Monday, March 22, 2010

The Pool is Open! - Dive # 118 Union Lake in March

With the last of the ice clearing from Union Lake it was dive time yet again in Michigan.

On Sunday the 21st, I dove with the incredible Reichy and two other divers, Matt and Dave, both good divers but not DIR trained. Nice guys and nice to meet and dive with them. Matt brought a nice camera setup along, and given he's going to got the DIR route should be a good diving buddy:

We'll see if he releases more pics. That's Reichy and me in formation approaching the speedboat.

The water was clear and cold, and cold. Did I mention cold, as in the ice just melted?

The details:
Bottom time: 38 minutes
Air temp: 38 degrees (previous optimistic number corrected)
Water temp: 41 degrees at the surface.
Max depth: around 30 feet.
Visibility: Excellent for Union Lake.

Yes, the water temp was warmer than the air temp - you really felt that when you got out too.

Ice cream headaches for all, especially on the deco stops on the way back up.

Some crayfish the size of small lobsters wandered around the bottom, waving their antennae and occasionally rearing up and clicking their claws in a threat gesture when you got closer to them. Some bass were seen and some small bait fish. We visited a few of the sunken speedboats and the wreck of the Model T Ford.

A darn good dive indeed, excellent buoyancy control and decent trim on my part. I actually achieved perfect weightlessness at 26 feet - no movement and just hanging in the same spot perfectly - very zen-like. Not bad for the first dive of the season. Excellent control on the ascent as well - Reichy and myself did a very controlled ascent

The one problem I had was a primary regulator with a persistent small freeflow. Basically it kept feeding air even when I wasn't trying to get a breath. Annoying in that it wasted gas and kept filling my mouth with air. Not too much of a problem on this dive as it was planned to be short, but even so, in 38 minutes I went from 2100 psi to 1100 psi in the tanks, still way above the red line of minimum breathing gas, but it was something to keep an eye on. Of course I have now taken that regulator in for service and I am getting the rest of the gear's annual inspection and maintenance done as well.

As we left the water, James, Chad, John and the rest showed up. James had announced the start time as 9am but the gang showed up at 11:00 - sleeping in when there's diving to be done - simply shameful. So we chatted and let them know what a lovely warm time they had to look forward to, and watched them get in the water. Then our dive team debriefed the dive and then headed of on our separate ways.

A very cool dive to open the season.

Next Saturday: Gilboa Quarry.


Scott said...

Do you ever get any stories behind why the speedboat or the Model T are sitting on the bottom of the lake instead of in their proper places?

Aaron said...

No story on the Model T yet. In the olden days the typical way old machinery was gotten rid of was to park it on the ice and wait for the spring thaw. Could be that's how it got there or perhaps they were driving on the ice and fell in.

On the speedboats (there's 4 in there that we've found so far), we know quite a few were deliberately sunk - one has sacks of concrete in the stern, another is fully stripped, and another was deliberately sunk by someone last year.

The great question is how did they sink the pontoon boat that's down there - was it deliberate or was alcohol involved?