September 2019

MUD Club

Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Andrews University, Biology Amphitheater, Price Hall

Berrien Springs, MI

Meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.

(3rd Tuesday of every month except December)

September Meeting:

  1. Introduce Visitors.
  • Present Specific Club Information

Ecology Dive- September 21: Cancelled

Saturday, September 28 at the Benton Harbor Regional Airport. Begins at 7:00 PM

  • Identify dive events upcoming or planned. (Dives & Road Trips) 
  • Identify & discuss diving-related news important to divers.
  • Present any Show & Tell.
  • Attendees speak about current diving experiences or lessons learned.
  • Open session.

August Meeting Highlights:

There were 14 members and one guest at the meeting. Items discussed or talked about include comments on the lakes (Lake 16, Lake Cora & PPL) and wrecks.

A huge effort has been underway by SWMUP and supported by many club divers in getting the anchor crids and weights put in place and filled on the Havana and the Rockaway.

Lots of dive plans in the works for the ironsides, AA5 and the Hume. It was mentioned that SASS also has dives scheduled for the AA5 & Crane & Barge.

Wolfs will be putting on an Open Water scuba class Sept 20 -22 by Dave Tonnerman.

In anticipation of the 2019 Niles Ecology dive and based on conditions in the river thus far, a drift dive will be performed in Niles to determine if its viable to do the anticipated Ecology Dive. The results will be posted on the club web site and Facebook page.

Feedback from Jim Scholz and Kevin Ailes on the “Underwater Salvage and Preserves Strategic Planning Workshop” held in Lansing were enlightening and positive.

Jim Scholtz mentioned that Wolf’s would no longer be filling certain aluminum tanks depending on their age and manufacture. Specific details are available at Wolf’s. Also, everyone was invited to the upcoming Sept 14th Wolf’s Annual Flea market.

And as usual a number of people went to the Town Hall Pizza in downtown Berrien Springs after the meeting.


We appreciate all of you who are talking about your dives on the Mud Club Face Book site. Other divers like to know where you dove, ease of access, the water temperature, thermocline level and visibility.  And especially what did you see or find😊

For current SW Michigan lake condition information go to-> which takes you to UGLOS 45026 which is located off shore by the Cook Nuclear Plant and Waco Beach. Station 45168 is offshore of South Haven piers and 45170 is for Michigan City, Indiana. Using these sites will let you know if today is a good day for diving or sailing 😊

For those looking for a dive or dive buddy, keep checking in and updating the MUD Club Facebook site for “Thirsty Thursday” dives. Also check “SASS Wednesday Night Dive Club” (Calendar at a Glance: or Hart City Scuba’s “Hump Day Dive Schedule” (  There is NO reason not to be getting wet and/or having a buddy diver.  Its mid-September people- it does not get any warmer so GET WET before the hard water sets in!

Divers Corner: “A quick guide to keeping your cool”

With a desire to explore the unknown, divers put their heads underwater in some very unnatural environments. While relying on a single unit of life-support equipment, it is no surprise that divers occasionally lose their cool. Divers who become startled or face difficult problems underwater can become overwhelmed by fear or anxiety and behave wildly and without thinking, they panic.

Sometimes panic is completely obvious: Divers may thrash at the surface, stare at you with wide eyes, spit out their regulators or fail to communicate. Whether divers are panicking at the surface or deep underwater, an intervention can prevent them from injuring themselves or others. Rescue divers and dive professionals are trained to recognize panic and intervene, but all divers can take measures to prevent panic before entering the water.

Most people do not openly admit their fears before diving: Egos and unwillingness to stop someone else’s dive lead many uncomfortable divers to enter the water despite their uneasy feelings. Always talk with your buddy before diving, and make sure both of you are comfortable with the dive plan. Discussing any concerns may allay a person’s fears and make their dive better and safer. If you notice your buddy is being unusually talkative or quiet, avoiding certain sub-jects, compulsively checking gear, repeating questions or acting strange before a dive, continue your communication. Stay positive and reassuring, but don’t dismiss fears or pressure a hesitant person to dive.

After entering the water, if you see your buddy struggling with equipment, giving improper signals, suddenly losing buoyancy control or breathing rapidly, assist them as soon as you are able. Easy assists such as reseating a low-pressure inflator hose on a buoyancy compensator or securing an octopus regulator can help reassure your buddy.

Just stopping to think and breathe can make a big difference for a diver who is uncomfortable: It creates a window of time to solve the problem and gives the diver time to relax, preventing their discomfort from escalating to panic.

If you frequently become nervous underwater, think about what makes causes your anxiety, and plan how to resolve it.

If clearing your mask is the bane of your existence, practice in a pool until it no longer scares you; if you worry about entanglement, get an easy-access knife holster.

If you fear not being able to find the anchor line and making a free assent especially in low visibility, carry and PRACTICE using a SMB and finger reel.

If your concern is suddenly not having air, begin carrying an extra smaller air tank (pony bottle) and regulator for that just in case moment. If you have air, you have time!

You can’t plan for everything, so if you or a buddy experiences discomfort underwater, remember to stop, think and act in accordance with your training to prevent panic. If the dive ever becomes overwhelming, ascend to a shallower, more controlled environment or end your dive as safely as possible. Keep your cool, prevent panic, and make all your dives injury- and accident-free.

Alert Diver Summer 2019 – Public Safety Announcement: Preventing Panic.

Have recently noticed several interesting articles on Scuba Board, DAN, and other sites that seem to address a common issue called dive boat etiquette. Here is a collection of the comments made.

How Not to Be “That Guy” On a dive boat

Hey! You’ve been invited to go on a boat dive with your friends!  But there are a few rules you need to follow in order to get invited back. Keep in mind, boats aren’t cheap to buy, maintain, or haul around to different lakes and ports. Your host is spending his or her time and money to take you out, so don’t act like some buffoon at a frat party.

Here are a couple of rules to ensure you’ll receive future invites.

1)  Food:  Don’t be the guy that brings one bag of pretzel rods for a full day of boating. Consider bringing sandwiches, chopped fruit, peanuts, chips, or whatever.  Be gracious when someone does offer you their food, and don’t take it for granted.

2)  Drinks – Always bring twice what you can drink and don’t assume there will be room in someone else’s cooler. Boating is a communal affair and you may have to share some of your rosé with others, because there will inevitably be one person who comes empty-handed.

3)  Guests – Inviting tag-alongs without notice is a big no-no. Always check with your host/hostess before dragging along a sidekick.

4)  Littering – Orange rinds, peanut shells, and such are no big deal but be mindful of your trash. Litter can be destructive and disgusting on the boat or in the water.

5)  Smoking – Don’t

6)  Be Prepared – This includes sunscreen, sunglasses, chap stick, towel, and jacket. It can get cold when under way and when the sun goes down.

7)  The Captain – OK here’s the deal: The captain oversees the boat. If he/she says it’s time to go, it’s time to go. If they ask you to move, sit down, or shut up, do it. As fun and relaxing as boating is, it is the captain’s job to ensure the safety of all the people on their boat and they are liable for you. Also, the captain chooses the music—end of discussion.

8)  Safety – If you feel a “Hold my beer and watch this” moment coming up, just say no. In other words, don’t be dumb.

9)  Passenger Etiquette – Respect the boat! Don’t step on seats—only hard surfaces if possible. Don’t try to “help” unless the captain asks you to. Spray sunscreen before getting on the boat.

10)  Don’t be a NO_SHOW & Don’t be late – Last minute cancellations suck because someone else could have gone! Also, nothing is more tiresome than sitting waiting on that one person who didn’t plan ahead. Have some respect for your friends and get there earlier rather than just in time. It’s not fashionable to be tardy!

11)  Organize your gear – Dive boats range in different sizes and the layout will be different for each. One common trait is that space is limited. Bring any gear you have in a soft bag that can fold up and only what is required for the specific planned dive.

12)  Equipment stations – Especially If you are diving from a rigid-inflatable boat (RIB) or a rigid-hulled inflatable boat, (RHIB), you will likely set up your gear before boarding. Ask the Capt. how he/she want’s your gear stored. Keep all your gear within the limits of your space and out of the way.

13)  Briefings / Dive Plan: Make sure that YOU know the location of safety gear on board including life jackets. Ask how you need to enter and exit the water. Some boats might have you pass up all your gear or have equipment line with hooks off the boat sides.

14)  After the dive – Secure your gear as soon as you can and try to stay out of the way of everyone.

15)  Disembarking – Make sure you grab everything you brought with you. Ask the Captain if they need help securing the boat and unloading. Many hands make lighter work for all.

16)  DON’T FORGET TO CHIP IN FOR GAS – Sometimes not necessary BUT ALWAYS appreciated!


Each diver must know that they are responsible for:

their plan, their execution, their equipment and their safety!

Anyone can call a dive at any time

It is ALWAYS OK to say “NO!”

This entry was posted in Club Newsletter 2019, Newsletters. Bookmark the permalink.