Friday, October 30, 2015

Lighthouse Cruise (Lake Havasu, AZ), 10/28/2015

The Lighthouse Cruise departs from the dock of the Sunset Charter and Cruise Co. beneath the London Bridge on the Bridgewater Channel behind the Lake Havasu Visitor Center. It is a two-hour, narrated tour aboard the "Kon Tiki Canyon Cruiser" that showcases 18 of the 25 replica lighthouses on The Island and along the shores of Lake Havasu. This tour is available every Wednesday and departs at 1 pm. Sunset offers other cruses (Copper Canyon, 1 hour; Sunset Cruise, 3 hours; or specialty tours) on various schedules. The cost of Lighthouse tour is $30/adult. For more information about Sunset Charter tours, please see their website at

Our tour guide, Captain Rick, was very knowledgeable about the area and provided ongoing commentary throughout the tour (with a few breaks when we listened to good music!) The tour started by heading north along the Bridgewater Channel. 

The Lake Havasu Lighthouse Club has erected 25 replica lighthouses around the desert lake. Most are 1/3 the size of the original lighthouse. Lighthouses on the west side of Lake Havasu are replicas of West Coast lighthouses; and, those on the east side are replicas of East Coast lighthouses. Those around The Island are all replicas of lighthouses from the Great Lakes. All of them are operational, navigational lighthouses registered with the Coast Guard. For additional information about the club see

I was fascinated by this (who can see so many lighthouses in such a short period of time!) and below are photos of the 18 that we saw today. They are shown in the order in which we saw them on the cruise.

East Quoddy Lighthouse, original in New Brunswick Canada
West Quoddy Lighthouse, original in Lubec, ME

Robert R. Manning, original in Empire, MI
Vermilion, original on Lake Erie, Vermilion, OH
Split Rock, original on Lake Superior, Two Harbors, MN

Point Gratoit, original in Dunkirk, NY
Alpena (nicknamed, "Sputnik"), original in Alpena, MI
Wind Point, original in Wind Point, WI 

Chicago Harbor/Navy Pier, original in Chicago, IL
White Shoal, original on Lake Michigan, 20 miles south of Mackinaw Bridge
Algoma Pierhead, original in Algoma, WI

Mount Desert Rock, original in Frenchboro, ME
Umpqua River, original in Umpqua River, OR
Portland Head, original on an island south of Portland, ME

Lake Havasu Marina, n/a
Fire Island, original in Long Island, NY

Currituck Beach, original in Outer Banks, NC
Main Buffalo, original on Lake Erie at the Erie Canal entrance

We also cruised into several coves on both the California and Arizona sides of Lake Havasu. The first one had a lovely small island with a palm tree (planted by someone) as a memorial to a loved one. Flowers are usually seen there as well.

We were lucky enough to see a beautiful bald eagle sitting atop an outcrop of stone on the banks of the lake. The photo is not that great, but it was a treat to see this bird of prey even from a distance.

Next we cruised into the Copper Canyon. This is a very popular boating area especially during Spring Break and holiday weekends. It is gorgeous and extends about 100 yards with steep banks in some areas. The green hue of the water is due to copper that was once mined here.

There were many boats on the water, both sail and power boats (several towing skiers).  And the scenery is spectacular. 

We enjoyed these interesting rock formations on the Arizona side of the lake south of Lake Havasu. 

Our guide provided interesting details about Robert McCullough (a true visionary) and the acquisition of the London Bridge. We passed underneath it as we returned to the dock. Of interest are the swallow nests on the underside of the bridge. These small birds migrate to South America annually but return to these same nests each year. There are also thousands of bats that have made their home inside the bridge. Both help to reduce the insect population in the area. 

We thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to do some sightseeing on this beautiful lake. It's a great way to see many of the lighthouse replicas here. We felt it was good value for the cost.  

For additional information about sightseeing tours in the area, check Lake Havasu City's website:

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