Some guy with a yacht needed a diving buddy for one of his friends so he would have an even group of eight to take out on Lake Michigan to dive a boat wreck that was located an hour or so north of Chicago and about fifty feet under; and the dive shop called me to see if I wanted to go. Yes! (There was no other way I was going to see under that huge lake.) I drove up to Chicago the day before, and rested at the nearby Indiana Dunes State Park so that I was fresh for the early morning dive. Since I did not know the monied group on the yacht, it was fairly easy for me to ignore whatever social dynamic was churning around them.
I had already dived an assortment of boat wreaks, a school bus, and various pieces of sunk junk elsewhere so I knew that I would avoid the dark interiors and jagged edges of the wreck by staying out of it, but I was very curious to see Lake Michigan's fishes, crustaceans, and aquatic plants, whatever might be there. While at its deepest Lake Michigan is 922 feet (153 fathoms), the wreck was at about 50' down which is a nice dive depth because there is plenty of light filtering down through the water. The wreck was large and settled very deep into the sand with just the upper desk showing. The trip was a serious disappointment regarding aquatic life, all I saw were those wispy, yellow-green aquatic plants that grow in unhealthy waters, a few finger-length round gobies, and a lot of little zebra mussels. This was twenty years ago, so I hope Lake Michigan has recovered because it is huge with tremendous habitat potential.
Caption: A Genetic Memory Of When we Were Fishes
photograph of Annmarie Throckmorton courtesy of a dive tour guide
Caption: Michigan City Harbor At Day's End
by Annmarie Throckmorton 1999
Caption: Relaxing on Shore of Lake Michigan Shore
self-portrait by Annmarie Throckmorton 1999