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Scuba Diving in The Great Lakes - USA Hot

Dive area / region : USA - Great Lakes - See the map Scuba Diving in The Great Lakes - USA

Best diving season : May  •  June  •  July  •  August  •  September
Recommended number of days to stay : From 2 to 4 days
Number of dive sites : 11 to 15 Dive Sites
Water temperature and wetsuit advice : 11-15C : Full Wetsuit
Average visibility : 16 - 20 meters
Average dives depth : 20 Meters
Type of currents : Strong currents - drift diving
Months when these currents are present : Winter periods.
General surface conditions : Very variable conditions
Wreck types : Old wooden ship  •  Recent world ships  •  Airplane
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Worth it
Type of marine life : Plants  •  Worms
Presence of caves / caverns : No


Suit: Dry or semi-dry suit recommended but many people dive with two-piece suit 
Type of diving: Wrecks

Despite the Great Lakes are now primarily used for recreation, they were once the most popular and convenient transportation and trade routes in this section of the hemisphere. But because the waters of these lakes were notoriously treacherous and the weather was perpetually capricious, the Great Lakes bottomland has become a vast underwater exhibition of maritime misfortune.
In northern Michigan, the submarine landscape is littered with thousands of shipwrecked schooners, steamers and barges. The cold, fresh water in northern Michigan has done a tremendous job of preserving these historic artifacts as unspoiled time capsules awaiting the perusal of scuba divers from around the world.
Shipwrecks are so well preserved that even small items like cutlery, machinery ornaments, and porcelain cups remain preserved and in their original locations. Northern Michigan ranks among the top locations in the world for wreck diving.

The majority of Michigan's eleven underwater preserves are located in the northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula regions. In northern Michigan superb scuba diving can be found at Keweenaw, Marquette, Alger, Whitefish Point, Detour Passage, the Straits of Mackinaw, Manitou Passage, and Thunder Bay.
Nearly all of the underwater preserves offer a range of dives from beginner to expert. The Michigan Underwater Preserve system ensures that diving sites remain undisturbed - it is a felony to remove or disrupt Great Lakes artifacts. Divers caught pilfering a “souvenir” or in any way altering the underwater displays face steep fines and up to two years of imprisonment.

Divers should also be aware that these Michigan waters are especially unpredictable. Storms and turbulent seas can appear suddenly, with little or no warning. Additionally, the water is cold: surface water temperatures may reach 65 degrees or more in midsummer, but temperatures below 40 feet may be substantially less.

The Alger Underwater Preserve is located on the southern banks of Lake Superior near Munising in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Underwater visibility here has been dubbed “the best in the Midwest.” Divers can count on mooring buoys and descent lines at all of the main dive locations. As an added bonus, the Alger Preserve features underwater sandstone cliffs. For a shallow, 20-foot dive, enter the caves where the sedimentary rock has been eroded by waves. Dives are available for beginner, intermediate and expert divers. Thunder Bay Underwater Preserves is famous for its translucent, clean waters, shipwrecks, and captivating limestone formations. Rocky shoals have earned Thunder Bay the nickname “shipwreck alley.” This diving location is good for novice and experienced divers, the wrecks lie anywhere from 5 to 180 feet below the surface.

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