Somehow, Chicago has skipped over Spring and Summer is finally here. Well it is finally June and we had 3 great charters this past weekend. Saturday morning I met my boatload of divers at 0730 and we began the boarding process. After getting everyone aboard and situated we stopped by the fuel dock ($5.41/gal) and picked up 100 gallons of fuel. Off to the Mack for two dives. We had clear skies and flat seas and we were tied into the stern mooring on Mack in 55 minutes. On the way out, the clear skies became overcast but the Lake stayed flat. Surface temp was 55F but these drysuit divers were headed to the mid 40’s. The cool water brought these divers “rail-to-rail” viz and schools of alewives as they explored Chicago’s best wreck. After two dives on the Mack and a little WCD pineapple we headed back to Burnham. The ride back was smooth as silk.
For the second charter of the day, all but one of these divers were in wetsuits. I was worried about the nearshore viz, as last week we had 5-Foot on the Wells Burt, so I suggested we head to the chilly waters of the Mack for at least one dive. As we had flat seas for our six divers, I knew that all of them could make the dive on the Mack. Everyone agreed and we headed off-shore. We were tied into the bow of the Mack in short order. The divers hit the water and our wetsuit divers did well in our 45F water. Like the first charter of the day, these divers had excellent viz and schools of baitfish. This is the best time to dive the Mack as she looks more like a North Carolina wreck with all the fishlife.
While our divers were down I could see weather developing over the downtown area and to the north of us but there was a window over Evanston. Once we recovered all our divers we motored over to the Wells Burt at 8-kts while our divers munched on WCD pineapple. My plan was to slow down things so that the weather over Chicago would dissipate by the time we returned to port. A little over 30-minutes after leaving the Mack we were tied into mooring on the Wells and our divers were suiting up for their 2nd dive. Water temp a shade warmer at 50F but the viz was spectacular. I could make out the divers as they worked their way along the deck of the Wells. They were actually able to leave the wreck and investigate the masts and spars off the site. After another great dive this group headed back to port and as planned we missed the big storm that dumped on downtown, just as planned.
Sunday looked to be the best day of the weekend. We had sunny skies and warm temps down at the harbor. After Saturday’s charters I recommended to these six divers: the Mack – Wells Burt combo. The Lake was flat. Flat as it gets. 50-minutes after pulling out of Burnham we sterned-in to the bow mooring of the Mack. Our group of divers splashed in for a great dive. Again viz was “rail-t0-rail”. The alewives were present again and even a burbot sighting. After a great dive we headed to the Wells Burt. We again sterned-in to offer our divers the easiest access to the wreck. While our divers were exploring the best wooden wreck in the area (save the Hume) my crew set a new mooring. After a nice 40-minute dive with 40-foot viz we headed to the Wings of Wind to set a mooring there. Using the Humminbird we located the bow, dropped a marker and then dropped our divers Mike & Andy. Not only did they install a new mooring but Mike cleaned up the old dead mooring lines. The weirdest thing was that the viz was horrible here (5-ft). After collecting my crew we headed back to Burnham for an afternoon hanging around the boat with my family. Just a great weekend and I must say: SUMMER is HERE!