This trip is a great one for getting introduced to diving in Lake Michigan! We'll be doing two dives on the Straits of Mackinac, a purpose-sunk wreck located about 8 miles out from Evanston. We'll be doing this from the SeaQuest II, a large boat run by Double Action Charters and operating out of Hammond, Indiana.
The Straits of Mackinac lies in about 80 feet of water, with various parts of the deck 10-20 feet shallower. It has some wide open swim-throughs on top, and at 200 feet long one there's enough to see over two dives. (Those who have the proper training can also do some light penetration into the wreck). It was cleaned and removed of major entanglement hazards before being intentionally sunk in 2003.
The cost for this two dive charter is probably $140, though that will be confirmed in mid April (see procedures below). You have to bring all of your own equipment, including tanks and weights (you can always rent a full kit from a local shop).
If we get 10 or more people on the charter (max 12), we can make it private to CSM members only and get a slight discount. But it's also OK to have non-CSM divers on the trip if we don't hit 10 attendees.
You should have done a dive in cold water (such as at the 40 foot deep side of Haigh Quarry) to make sure you know what weights you need with a thick wetsuit, and to know that you are comfortable in the cold and with non-Caribbean visibility. Bottom temperatures might be in the 45-52 F range.
Double Action provides info on how their charters operate, what to bring, how to reach their dock at Hammond Harbor, and so on:
After the dive, those who wish can meet at Bulldog Brewing in Whiting (http://bulldogbrewingco.com/) so that you can hear me tell about the whale sharks and manta rays that I saw on the dive while you were looking in the wrong direction.
Our sign-up procedure is as follows:
1. Add yourself to the waitlist, and indicate your agreement with the CSM waiver. Our policy is to clear CSM Sustaining Members in the first week after announcing the charter, and then to clear regular members. (If you're interested in being a sustaining member, contact Chris Jacobsen).
2. As of April 15, we'll have a preliminary headcount that will let us know if we will book the whole boat just for CSM, or whether Double Action will also book additional divers on the trip.
3. We'll then want payment by April 20. Payments are non-refundable, but if you can't go on the trip we can always help you see if the next qualified person on the wait list can buy your spot from you.
4. If the charter is canceled (such as due to weather), you'll get a full refund of your payment.
Hope you can join us! This is your chance to try out diving in Lake Michigan!