Island in high water.

Little Hog

7 Gravel Island - at the North End of Lake Michigan
100ft X 600ft. Made of, well, gravel!
Gravel

8 Naubinway Island - at the North End of Lake Michigan
600ft X 1,100 ft. Not in the Straits of Mackinac, a rocky island with brush and trees.

Naubinway

This should really make you fired up to buy a sailboat and a good dinghy with an outboard, and spend at least one summer exploring the Isles of Lake Michigan.  I know I do! Have a get away from everything, and visit nature at its best.

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