The Rewards of Treasure Hunting

In my last post I avowed that I would find those fish cribs.  Perhaps I was right; determination alone isn’t enough to find an interesting underwater object.  But kayaks, a beautiful day, and determination are.  After Tony and I were thwarted on a few kayaking attempts, we hit a stint of inviting weather, and so – with him probably being more stubborn in this feat than I – we set off to find the cribs.  Turns out they really are right there.  Had we known where to look, we probably could have pointed them out to everyone when we were there last weekend.

Approaching a fish crib

From what we could tell, there are three of these in close proximity.  There may only be three, or there may only be three that we know of.  In any case, we’re good with these.  Here’s what they look like when you place your camera underwater, point, and shoot.  Keep in mind that although the weather was nice for kayaking, it was not so nice for swimming.

A fish crib seen from underwater

An alternate view

Algae growing on the rocks in a crib

Clearly the dry bag for the camera works, but we still have some tweaking to do to get it “right.”  Occasionally, as you will see below, the yellow rim of the case sneaks its way into a photo.  I still think it’s neat to get to take pictures of these things, though, so for now I’ll live with the unintended extras 🙂

After our success in finding the much-awaited cribs, we decided to try our luck yesterday, and went for a paddle to track down the Albatross.  (By “Albatross,” I neither mean the bird nor the Monty Python sketch.  It’s a boat wreck, and if you’d like to know more about it, check this out.)  Our (by which I mean Tony’s) online research proved accurate: the wreck is shallow, easy-to-see, and in heavy boat traffic.  At least it was the Friday afternoon on July 4th weekend.  We are looking forward to picking up a dive flag so that we can check this one out up close.  Visibility wasn’t great, but that’ll change from day to day, so we’ll try go when we can see it a little better.

The Albatross from above

Some part of the Albatross, as seen underwater

Seeing the wreck was cool, because I had never seen one (Tony’s done a wreck dive), and it was fascinating, but to me the coolest part of our trip yesterday was paddling through the field of lily pads.  The Elk River has been dammed on its way into Lake Michigan, and that left behind a stump field in which lily pads grow really well.  The color palette they create is astonishing, and even though US-31 had heavy traffic just a few yards behind us, we hardly noticed it because their tranquil beauty is enveloping.

Lily pad and stump field

Red-orange lily pads contrasting with turquoise waters and sunken logs...what a composition!

Seeing the whole plant is really cool!

Another benefit of traversing this span of water was that we got to see some gulls from very close range.  We paddled infrequently to make sure we didn’t disturb the plants too much, and the gulls seemed to appreciate our lack of movement and discussion.  Eventually they all flew off, but to be fair I did pretty much float right up to their front door!

Basking gulls


9 thoughts on “The Rewards of Treasure Hunting

  1. Wow, those pics are fantastic. It’s always astonishing how clear the water is. Are there no pink flamingos consorting with the gulls? ;]

  2. They drove me crazy. Crazy. I was crazy once. They put me in Torch Lake. It was cold. There were fish. I died. The fish ate me. They drove me crazy.

  3. Heather! Haha can’t get onto me for that now =)
    Michigan looks pretty incredible, but that still doesn’t take away from the fact that I miss you terribly. How is that strange man doing? Is your summer going well?

    • Eliza, there is no need to miss me…keep in touch and come visit in the future. As for the strange man, he is doing well, and we have plans to be in your neck of the woods in September. Summer is going well, but very fast. I hear reports (from a cohort spy of yours) that you caved on the whole Facebook issue. Tell Jared to stay strong!

  4. Hey Mrs. Higham!!!!!!!

    We are back in school!! Yahoo…

    Well, I hope to see you in September!!


    P.S: the new schedule is very strange. I like the Block schedule better.

    • Hey Bryson! I saw your blog on my SchoolConcept page; I’ve just been lamentably uninspired to get online and do anything about it 🙂 I am glad that you made it through band camp, even if it was torturous. Too bad you aren’t enjoying the new schedule. I’ve heard from some other students that they liked it. Hopefully you’ll get used to it. Have a great year and keep in touch!

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