This past Sunday we had two great dives on two great wrecks. The Chicago Scuba Meet-Up group had reserved the boat for Saturday for a Thomas Hume Trip. Friday the waves off Chicago were near 6-feet so I called them and said its going to be a little bumpy out there Saturday, can you move your trip to Sunday? My regular Sunday trip was short on passengers so when I got the okay that they were willing to move I slid them into Sunday’s slot. This CSM group had been blown off 3 times last year and I really wanted to get them on the best dive in the Chicago area.
I kept an eye on the weather all day Saturday and I thought all was well. That was until Sunday morning when I go to pull into Burnham Harbor and all the roads leading to the harbor were packed with cops. I had forgotten about the CPD/St. Jude extravaganza! The place was packed with thousands of cops but after explaining my situation they let me in, thank you CPD. I immediately called the Michael Angelo the trip organizer and sent the group over to the new 31st Street Harbor. Harbormaster Mark, who I met at Burnham a few years ago took care of the group and we hooked up there. With the NE winds we had a 1-foot chop here in Chicago but 90 minutes later (half way across the Lake) we are in less than 1’s and we are over the Hume but alas there was no mooring. Plan B, was to drop the hook and every boat owner knows, anchoring sucks for many reasons. I had hoped to drop the anchor on the port side of the wreck as it is wide-open. Of course, she landed on the starboard side between 2 masts. Well I sent the divers in and went about getting my dive gear organized as the Lake was flat, I love to dive the Hume and of course “I had to inspect the anchor.” After collecting four of my divers with the remaining two on the line at 10-feet. I splashed into the 39F water, my goal free the anchor, lift the mooring and check out the Hume. At 70FT I could clearly see the outline of the wreck still some 60-feet below me. Viz +80FT. Temp 30 something. I went about moving the anchor. Huffing and puffing at 147 I smoked through my air and had to blow off the idea of refloating the mooring. I took a quick spin around the Hume and headed up to the surface, a little winded but with only a little deco obligation.
We gathered up the anchor, which made me want to buy one of those $700 windlass at Westmarine, because dragging 45 pounds of anchor and chain 150FT to the surface is no fun and then we headed to the Buccaneer.
This was my first trip to the Bucc this year and I was looking forward to checking her out. On the way there the seas began to build and I knew that I would have to wait another day to see the old Bucc. Of course as luck would have it there was no mooring but I had good numbers on the bow so I pulled up to the lee side of the wreck and dropped the hook. As you can imagine I completely missed my intended target (the sand) and dropped the anchor on the foredeck. We splashed three divers and I waited for their return as I talked with others about how great the dive on the Hume was. I saw some great pictures that the guys had shot and once we got our divers and untangled ourselves from the Bucc we headed back to 31st Street in 1-2 footers.
All in all another great day on the Lake.