Sunday, July 31, 2016

Isle Royal National Park 2016

This trip gets better and better each year.  For 2016 we had a great group of people, awesome weather and a great time.  The visibility was not as good as in the years past (20ft - 40ft) the water was comparably warmer.  Where we had less than stellar vis we had warmer water which was a great trade off. Every night we were in a port with a shower (it doesn't always happen that way) and the meals were awesome.

We did a bunch of dives on some great sites.  We did four dives on the Emperor including three on the totally intact stern portion strewn with artifacts. Also on the list we dived the Chisholm Engine, America, Monarch, Cox  and the Congdon Bow.  If you are a shipwreck fan this is the trip for you. If you are traveling from far away and want to experience the Great Lakes at its finest, this is a sure way to get in some epic diving.

We have made this excursion every year since 2011 and it never fails to be amazing.  The Isle Royale National Park is one of the least visited of all the national parks and in our opinion one of the most spectacular as far as rustic wilderness. We travel there every year during the last full week in July.  We hope that you would join us on one of the trips but do not wait too long,  this trip tends to sell out well in advance and we have never had a cancellation so we do not make a waiting list.

Check out our Facebook Page for more pictures of this epic adventure.  Hope to see  you diving with us very soon.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Back from Munising Michigan

Last weekend we took at trip to Munising Michigan.  This has been an annual trip for Divers Incorporated for the past 10 years and each year is as amazing as the previous ones.  For our tenth anniversary we took a special trip to the Kiowa.  This cool ship is about an hour and 45 minutes out of Munising into Lake Superior.   We were planning on doing the Kiowa on Saturday but the weather took a rough turn and we had to switch days.

Saturday's dives became the Smith Moore (75') and the Bermuda (25') and they were fantastic.  The visibility on the Smith Moore was one of the best days I have seen and the water was in the mid 50's which is usually unheard of.

On Sunday Lake Superior was nearly glass as we traveled out for our first dive on the Selvick (60ft) and then out past the Pictured Rocks National Lake shore to see the Kiowa (30')  The Kiowa was an amazing wreck.

Along with the great group of people diving with us,  the dives on the shallower wrecks were accompanied by Natalie and Olivia doing their first Real Dives in Lake Superior outside of the protection of Munising Harbor.

We do this trip with Divers Incorporated each year on the second weekend in July.  We hope you can join us on it sometime soon!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Becoming a PADI Course Director The beginning

If you are following Divers Incorporated or my page you know already that I have been working for the past few months frantically trying to get prepared for the PADI Course Director Training Program (#CDTC, #PADICDTC) that is happening starting tomorrow in Punta Cana, Dominican republic.  Today I embarked on my journey, got here with all my stuff (at least all the stuff I packed I am still not sure if I forgot anything) met some people and talked with one of the top guys for PADI America and one of the top ladies for PADI Asia.

So here is what I know.  Basically I have heard everything from "this is going to be a complete 10 day instructor exam"  to "This is going to be a training course from hell" I think PADI course directors like to play games with us neophytes but I could be wrong. Until it starts tomorrow all they told me is true but from what I gathered from people who are truly "in-the-know" is that this is going to be an intense next few days where they take you from wherever you are now and make you better.  They have a vested interest in you (me) becoming the best course director (instructor trainer for non PADI People) that PADI has ever seen. So we are going to spend the next couple of weeks working towards that goal.   I will know more after tomorrow but in case it really is that intense and I am unable to keep up with this blog like I want to the other basic understanding is that they are going to break the group up into smaller groups and that smaller group will consist of 7 - 8 Course Director Candidates who's soul purpose in life over the next few days  is to make the other 6 or 7 people in their groups outstanding course directors.  Piece of cake right?

In any case I am here, whole.  I have my stuff.  I am more relaxed than I was this morning.  On my personal blog at (yep I know its pretentious but if you read it you would understand) I am going to talk more about the preparation for this but for this page lets just say I have been training hard to get here.  Diet, habits, practice, paper writing, studying...   all have been my goal over the past two months.   I am ready for whatever they throw at us.

On another note this resort where we are at is beautiful.   The PUNTA CANA Westin Resort. It is a little too much in the way of a "timeshare" for me to be comfortable with it as a dive resort, but it has palm trees, warm water, sand and a bar.   All the necessities for what I will have to assume is the most challenging of the PADI courses.  I just do not want to mess this up so I prepped hard for it.  I am in great shape and a new path is opened before me.

Today was a long day of travelling and tomorrow starts early.  I am excited.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Where did some of the past posts go?

Rich Synowiec now has his own blogspot ( separating his personal musings from the dive centered ones.  Both are entertaining to people who follow him but it seems that he sometimes has a lot more to write about than just scuba diving.   This blog is about diving where Rich's other blog is primarily for his own benefit (as he puts it) since, from time to time, he wishes to have a conversation with my future self and allows you to eavesdrop.   The missing posts were moved to his new blog since it is more about family and personal stuff.  Rich is still going to author most of the blogs on this page as well as the blogs on the other pages but the separation was something that just recently suggested.   The reason for the separation, in case you are curious, is that Rich recently attended the PADI Business Academy and there there was the suggested benefit of incorporating a blog into the company web pages. Both blogs will soon appear attached to the company pages (make sure you subscribe) and will link up there.

Thanks for reading, its great to have you along for out diving and thank you for the support.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Valhalla Atlas Decommissioned Nuclear Missile Silo Diving

"This is a dive where you have to know someone who is going and is willing to let you go with them" The idea to dive a Nuclear missile silo came to us with a little help from friends. It seems you have to lease the entire property for a weekend in order to dive. It was well worth the effort and the 20 hour drive through five states hauling dive gear and a compressor to take care of everyone.

This silo was built in 1964 as a counter offensive during the cold war. Its sole purpose was to survive a near miss from a nuclear bomb and then fire its own missile at a designated target. By the time it was completed most of the technology was already obsolete and it was decommisioned in 1968. Many of the artifacts were removed but a lot of the wreckage ended up at the bottom of the Missile silo under 100ft of water. Over the years the silo has had some restoration and it is a pretty awesome place to dive. One of the most unique places for sure.

Most of us did 6 dives over two days. It was, for the most part a deep Night dive for each of the dives. And if you are interested in Joining us for our next trip we will be going in the Fall of 2018 for the 50th Anniversary of its Decommissioning.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cooper River, South Carolina - Black Water Adventure 2010

ed.  I do not know why this didnt post when I wrote it But it is a cool post even though it is outdated by about four years.

The Cooper River near Charleston, South Carolina is probably in my top 10 of favorite places to dive.  This year was like my 10th trip out there?  I have done more dives in the Cooper River than an average diver has dives.  It is still a great place and somewhere that I would drop most everything to go.   We just recently got back from this great trip.  Over two weekends I got in 8 dives.  As a group we found lots of teeth.  Lots of unique things and lots of new friends.  The water temperature was 67degrees and the visibility about two feet but it was an amazing experience nonetheless.

So you may be asking yourself,  did I read that right?  Did he really write, two feet visibility?  Dive there?  Why?

To get you just as excited about this trip as I am every year you need to know a bit of the history of the place.   The entire state of South Carolina, most of Georgia, and a good part of North Carolina were very different at the end of the last ice age.   The shoreline was about 40 miles farther out into the ocean and as the ice melted, the river that the melt waters formed ended in South Carolina.  For millions of year the errosion of the river banks, the animals that died there and the fossils that were formed, deposited themselves in this river delta.  What you get is an area of the USA that is seriously rich in fossils.  The most popular of these fossils are the teeth of the Megalodon shark.  This prehistoric creature lived millions of years ago. It is thought to have existed from 1.6 million back to 5 million years ago but some experts trace it back even further.  The cool thing about sharks from way back then is that they were similar to modern day sharks in that they shed their teeth.  Hundreds of teeth lying on the ocean floor were buried and fossilized and now, in the present day Cooper River, they are eroding out into the river where divers can find them. 

Adding to the excitment is the fact that not only can you find sharks teeth,  you can find other fossil remnants of animals from around the last Ice age or about 11000 years ago.  This is pretty cool.  Divers have found whale bones,  fossil antlers,  turtle shells and wooly mammoth teeth on previous trips with us.  There have even been finds that are more significant in the area.  A piece of pottery from early man, Civil War artifacts and even modern treasures such as anchors and port holes have all come from the Cooper River.

This past trip was no exception.  We found lots of sharks teeth. Not only did we find the Meglalodon Sharks Teeth but, early teeth from other sharks ranging from .15 inches (tiny) all the way up to a whopping six incher which is a great find.  One diver also found a vertebrae fossil that was about 10 inches in diameter.  Very cool finds indeed. 

The roll off the boat into the murky waters of the Cooper River are not for everyone.  It take a little training and a total comfort in being alone in the dark on the bottom of a fast moving river.   The diving requires a light because no light penetrates from the surface past 15 feet.   The river is full of cool animals and home to many more.  When your light doesnt penetrate the gloom that far,  you have to find the teeth by searching a lot of area.  The more area you search, the better luck you will have.

The bottom of the Cooper River has four distinct strata that you have to be aware of.  First is the Mud. Found mostly near the edges, the muddy bank is where most of the errosion starts.  Fossils have been found in the mud, but it is difficult and hard to get your bearings.   The second type of strata is sand. Just like you can imagine,  the sand is constantly shifting and hard to get a grip in the current with your river tool.  Not much in the way of fossils here, but if you find one it is usually in great shape.   The Third stata is called Marl.  This stuff is an amazing substance.  Like hardened clay it is nearly impossible to get a grip on and even harder to find stuff.  In the Marl there may be pits and "oases" in the marl that tend to yeild fossils, sometimes big stuff but it is not as bountiful as the fourth and best strata, Gravel.  The gravel beds of the Cooper River are a gold mine of fossils.  Almost every rock is a piece of fossil and the trick is to pick up the whole and recogizable ones.  For beginners in the Cooper, the trick to finding cool stuff is to pick up everything that looks interesting and put it in your bag.  If it is nothing you can always throw it back.  But it may be something cool.  I picked up an interesting rock once that I found at the edge of a gravel bed where it poured onto marl, I thought it would look good in my fish tank.  As it turned out it was a Molar (tooth) from a Mastadon and I had a great treasured artifact for my collection.  Of course you can find the teeth from sharks all over the place.  The trick there is to stay in the gravel and search as much of the area as you can to see what you can find.

Although it is dark, muddy, has alligators and boat traffic,  the Cooper River is a great place to dive.   Hope you can join me on  a trip there soon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's been too long.

I was at a business confrence a couple of weeks ago and they talked about the importance of having a blog and keeping up with it so your customers, dive buddies, fans etc. know what you have been up too.  I thought to myself, "I have a blog," and proceeded to look up my blog and figure out that I had not posted an update since, well, since a long.. long time ago.

While I could think of 1,000,000 excuses, only one is true. Instead of writing down my thoughts and sharing them with the world, at about the time I stopped blogging, I started DiverSync - the netcast and podcast for scuba divers.
Podcasting is not new. But for the scuba industry I was surprised to find so few people who actually were podcasting. Instead of blogging, I was "speaking my mind" openly in a radio format. People who listen to my podcast spend time each week inside my head. I pick a topic and expound on it, using my experience and research and in some cases special guests, to educate and entertain. Topics in the past have included, dive reports, site reviews, equipment, education and opinion. A good dose of "scuba in the news" is also included. The most entertaining part of the podcast, has to be the chat room. Working with a website called talkshoe, I have the ability to interact with people via the chat room while my show is live. The chat room is an integral part of the show. They keep me grounded, entertained, and they provide topics for discussion. They also from time to time get me off track. I feel that's what makes my podcast real.

If you look up scuba podcast online, and you narrow it down to those that have more than a fleeting number of episodes. You come up with four or five who are what I would consider quote "active." The amusing thing about this, at least to me, is that three of the active podcasts are from Michigan. Scuba obsessed at is the podcast the got me my start. Talking scuba is a video podcast. And then there's my creation, DiverSync.

I would really appreciate it if you checked out the podcast at There's a Facebook page, a twitter feed, and soon it will have its own blog. If you're new to podcasting, but you're not new to the whole MP3 experience. You will find it extremely easy to add it to your playlist. All you do is download a file, loaded onto your iPod or MP3 player, and listen to it as you would listen to any song. Each podcast is an hour and has commercial breaks about every 15 minutes. I'm happy to say I just finished episode 60. That gives you about 60 hours worth of material to listen to on your commutes.

Even though I'm going to continue on with DiverSync, I will do my best to keep active with this blog. I you're reading this as a Facebook note page, please take the time to go to and follow the blog. The more people who follow the page, the more motivated I will be to write it.

I look forward to writing more in hearing any comments you may have. See you soon.