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Great Lakes Trip

Discussion in 'Wreck Diving' started by PoPo Diver, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. PoPo Diver

    PoPo Diver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: North Alabama
    54
    25
    18
    Guys and Gals,

    I’m looking at planning a trip for my dad and I to the Great Lakes for summer 2021. Looking to go to 100-120 feet or so, advanced, but not technical. Who on this fine establishment of a forum has some insight and intel on charters, where to stay, etc. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. MrVegas

    MrVegas Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ohio
    193
    115
    43
    I'm surprised no one else is all over this yet. Anyway, I did my first Great Lakes dives this year. Double Action dive charters out of Hammond, IN (they also run a boat out of Sanilac, MI). Lots of fun. Water will be cold -- depending on time of year I would guess anywhere from 40s to 60s F. It was about 55F at 80 feet when I did the dives in mid-September. I'm sure others would have lots of recommendations, but you might want to check the Central United States section on this forum.
     
  3. Chris H

    Chris H Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: LaCrosse, WI
    405
    140
    43
    The Great Lakes are huge. Do you have anywhere specific in mind? Milwaukee, WI has some good wrecks that are in that depth range, and it is a cool city too.
     
  4. Jared0425

    Jared0425 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Detroit, Michigan
    1,008
    703
    113
    If in the eastern part of Michigan, the "thumb" has many recreational wrecks in Port Sanilac underwater preserve, and some better ones in the Thumb bottomland preserve. As you go north you have mostly recreational wrecks in the Thunder Bay NMS and then in the Straits of Mackinaw you have another dozen or so recreational wrecks. @Marie13 for the Lake Michigan side of things.

    Lake Erie is mostly recreational, but expect poor visibility, wrecks, and straight up mud and silt. Lake Ontario and Superior have few recreational wrecks on the American side.
     
  5. rx7diver

    rx7diver Solo Diver

    995
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    Well, there are the wrecks in the Marquette MI Underwater Preserve (Marquette Underwater Preserve). Most of these are within recreational scuba training depths, I believe. I never dove there, though.

    rx7diver
     
    Jared0425 likes this.
  6. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    7,961
    6,533
    113
    Thanks for the mention, @Jared0425, but I'll let others comment on Lake Michigan diving.

    My favorite place to dive on the Great Lakes are the Straits of Mackinac, between both peninsulas (this is where the Mackinac Bridge is). The Sandusky is an awesome wreck. Cedarville and Eber Ward, too.

    OP needs to understand that Great Lakes diving is unlike that wherever he might be used to, such as Florida or the Caribbean. Nearly all the charter boats are 6 packs. Most do not take walk on divers or book per seat. Most boats are booked a year ahead of time and mostly by dive shops or private charters.

    Your best bet is to check with some dive shops in the Great Lakes area (we can provide recommendations) and ask about trips for next year. The dive boats are already getting booked for next year. I had a fabulous trip to the Straits last year in June. The trip was booked the previous July.

    OP, do you truly only have 25-49 dives? What about your dad? If that is your correct dive count, I cannot recommend the Straits. Alpena/Thunder Bay has a lot of good shallow stuff.

    Also, are you used to cold water diving and diving in a 7mm, semidry or drysuit?
     
    rjack321 and KathyV like this.
  7. PoPo Diver

    PoPo Diver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: North Alabama
    54
    25
    18
    Go for dive shop recommendations. We both dive drysuit. My count is fairly accurate, however his his higher. Most of my experience is deeper, cooler stuff, even though I acknowledge that it will be colder than I am used to. That’s a large part of my appeal is the new challenge I can’t get where I usually dive.
     
  8. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    7,961
    6,533
    113
    Check with Divers Inc in Ann Arbor, MI and Great Lakes Dive Locker (think they’re in Grand Rapids, MI), plus AquaHut out of Toledo, OH if they have trips. I’ve done trips to the Straits with Great Lakes Dive Locker and Tobermory, Ontario with AquaHut.

    If you have less than 50 dives, I’d suggest you stay away from the Straits.

    Are you AOW?

    Forgot to mention - hotels in many of the smaller towns fill up quickly, months in advance. Memorial Day through Labor Day is the main vacation season in northern Michigan. These are trips you plan well in advance. Getting a hotel a couple of weeks before you leave is not something to count on.
     
  9. azstinger11

    azstinger11 ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
    508
    354
    63
    So just wanted to hop onto this thread, have some family move to NY on Lake Ontario (they aren't military but think Fort Drum area). Normally I'd say I don't care about the dive op being Canadian or American but with COVID probably needs to be on the US side? Trip isn't scheduled so please list any Canadian recommendations too just in case this is post COVID lockdowns/border restrictions. Doing all my initial research it seems like the majority of the dive shops/boats are Canada based which is currently unfortunate.

    Both divers are drysuit divers and will be AN/DP before any trip.
     
  10. rx7diver

    rx7diver Solo Diver

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    Once you're sure you have adequate exposure wear, then the next thing you should cover (IMHO) is possible regulator freeze-up at depth. For recreational dives in the Great Lakes Michigan, Superior, and Huron, I recommend a Y-valve or H-valve with two complete, environmentally-sealed regulators, on a single cylinder that is larger (perhaps) than you normally dive. (So, an HP100 or a LP108, maybe.) Connect one first stage to your BC, and the other to your drysuit.

    Practice 2nd stage switches and 1st stage shut-downs while diving.

    Practice disconnecting/reconnecting your BC inflator hose and your drysuit inflator hose while diving.

    Practice orally inflating your BC while diving. (Many of us haven't done this since our open water check-out!)

    Practice breathing from your regulator when you don't have a mask on and the water is very cold.

    Practice the above skills using the gloves/mitts you intend to wear on your Great Lakes dives.

    The above recommendations can be acquired (gear) and practiced (skills) where you are now, so that you'll be more prepared for your Great Lakes dives.

    rx7diver

    P.S. One other thing: Make sure your drysuit underwear is adequate. It needs to keep you reasonably warm at depth (so, it should NOT compress too much) and if your suit floods (so, cotton long underwear is NOT recommended, e.g.).
     
    dberry likes this.

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