Lake Huron, Day 3

The storm finally left us overnight, and Jim and Pat Stayer were quick to jump on the opportunity to get some wreck dives in. We loaded up gear into their boat–including cameras to film both topside and underwater–and sped off to the first dive of the day, a 56′ tugboat named the Sport. This boat is famous for being the first tug built with steel to cruise the Great Lakes; despite sinking in 1920 she remains in excellent condition, with an intact hull and easily visible boiler, prop, and steering wheel. The first thing I noticed when descending the Sport, however, was how quickly I sank to the bottom; turns out I’d forgotten to adjust my weights for freshwater diving, and was a good 5 lbs heavy. This caused some buoyancy issues while filming, but I still managed to get some great footage of the wreck and the countless gobies swarming over it.
After diving the Sport, we heading back inshore to dive a shallow wreck located less than a mile off the harbor–the Eliza Strong. This 200′ wreck is in a bit more disrepair than the Sport; it seems that, not too long after sinking 1901, the Army Corp of Engineers decided to “flatten” the Strong with over half a ton of dynamite so that there would be at least 20′ of clearance over the ship. What remains are long lengths of deck boards, lots of scrap metal (including a number of large, hand-forged nails,) and countless fish seeking refuge in the scattered ruins. This time, with my weight corrected, I glided effortlessly around the wreck, capturing good footage of the debris (despite the runoff from the recent storm, visibility was at least 25′) and even discovering a sizable channel catfish hidden among the planks. On both dives, my new DUI drysuit continued to do its job perfectly; despite the water temperature being a good 30 degrees lower than Panama, I never felt cold at all.