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Upcoming events (4+)
We will have both a morning group (7:30 am) and an afternoon group (1 pm) to do two dives out of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Each group will do two dives (separated by a surface interval of an hour or more) on the SS Wisconsin, where the bow is at about 100 feet and the lake bottom is at about 130 feet. The dives will be done from the Molly V with Captain Jitka Hanáková.
Because this wreck is near the depth limit of no-decompression diving, all divers should have prior Lake Michigan experience, and Advanced Open Water certification or higher (as well as nitrox certification). You should also be aware of rock-bottom gas planning, described at many places including here:
Here are two descriptions of the SS Wisconsin with more history
If you want to go, add yourself to the waitlist. On July 25, the organizer (Dean Nolan; [masked]) will contact those on the waitlist to make sure you have the qualifications and experience for the dive, and ask about availability for morning versus afternoon charter. Then the wait list will be cleared as follows: first CSM sustaining members in order of signup, and then all others in order of signup. You'll then have to pay (probably around $140) two weeks in advance.
As always, these dives are weather-dependent.
Our meetup this month should be of interest to anyone that has tired of the pandemic and wants to get out and travel again! CSM member and world traveler Eric Vaandering will show you how to save big when you do!
How to travel the world (and have your bank foot the bill)
We’re probably all aware of frequent flyer programs and how they can help us get free travel — once in a while. Eric will show us how to take this to a whole new level with transferable credit card points and the premium credit cards that come with them. Many of us overlook these cards because of steep annual fees, but Eric will show you how you can recoup that fee and much more. He’ll also bust some other credit card myths.
Eric has been a CSM member since 2008. He has visited more than 50 countries, flown well over a million miles, and been taking the transferable points game seriously for a little over five years.
7:00 - Meet and Greet
7:30 - Meeting
8:00 - Presentation
This is not a scuba event, but rather a great chance to get a private tour of a fantastic ship from Chicago's nautical history. We will follow the tour with a visit to a nearby restaurant.
The Viking, located in Geneva, Illinois, was built in 1893 as an exact but seaworthy copy of a 9th century Viking ship Gokstad found in a burial mound in Norway. After sailing from Norway to the Great Lakes via the Erie Canal, it was featured at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. After a brief interlude in New Orleans, the ship returned to Chicago but fell into disrepair and neglect for many years before preservation efforts began. The Friends of the Viking Ship now continues these efforts and hosts tours of the ship, where you learn of its construction methods, the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, and its restoration.
The Friends of the Viking Ship runs monthly tours of the ship during the summer. We have arranged for Chicago Scuba Meetup to get a private tour at noon on August 20, before general public tours start at 1 pm. This will give us a chance to ask our own questions as divers.
Please RSVP no later than August 8. The tour costs $7 per person. We will follow the event by meeting for a 1:30 pm lunch at one of the great restaurants along the Fox River (probably Alter Brewing in St. Charles, but this will be finalized closer to the event).
When do you ever get to see a ship's wheel on a shipwreck? Well, you'll have your chance on August 27!
This dive trip is a great one for those who are new to diving in Lake Michigan. It's on the SeaQuest II, which is the largest and most stable of all the dive charter boats we use for local diving. The two wrecks we are diving are the Buccaneer (70 feet max depth), and then the wreck (55 feet max depth) that was discovered in 2020 which is, for the time being, sometimes called Nicole's wreck (she spotted it on sonar).
Here are my photos from the first dive on Nicole's wreck:
Water temperatures might be somewhere in the range of 45 to 55 F. Visibility depends on recent weather and lake circulation, so you should have experience in diving in cold water and with moderate visibility (like less than 20 feet sometimes, but often much better). If you've dived at Haigh Quarry, you can do this trip!
If you don't have a buddy, we can certainly arrange on the boat for you to have a diving partner.
Because the SeaQuest II is a rather big boat, we will have non-Chicago Scuba Meetup people on the dive as well.
You have to bring all your own equipment: 2 tanks (unless diving doubles), weights, wetsuit or drysuit, computer, certification card, and so on. It's also STRONGLY recommended that you have dive insurance, such as from Divers Alert Network (DAN). And it's also optional but customary to provide a tip to the divemaster at the end of the charter (I tend to tip $25 on a two-tank charter), so bring cash.
Double Action charters provides a great info sheet with what to bring, where to find the boat, and so on:
To sign up, call Dive Right In Scuba (DRIS) in Orland Park [masked]). If we get ten people signed up via Chicago Scuba Meetup, we might get a small rebate on the date of the dive.
Once you've signed up with DRIS Orland Park, please add yourself to the wait list here. But don't sign up here and NOT sign up with DRIS; you have to sign up with them to go on the trip!
In addition to the liability waiver from Double Action, you'll also need to sign the Chicago Scuba Meetup liability waiver. Please print, sign, and bring along (though I'll also have some forms for those who forgot):
Plan on arriving at 12:30 pm to load your gear onto the boat and get oriented, so that we're all set for a 1 pm departure. We should be back to the dock by 6 pm.