Lake Huron, Day 5

Well, the weather almost didn’t permit, but we fortunately were able to dive the Mary Alice B on my last day here in Lake Huron. The morning weather reports, as well as the trees surrounding the Stayer’s house, indicated fairly strong winds that would not die off until the late afternoon–too late to wait for and still have a 24 hour interval before my flight the next day. We decided to take the boat out and judge whether or not the dive was doable once we made it to the wreck, located roughly eight miles northeast of Lexington Harbor. Upon arriving at the dive site, we encountered 1-2 foot rolling swells, which would be no problem whatsoever, if not for the ripping surface current. Jim and Pat Stayer were not planning to dive the wreck, due to some ear issues, so I was to go down again with Deb Dubeck. I got into the water and kicked with all my might to get to the mooring line on the bow, but Deb, who was diving with a set of doubles, could not make it up against so strong a current. It looked like the dive might be canceled after all, but Jim decided to give his ear a try and got suited up (thank goodness all his gear was still on the boat!)
Down we went on the line, unsure of what the conditions would be like when we reached the wreck. The Mary Alice lies in 92ft of water and often visibility is poor; as well, there can be a strong current on the seafloor, much like what I’d experienced diving the Regina. However, as we dropped down deeper and deeper, we found some of the best conditions possible, with no current whatsoever and 50′+ visibility–enough to see clearly from the bow to the stern of the sunken tug resting upright and pristine on the lakebed. The wreck is in such great condition that I was able to enter the wheelhouse, spin the wheel back and forth a couple of times, then go around to the galley, open the door (which peeled open without any resistance) hover over the kitchen sink, perfectly intact. After surfacing into now 2-3′ white-tipped swells, we decided not to attempt a second dive, and instead end the trip on that successful note. That evening, Jim and Pat regaled me with stories of conducting the first ever dive on that wreck–Jim found intact dishes still waiting to be washed in that galley sink–and we headed into town to film (and enjoy) the local fireworks display. All in all, a great end to a great trip, and another successful stage completed on this amazing internship. Next up–working with penguins and diving with sharks at the New England Aquarium!