Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Lake Superior Scuba
On Sunday Zach, Sam, Adam, Jason and I all went up to the North Shore to dive the shipwreck Madeira. The madeira was an old or freighter that went down after crashing into the cliff below split-rock lighthouse (thus inspiring the state to install the lighthouse). The wreck is now in two sections. The bow is standing in 40-50 feet of water pointing vertically toward the surface. It sits right at the base of the slope of boulders that have tumbled off the cliff. 110' farther offshore sits the wheelhouse and part of the midsection of the ship. This section of the wreck starts in 60' of water and slopes down to nearly 100'. The dive would be simple, except that the water temp is in the 30's and you have to snorkel about 100 yards from shore to get there.
On our first dive, we split into two groups. Zach and I went to the bow while Sam, Adam, and Jason went for the Wheelhouse. Zach and I had a good dive, making a complete circle around the bow and checking it out thoroughly. When we had finished poking around, we headed back towards the beach. We were slowly rising with the bottom contours when my BC decided to malfunction and wouldn't release any air. As a result, I found myself floating towards the surface against my will. I wound up making a semi-bouyant ascent but nothing bad came from it.
Meanwhile, the other guys were fighting their own bad luck out on the other section. First, Adam had problems equalizing his ears and didn't get past 30'. Then, Sam's regulator froze and began to free flow shortly after he made it to the wreck. Jason was still on his way down and surfaced with Sam.
We made a second attempt to see the wreck, but between underwater navigation issues and another free flow, it wasn't much more successful than the first. Zach and I logged about 25 minutes of bottom time from the day, Sam and Jason logged a whopping 16 minutes, and Adam was somewhere in between.
In short, the day was fun and interesting, but luck was definitely not on our side. I guess the Madeira just wasn't in the mood for visitors that day.
Big thanks to Zach for the pics, especially since my camera met a wet and untimely demise.