Saturday, January 22, 2011

River Diving, January 22, 2011

So when you head out to go diving  you need to worry about a few things,  what is the visibility, what's the temperature, and you worry a lot about the weather since you don't get "weathered out" by wind and waves.  When you go diving in January, you need to worry about another thing.... ICE!

This morning heading out to load the dive gear in the car, the weather app showed that it was 2 degees farenheit  outside with the promise of a whole 8 more degrees.  True to the Mantra "you can't always pick your days off so deal with whatever comes" my buddy, Kari and I packed up and headed out to meet two more dive buddies.   When we got the south river, it was apparent that today was "not looking good for our heros" as we ventured through the ice that the ferry broke through and arrived at Harsens Island, Michigan.   On the ferry the other two buddies sent texts that confirmed our fears.  The middle channel was also ice packed.   We resigned ourselves to a breakfast at the Sans Souci Restraunt and headed out to plan B. \

Plan B was the boardwalk in Marine City, Michigan.  Without getting too high of hopes since the river was packed with ice the whole trip north along the shores, we were totally surprised by a 100yd swath of open water right where we wanted to go diving.  SWEET!  Quickly we got prepared for River diving and went in.  Kari and I buddied up and about 5 minutes into the dive Kari found her first bottle.  Unfortunately 10 minutes into the dive she had a regulator freeze up and that nixed the rest of her dive day.  I was able to get her out of the water  and the other guys  and I, all diving Cold water regulators (Two had Poseidons and the other a Mares Proton Ice) got another 20 minutes in.     As I was getting out a Canadian Ice Breaker came by and the wave it pushed was HUGE.  It hit the breakwall as I was getting there and checked me up against the shore. No big deal but a surprise nonetheless.   The wave turned to relatively clear water into a muddy mess almost instantly so we had timed it well.  Putting the gear away was so Cold but it was worth it since we got to dive.

True to the post dive lifestyle, we went to lunch at a restraunt right on the river and watched as the ice moved into our open water propelled by the Ice breaker.   An hour after getting out the water, the place where we had dived was completely frozen over.

Great day and worth the drive.  Looking forward to next time.

If you want to hear more about this dive and others, check out my new netcast next week at