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Great Lakes -What a wonderful resource we have! 
Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 11:18 AM
Posted by Administrator
I had a chance to go on a dive charter on Lake Huron yesterday, and it was a beautiful day. The waves were about 1 foot, the sun was shining, and the visibility was good, about 40 feet. We dove on the Dunderberg, one of my favorite wrecks to explore. The Dunderberg, a three-masted schooner, was barely a year old when she sank in 1868, after being rammed by the steamer Empire State. Now she lies at a depth of about 150 feet in the cold waters of Lake Huron, just a few miles off shore near the tip of Michigans thumb. The wreck is remarkably well preserved, and the hull is intact except for the large gash in the starboard side near the stern where the Empire State hit her. The main attraction is the figurehead depicting an alligator or lizard, or maybe some imaginary animal. There is also ornate scrollwork carved in the boards leading to the anchors from the figurehead. As is typical in wooden shipwrecks, there are no cabins or structures left above the deck. Those get blown off as the ship sinks. The mast and rigging are still there, lying on the deck and off the port side. All of it is clearly visible despite the invasion of zebra mussels that are covering all if the Great Lakes shipwrecks.
Anyway, I enjoyed the dive despite the 42oF water temperature, and I enjoyed the time on the Lake. It was one of those days that make me appreciate what an incredible resource the Great Lakes is.

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"Buyers Beware" 
Saturday, August 15, 2009, 07:53 PM
Posted by Administrator
In the past couple months weve seen a lot of old, used gear come into the shop for service or just to be checked out. It seems that people are digging out their old scuba gear and selling it on-line or at a garage sale. There are some really good deals out there, but, as always, it is buyers beware. Those old aluminum scuba tanks may look tempting, but remember that many aluminum tanks manufactured before 1988 were made from an alloy that had a tendency to crack in the neck area (called sustained load cracking). These tanks may still be good, but require a close inspection of the thread area to assure that there are no cracks, and some fill stations will refuse to fill them regardless. The old steel tanks are usually the classic old steel 72s, and are generally OK, but watch out for rust on the inside and obsolete valves. There can be issues with older regulators, also. Some manufacturers have gone out of business or regulator models have been dropped, and we can no longer service their products. For example, Dacor regulators manufactured before 1999 are no longer supported by Dacors new owner (but you can trade them in for a discount on new Mares regulators). Tekna regulators are no longer serviceable, and there have been a number of store brand regulators sold over the years that are now unsupported. Older BCDs can sometimes be leaky as their bladders get brittle and seams fail.
So the bottom line is: know what you are buying, check out those bargains closely before you buy, and remember that this stuff is life support equipment and choose it accordingly. As always, you can call us with your questions, and we will do our best to give you good advice.


Safe Diving,

Aquatic Adventures Dive Team

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Higgins Lake Trip Report-August 2009 
Monday, August 10, 2009, 07:27 PM
Posted by Administrator


The 2nd Annual Higgins Lake trip was this past weekend August 8-9. There was a much smaller group than what we had a year ago but we all had a fun time. The only bad part of the weekend was the lousy weather we had. Everyone had arrived at the KOA campground Friday evening and we planned to dive Saturday morning. Unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans as we were hit with heavy rains and cool temperatures. We decided to call the dives early on Saturday. We cancelled the boat rental until Sunday and hoped the weather would improve. Jim T went back to his cabin in Tustin and some of us decided to go over to Traverse City for shopping and sight-seeing.
Kevin R and Dave R decided they wanted to dive on Saturday anyways. When they got to the boat launch, they encountered 2-3 foot waves with whitecaps on the lake. Instead of taking their fishing boat out, they did a shore dive. Later on Saturday, the winds had died down and they were able to get the boat out and did a dive near Sunken Island. Saturday night we had a great barbecue and a wonderful campfire. There was much camaraderie and the kids had a fun time.
Around 6:30 Sunday morning, we were hit with a round of t-storms. Hopefully we were not going to cancel another day of diving. By 8am, the storms had cleared and the sun was out. It looked like a great day for diving. We picked up the boat and met the rest of the divers at the state park boat launch. We were out on the lake by 9am.
The first dive we did was at Flag Point. This was the favorite location we dove a year ago. Dave R and Kevin R were dive buddies as were Dave B and Jim T and Andy P joined up with Heather T and Jim D. This was a fun dive. We encountered lots of fish including bluegill, perch, and a school of suckers. The visibility was around 30 feet, not bad considering all the rain and wind.
After the dive, we were back on the boat headed back to the boat launch to change out our gear. Soon we were headed over to our next dive site, the sunken boats at the Am Vet location. We moored the boat in a shallow area and dove out to the sunken boats. At first, we headed in the wrong direction. We got down to about 60 feet with no sign of the sunken boats or a line. We decided to ascend to the surface. After checking our location, we checked our air and headed in a southwest direction. Within a couple of minutes, we found the sunken houseboat. After that, we followed a line to two other boats. Since we were getting low on air, we turned around and headed back to shallow water and the pontoon boat. All in all, it was a fun dive and we were happy to find the sunken boats and line.
Our diving was done for the weekend. We headed back to the KOA to break down the camp, load the vehicles, and head home. It was a great weekend despite the weather. We look forward to next years trip.

Dave B

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Aquatic Adventures is now a Mares Tech Lab Dive Center 
Wednesday, July 15, 2009, 05:47 PM
Posted by Administrator

I recently complete a three day training program with Mares to obtain an Expert rating as a repair technician for Mares products. We worked on almost everything Mares sells in the US, including pneumatic spearguns. We even got to work on the new ultra light weight Carbon second stage. Check out the Mares product line at www.mares.com/hp.php?region=USA. We are now authorized to service all Mares products.
Speaking of equipment service, remember that Mares and most other manufacturers require that you have your regulators serviced annually by an authorized dealer in order to maintain your warranty. Plus many manufacturers, including Mares and Oceanic, will provide service parts for free as long as you have your regulators serviced every 12 months. That will not only save you money at each servicing, but can lead to more significant savings if your regulator needs parts that are not part of the normal service kit, such as pistons or diaphragms. Dont forget to have your BCD checked out also. This is life support equipment. It is important to know that it is functioning properly.

Safe Diving,

Tom


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A reason to keep diving! 
Monday, June 22, 2009, 02:24 PM
Posted by Administrator
We had occasion to look over the 2006 DAN Accidents report this week, and one of the things that struck us was the analysis of diving fatalities. It showed that half of the divers in fatalities had done fewer than 20 dives in the 12 months preceding the fatal dive. Seven percent had not dived at all in the preceding 12 months. In addition, forty-five percent of the divers who died had been certified for one year or less. We think that those statistics point to the importance of continuing practice of the basic diving skills in order to assure continued mastery of the basic diving skills and to attain a level of confidence and comfort that wards off panic and confusion. Although scuba diving is a safe sport (only about 90 fatalities per year reported by DAN, out of who knows how many dives and divers), we should still be respectful of the potential consequences of taking it too casually. So, the bottom line is, keep diving, practice your skills, and have fun.

Safe diving,
The staff of Aquatic adventures of MI, LLC

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