December 2021 – Newsletter

Michigan Underwater Divers Club – December 2021 – Newsletter

Next Meeting: January 18, 2022Southwest Michigan Regional Airport, 1123 Territorial Rd, Benton Harbor, Mi.

Meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.:(every 3rd Tuesday of every month EXCEPT December)

Highlights from the last meeting: Elections were held and the following were elected:
President:    Amy Ailes V.P.:  Mary Beth Thar Treasure: Ted Tomaszewski Secretary: Karen Mann   Newsletter:   Jim Scholz Club Web Site:  Kevin Ailes

Kevin Ailes did a “Show and Tell’ on his Magnetometer tow fish.

The annual “Turkey Dive” was scheduled for the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the “New Years” underwater dive was discussed. If you are interested in bringing the new year in underwater, check out the posting and sign up on the Facebook page. Even if you don’t dive, we will need help tending and supporting those who do. Try it this year. It could become a new tradition for you!

You probably have noticed by now that the format of the “MUDDY NEWS” has changed. After publishing the newsletter for more years than I can remember, Don McAlhany has passed on the baton. As one of the Founding Members of the club, Don and Larry Steelman have both served and supported the club for going on 50 years in 2021. Their leadership, dedication and hard work have made this club one of the longest lasting and most active dive clubs in the Midwest and we all owe them a huge amount of gratitude.  THANK YOU!!! is just not enough!
Speaking of Thank You, a BIG Thank You to MaryBeth Thar for serving as President since 2014. I also want to thank all of the officers who accepted positions at the November elections.  We could not keep the club going without you support.

Upcoming Dives: It appears that there is enough interest to hold the annual New Years Eve dive again this hear.  Check out the Facebook page for last minute details and come on out. Watch the club Facebook page for more dive opportunities or set up a dive yourself and post it on the page to share with other club members. Where is your favorite dive spot or a spot you want to check out and need a buddy for?

Tip of the MonthStaying warm in cold water.

If you are diving wet and want to stay a lot warmer, bring a couple of gallons of hot water in a thermos or insulated cooler. When you hit the lake, you want the hot water to be about as hot as a shower.

Put on your wetsuit and then fill your boots, gloves and hood with the hot water. Before you don you tank, fill your suit with the hot water. If you don’t have a snug fitting suit, add a layer of fleece or long underwear inside the suit. The warm water will fill the voids in your suit and the long underwear acts like a sponge to hold the water in place.

During the dive, don’t allow yourself to become too cold, KNOW YOUR LIMITS. If you find your hands getting cold, tuck them under your arms in your armpits. When you come out, doff your tank and refill the suit with more warm water. This can help you warm back up before you take off your wetsuit and put on dry clothes. If you are not quite sure how all this works, ask one of the experienced members of the club to be your tender for the dive.

One of the best things about this club is the willingness of our members to help other members. Let’s keep that going!

Along with grubbing, many of our members love shipwreck diving. Why not, the Great Lakes is the only place in the world where you will find the kind of wrecks in the preserved conditions you see here. With that in mind, I am planning to share some information about a Great Lakes wreck each month.

Wreck of the Month – Let’s start close to home.

The “HAVANA” was built in Oswego, NY in 1871, as a 135′ long 2 masted schooner of 306 tons displacement. On October 3, 1887 bound from Escanaba to St. Joseph with a cargo of iron ore. Seas were running high and the schooner was unable to enter the St. Joseph river so she anchored nearby. Pounded by waves and unable to attract the attention of a tug, she took on water and drifted North slowly sinking relatively close to shore. The Captain and crew of 6 took to the rigging, only to have the main mast fall, drowning 3. The remaining 4 men were rescued by the heroic efforts of the tug “HANNAH SULLIVAN”.

Located approximately 8 miles North of the St. Joe pier head and one mile off shore, the wreck lies in 52’+/- of water. The bottom is fine sand or clay and is easily stirred up. Burbot and Gobies can be found regularly. The wreck has broken into 5 sections with the keel and centerboard at the center.

The wreckage has continued to be battered by storms and winter ice since it’s sinking. Today the keel and centerboard are visible along with the sides. The starboard side lies at a 45 deg angle to the keel, separated at the bow and shows deck knees and standing deadeyes. Depending on shifting sands, the hull sections between the keel and the sides and wire rigging, including running deadeyes can be seen. In 2019 a leather boot was discovered in the wreckage.

The wreck is normally marked with a mooring buoy from Memorial Day through Labor day. The mooring buoy is located 20′ north of the wreck with a tag line from the anchor crib to the wreck. The GPS coordinates are 42 11.731’N 86 25.637’W

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