Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Dive Weekend 2009- Dives 1 and 2

Every Year, Lagniappe's Keeper (LK for short) and I get together for a Great Lakes Dive Weekend.

This time instead of one charter we decided to do two for a total of four different shipwrecks in two days. As usual we signed up with charters being run on Captain Gary Venet's boat Sylvia Anne of Rec and Tec dive charters - as always a great boat to go out diving on the Great Lakes.

We left my place on Friday and drove up near Port Sanilac to camp out. We met up with Amy, a diving friend of LK's from Minnesota. Unfortunately she got lost around Lansing, diverting from Highway 69 onto Highway 96 and ending up near Detroit before getting reoriented in the right direction. So we got together, got our tents setup and went into town for dinner and turned in relatively early in preparation for our dives to start early Saturday morning.

The dives for Saturday were the North Star and the Mary Alice B.

The North Star was a 300' long steal propeller driven freighter.
The North Star sank on November 25 1908 after being rammed by her sister ship the Northern Queen with no lives lost and is resting in 96 feet of water.

The ship is broken in two and is lying on the bottom on its side. As before, we went down the line on the stern. Conditions were somewhat better than the last time we dove her and it was a nice wreck to see. We made an uneventful ascent and had a surface interval before diving the Mary Alice B.

The Mary Alice B was a tugboat that sank in 1975 just a few months before the famed Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald. It rests in 92 feet of water and access is possible to the pilot house and the engine room (the roof of the engine room has been ripped off so egress is quite simple). It was fun to float in and turn the ship's wheel, which moves quite freely and look out at the lake beyond.

The Mary Alice B when she was named the Bonanka (The letters are starting to show underwater under the Mary Alice B's name now that divers have been rubbing the area on the bow where the name is to see it).

The Mary Alice B as she looks on the bottom:

LK by the Mary Alice B:

Me by the Mary Alice B:

As you can see there was a lot of particulate in the water and visibility wasn't perfect, but it was decent enough.

Once I'm done editing the movie footage I'll add some to this post as it is much more clear than the photos.

After the dive we returned to the campsite and then went to the Lapeer Pit for a little shooting (and watching some seriously goofy shooters what Tam would call far below your Lowest Common Denominator Shooters - more on them and some other goofballs we encountered during this trip later) and then we made dinner at the campsite by grilling some brats and toasting our diving success with some nice cold beer and then to sleep to prepare for Sunday's dives.

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