Well, we have certainly packed a lot of diving into this short Wisconsin summer so far! When you look at any dive magazine, it gives the impression that the only place to dive is the tropics, but Midwestern divers sell themselves short if they don’t explore some of the local spots.
There are several quarries in the area that welcome divers. Pearl Lake, in South Beloit, IL, as newsletter readers know, is one of my favorite local spots. It is a 1 ½ hr. drive from the shop and offers a range of interesting sites to dive. Among the sunken artifacts are a school bus, a step van, a cabin cruiser, an airplane and a submarine. Each attraction is marked with a buoy, so they are all very easy to find. Haigh Quarry, where the dive shop group is heading on Aug. 11 & 12, is a 2 ½ hr. drive from the shop. This former rock quarry boasts a large aquatic population that includes sunfish, catfish, pike and the famous paddle fish, well as a few sunken surprises. If you aren’t opposed to a bit more of a drive, Lake Wazee in Black River Falls is a good dive destination. The Park surrounding this former iron mine, has 12 primitive campsites and a large white sand beach. It is one of the few Wisconsin lake that offers wall diving. A series of circular haul roads wind around the pit, and divers often find artifacts including chains, pipes; taconite pellets, and iron shovel teeth. Wazee is Wisconsin’s deepest lake, at 355ft. Of course this is a “little” too deep for recreational divers, but there is plenty to see in the shallower (and warmer) areas of the lake.
If you like a boat ride, there are plenty of charter companies along the shore of Lake Michigan that will take you to some of the casualties of Great Lakes shipping. Many of these wrecks are quite intact and with the 20-50ft. visibility in the lake, they are breathtaking to view.
It’s not too late to get a few local dives in before it gets too cold. Check the calendar or call the shop to reserve your spot! August is a good month to brush up on your diving by joining the dive shop group on some local dives, or participate in a scuba review. That winter vacation is closer than you think.
In Other News…
Congratulations to Barry and Brandon Cartwright on their Rescue Diver certifications! Good job guys!
Are you kicking yourself for missing out on the Aqualung “Breathe Free” Promotion? This should help: For one weekend only, August 17 & 18 Manta Divers is having an “in stock” sale! All in stock BDC’s, Suunto dive computers and Aqualung and Deep See wetsuits are marked down. Don’t miss out on this one!! Special bonus markdowns are available when you buy a whole setup: BCD, Reg and wetsuit.