Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dives on the Strong and the Sport provide chance to watch father and son begin checkout dive process

Do to an unexpected change in my work schedule, I had been unable to do much diving this summer.
But I was able to get out recently and did a couple of wreck dives in Lake Huron near Port Sanilac and Lexington in Michigan’s thumb on the Great Lakes Diver, the dive boat owned by Bruno’s Dive Shop, which is located in Clinton Township.
I had the pleasure of meeting Stephen and Ryan Puckett, a father and son from Grosse Pointe Woods, who were doing there checkout dives for their open water certification.
Here is an interview I had with them before the dives, during their dive briefings with instructor Rick Davies from Brunos, and then after the dives.

Watching them deal with a combination of excitement and nerves while preparing for their first dive outside of the swimming pool brought me right back to when I was in their position so many years ago.
Am I ready? Can I do it? Will I remember everything from my training?
Since we were doing checkout dives, basically the final exam for new divers, both dives were relatively shallow. Our first dive was down to the Eliza H. Strong, a barge that was carrying lumber when it caught fire and sunk on Oct. 25, 1904, about a mile from Lexington. She sits in about 20 feet of water and is home to many interesting treasures, including the old-fashioned square-headed nails and a sink that is still attached to the craft.
Our second dive was aboard the Sport, a 57-foot tugboat that sunk in a storm off of Lexington on Dec. 13, 1920. She also has the rare distinction of having an underwater state historic site plaque, which was placed there in the early 1990s.
Thanks to some lousy weather, visibility was pretty poor for both dives, but for what I could tell, the Pucketts did fine.
It was great to get back in the water. It made me realize how much I miss it. I only hope I’ll have more chances to dive next year.
Soon, I will add some underwater video and photo stills of my two dives on the Strong and the Sport.

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