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Lots of good diving near the Grand Haven area. The Iron Sides is one of the more notable dives in the area. There are some great website listings for the diving in the area of Grand Haven. As for diving recommendations, thermocline can be very dependent on the direction of the winds. Most of the time surface temperatures will be in the 70's in August, with bottom temperatures ranging all the way down to the high 30's at depths. Most of the time it will be around the 50's to about 60 feet or so. I would strongly recommend hood and gloves for pretty much all diving in Lake Michigan. I can't honestly tell you the time that I have dove Lake Michigan to any depth without using my dry suit, but a couple good friends dive in 7mm very regularly and do just fine. Good luck and enjoy the dives while you are up here.
I'm not sure that Ironsides qualifies as lots. While it is a very nice dive, it's the only dive out of Grand Haven. Muskegon there's three shallower dives, reef, Cort, and Salvor and Port Sheldon there's the bubbler. Other than that, there really isn't much within 20 miles of the Grand Haven pier heads. Contact Tim at Advance Scuba, he's the only one doing charters in West Michigan this year but I doubt that he'll be running out of Grand Haven during the festival as it's too busy.
Director Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates
"Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years too late. The cannon don't thunder, there's nothing to plunder. I'm an over 40 victim of fate. Arriving too late. Arriving too late". --Jimmy Buffett
I am also coming to Grand Haven with two girls with new certification. I would like to find a good shallow place to take them diving in the big lake near Grand Haven, either from shore or boat. Can anyone tell me the best shallow dive spot in the area of Grand Haven to South Haven?
Reef--N 43.12.990 W 086.20.499 Salvor--N 43.15.615 W 086.22.119 Cort--End of North Breakwall, outside, anchor about even with the Army Corp. of Eng. yellow castle, swim to breakwall turn right and you'll run into it.
The Reef is leftover stuff from the breakwalls or similar stuff that they put out for fish habitat. There are usually lots of fish on it, anchors to find, and some other stuff.
The Salvor is a barge that went down. Probably the least interesting of the three but it's a decent dive. Lots of steel, fish sometimes.
Cort, cool dive. There are areas you can tell are a ship, others that seems like scrap area. I think I've seen every type of fish there is in the Lake other than Salmon on this wreck. it's one of my wifes favorites.