Went out on the bay of Green Bay in Lake Michigan tonight after my 10 hour “real” job to work towards my Advanced cert with my dive instructor. Here’s how that went:
5:15- Arrived early and loaded my gear in another divers’ boat
5:30- supposed to leave.... waiting for 2 more people
5:50- 2 more people arrive
6:08- leave the dock
6:30ish- arrive at location on Hummingbird and Lowrance GPS sonar/radar and go in circles trying to spot a ship wreck about 100 feet down
6:45-7:15- throw grapple anchor and try to hook the wreck while going in circles
7:15- hooked something solid
7:20-7:30- 2 divers dove down the anchor rope to check it out
7:30- they surface... no ship
7:45- start heading towards another shipwreck 5.5 miles away and I tell the boat captain that I gotta be home, so we head back to dock...wind picks up from Southeast and Lake Michigan gets really choppy
7:55-8:30- boat engine snubs out 2-3 miles from shore and we discover the gas has water in it and is very brown colored. We dump gas directly into the top of the boat engine to try to get back, while the waves pound us sideways. Works a few times, but for a short time
8:30- DONE trying...boat captain phones a buddy for help and then we wait. I put my 6 mil wetsuit on (just in case the dive boat capsizes) and I have my fins, mask and BC ready to go. Boat CB radio does not work, so we can’t call the local Marina for assistance (plus, they’re closed at 8:00) they call me “scared”... I call myself “prepared”
9:15- buddy arrives with fishing boat after 2 flares are shot in the air for him to find us. We tie on to his boat and head back to dock, while getting slammed with waves. I stay on the front of the boat and keep an eye on the ropes
10:00- get back to dock and load dive boat up. I finally get wet while loading the boat up on the trailer. I dove not one bit, but my knees got wet... Plus, I was hungry... 🤣.
1) Always get details of how long the trip will/may be
2) Make sure the boat you’re on is dependable
3) Make sure boat radio works for emergencies BEFORE leaving land
4) Always bring food and other necessities!!
5) I’d rather earn my certs from a location I can drive my vehicle to and from
6) Wind and waves suck!
7) Make sure your gas is good
8 ) Never put yourself in this position of vulnerability again!
10) Always have a dependable buddy who can come save you, even if they had 18 beers (slight exaggeration) already for the night.
All in all, the boat captain remained cool, calm and collective. We all worked together to survive the “test” and we all went home safely to our families. Great memories in the end to laugh about in the future, but not an ideal dive trip.
The blue dot in the water is where we were stranded and floating Northeast for a while. Not fun, but something to remember. 😁