Sep 20-02

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2002: September: Sep 20-02
Late summer swim    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Erin Parks

Aimee Rathbun on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 06:59 am:

Just thought I'd pass this shot along. Last Thursday we jumped in the car after classes and headed up north! We stopped at Great Sand Bay (where it says public beach). It was very very windy and rough but the wind was blowing the warm surface water to our side. It wasn't so bad for September. Oh, and the picture was taken by my friend Erin Parks. I was swimming.

By Scott, MI on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 07:23 am:

Gitchigumme looks inviting. A swim in the big lake is always good for your soul. Kinda like a good sauna only colder! I went for a swim over Labor Day out near the High Rock Point and it was literally numbing!

By ShawnR Mum, GR MI on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 08:20 am:

Hey Aim, I'll bet it was a little warmer than the last swimming shot you sent to Pastycam! (Polar Bear girls - January 22, 2002)

Whoda thunk a person could enjoy swimming in Lake Superior in mid-September?! We swam at Lake Michigan last Saturday - it was great! Does anybody else enjoy the smell of the Great Lakes? I love to cup the water in my hands and smell it. Then after I've been swimming in it, my skin smells like the lake - better than any fancy perfume you could buy!

By Charlie at Pasty Central on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 08:26 am:

Our thanks to Aimee and Erin and their other adventurous friend for providing today's glimpse of life in the U.P. It reminded me of a late summer swim back in the 70's off the beach at Eagle River. Conditions were even more choppy than today's shot, and my younger brother Mark and I borrowed a couple of wetsuits to explore the shipwreck just offshore.

I was very inexperienced and should not have been out on such a windy day. The water was about 48 degrees, clouds moved in and it started to rain. The upper beams of the old shipwreck were only about 5 feet under the surface, and we would take turns swimming down below the deck level to have a look around. No tanks, just staying under as long as we could stand it to examine the innards of the old vessel.

About the third time I went down, the sky was getting dark, sand was beginning to kick up and make the water even more murky. The old timbers and metal relics were fascinating. As my lungs began to hurt, turning around to swim back up, I came face to face with a giant fish... its nose almost against my mask. Totally startled, I let out a yelp, loosing precious air, scaring off the fish, and lunged back up on the beam and toward the surface.

As my head came out of the water, it was between waves, and I gasped for air. Just then the next wave came crashing over me and filled my lungs with water instead. Mark saw that I was stuggling and swam under me, standing on the beam, lifting me above the Superior breakers while I coughed and sputtered and caught my breath. My teenage brother had saved my life.

Next week would have been Mark's 42nd birthday, except in his mid-30's, his time here on earth was cut short by a drunk driver. My fondest memory of Mark will always be that blustery day he rescued me from the waves of the Big Lake.

By Mary on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 08:58 am:

Wow, Charlie, memories are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your fondest, of your brother, with us. Sounds a bit like he may be your HERO! :) My thoughts and prayers are with you and Mark too!

By ashley, mi on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 09:25 am:

i love the beach, swimming and just having fun. but i love fall too. the pic is great. just sitting and having my morn coffee looking at it. and my dog running all over the house wanting to go out for his dog walk.

By Aimee, MTU on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 10:30 am:

Lake Superior can look so calm and serene sometimes and other times it can be so unforgiving. The wind was blowing towards the shore, and that current was stronger than the undertow. It was still pretty scary thinking that one wrong move and I could be swept out to the middle of the big lake. That's why Jen and I never went any farther than waist deep and we stuck together.

Some good body-surfing though! And a great break from classes!

By Cousin Jack on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 12:13 pm:

Great Sand Bay is far and away the best place in the whole world to go swimming on a warm and windy summer day. And sometimes in September as I can vouch for from personal experience.
This inviting shot is a real out-of-body surfin' safari transporter for those of us cooped up inside today!

By Irene, Wisconsin on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 02:10 pm:

Great Sand Bay is my absolute favorite place to swim when I come "home" for a visit. It's so serene & relaxing there. When conditions are perfect, the water is wonderful to play in. What was the water temp that day? Just wondering in Wisconsin...

By Mary Schei, Florida on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 04:45 pm:

September is a great time to swim in the Big Lake, especially after a warm summer like the one you had. When I went to NMU (too many years ago to count!) my roommate and I went for a swim on a windy, cool fall day at Presque Isle. Both being natives we knew the water would be warm even though the air was cold. There were little whitecaps that day as well, bringing the warm top water in. The beach was crowded that day with a lot of students - many bundled up in sweaters -reading and studying and probably thinking that the two girls in their swimsuits were crazy as loons....

By Becky, Lansing/Tamarack City on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 06:22 pm:

Great picture, beautiful area! What kind of camera did you use?

By Becca @MSU...down below on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 06:49 pm:

Awww!! I miss it! The water looks gorgeous. You will not find a view like that down here; that's for sure. I'm glad you girls are still having fun. Charlie, your experience reminds me of when I was little and my cousins made me go swimming with them in Eagle River. Although mine were never so tramatic, I can relate to the shock of that water! Keep it up girls...enjoy the last of the summer!

By Alice, Ventura, CA on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 07:19 pm:

WOW!! This just replaced the frog as my wallpaper. Also where is Great Sand Bay? This picture reminds me of the swim we took in very heavy waves on a rainy day...just beyond Ontonagon...White Pine? The water was warm that day too! Thanks.

By Naomi, East Lansing MI on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 07:48 pm:

This pic makes me homesick!!!! I miss living near Mighty Lake Superior, I have been swimming at Great Sand Bay many times, and also its a great place to capture wonderful U.P. sunsets/sunrises!
And hey Becca, nice to see another "Yooper"living down here in East Lansing, Big game for MSU tommorow,cant wait to go and tailgate and then off to the game...Go Green!

By Dave Whitten, MI on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 11:47 pm:

Hey fellow Spartans and Yooper wannabees! I'll be back to Calumet for a visit in a couple of weeks, but the tailgate for tomorrow's game is at Kobbs Field. Look for the GREEN Honda minivan.

By Wistful Child, CA on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 02:14 am:

Thanks for bringing it up.
Feeling the Water: a blessing.

The smell of the lake,
The warmth of the moon, reminded me.

Manganese, Michigamme or Medora
At the right time,
At the right place,
the water can be perfect,
the company tender.
We've had those moments to share
camping, smelting, canoeing, laughing,
Ripley or Rice, Betsy or Bete Gris,
Copper Harbor, Sunshine or the entry.
Breakwater or Waterworks, Torch Lake or Twin,
Wilkins, McLean or 5 Mile Point.
Each name is a memory,
with a punchline of a time,
the right time, the right place.

We have been there, and will be again,
it is God's way of letting us know that
we are all special.

By Ken from da UP on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 01:52 pm:

Have been at Eagle River swimming when the wind was off the lake and the water was like bath water. So warm. When the wind changes and the cold water comes back down the beach you can even SEE the temperature difference. The cold is blue and the warm water has a green tint. Has anyone else seen that? When we were swimming near the old ship the whole thing was covered with sand. The lake must've washed some of it away, huh? This was back in the late '50s.

By Carl & Carol - MI on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 02:41 pm:

We love to "swim" in cold Lake Superior! My husband's last dip last year was on December 20. (Can anyone else beat that?) There was no snow, the lake was completely open with no ice, and the temperatures were moderate. The lake was as calm as glass in Ontonagon. I kayaked that day, assuming it HAD to be my last day that year to do so in calm summer-like conditions -- it was too good to be true, so I had to do it! Sure enough, the next day it started to snow and it did that for nearly every day the next week. We're glad we scrapped our "to-do" list that day and chose to do things that'll bring back happy memories every December 20 as we remember that warm winter.

By Toivo from Toivola on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 03:37 pm:

I think these guys can beat that:

Cam Archives

Aimee, MTU on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 03:51 pm:

I also swam in the polar bear swim last winter-- see my mom's link above...

By Ken from da UP on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 09:59 pm:

Hei, Toivo, was that Heikkin Päivä by the Ramada?

By Rick in Tenn. on Sunday, September 22, 2002 - 01:09 pm:

A photo of the "Transfusion by Osmosis" process. Reminds me of the day I took my 6 week old daughter to Grand Marais. Had to dip her toes in the big Lake. Why?...because she was born here in Nashville, I had to start the transfusion process of putting some Ice Water in her veins as soon as possible. I have had the transfusions too, born in Duluth, a Toot, sailed a 37 footer from Dollar Bay to Ontonagon in 12 foot waves back in the Fall of '81, proposed to my wife standing knee deep at Au Train, so the Lake has contributed to some significant moments in my life.

By JEO, Dallas, Texas on Monday, September 23, 2002 - 03:23 am:

Thank you Charlie for sharing such a poignant, heartfelt, bittersweet story. I am grateful that Mark saved your life that day so that you could go on to bring such enjoyment to so many. I am sorry that his life was cut short by a senseless act. I know he must be looking over you now. Thank you Charlie for this wonderful site!

By Aimme's Dad on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 09:07 am:

Thanks Aimee for sharing a great picture - a digital escape to the keweenaw. (And it's good that your schooling is not getting in the way of enjoying the Keweenaw)

Thanks Charlie for sharing that story. It's wonderful to have great memories...

And thanks to Wistful for a wonderful verse - its going on my quote board. Whenever I am by the Great Lakes, I feel so humbled and so blessed that god has created such beauty.

You've all made my day!

By Carson Klemp, Laurium MI on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 - 10:01 pm:

I ended up Boogie boarding just down the bay a ways on Camp Road 6 the next day. Water temperature at 58 and 5-6ft waves. They were really nice conditions with bueutiful sets. Caught 15 waves. Its one of the best rushes around. I suggest anyone whos interested to buy a wetsuit and a board. I have some pictures of the waves up near here on the day of that mid August storm. Anyone who was up here will remember it. 70 mph winds for over 18 hours. 15ft waves out in front of Eagle Harbor and 20 footers on northern superior. Huge. I have some pictures of a the waves crashing into the rocks, showing there real size since in Great Sand Bay they were breaking way way off shore. The point there looked like a giant area of foam. When I scan them I will definitly send them in. Nice to see other people in the water! I'm looking forward to some fall blows and some nice waves!

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