We continue to teach. All of our pool classes – Open Water Diver, Scuba Skills Update, Perfect Buoyancy, Try Scuba, and more – usually on the second weekend of the month. Saturday night and/or Sunday morning at the great Sun Prairie High School pool. It’s warm (81F in the water), it’s clear…, and a good time to: Get a Scuba Skills Update or work on your skills before that warm water vacation; take that Perfect Buoyancy class to learn and work on perhaps the most important skill in diving; bring you friends to the pool for Try Scuba, the no pressure, have fun tooling around the pool, introductory diving experience; just get back in the water because you love it!
Continuing all winter will be classroom courses taught at the shop on the first Monday of the month – React Right and on the third Monday of the month – Nitrox. Both of these courses are taught in the warm confines our training room at the shop. Relax, have a refreshment, and learn in a laid back atmosphere some new skills and knowledge to continue to make you a more confident and comfortable diver.
Yes, DIVE!!! We have several opportunities to dive this winter without breaking the bank to go to Fiji (although that would be nice). Another in the yearly efforts to get an Ice Dive in will take place on February 1. In the past several years Mother Nature has not been very cooperative with this planning. We need 1) Ice 2) cold weather 3) a lot of equipment and 4) Ice. We have been lacking in 1, 2, and 4 in the last few years. This year…… here’s to the early winter?!
Mall of America – Dive with the Sharks and Sturgeon of the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium on January 25-26. Sign up here. Two dives, one in the salt water tank and the other in the fresh water tank. Open Water Certified and at least 16 years old are the requirements. We’ll have a rental special as you need to bring all gear but tanks (hood and gloves too).
Bonne Terre Mine – We travel to Bonne Terre, MO once again to dive the former mine that is now a billion gallon lake. Stick leads us on another adventure on April 4-6. Sign up here.
Stop out to the shop to talk gear, diving, where to go, what to do or anything that else that you might like to jaw about. This is a time that we retool the shop and take time to recharge our batteries too. Part of that is hanging out with you, an integral part of the MadisonScuba Dive Team. If you were just certified this summer or have been diving with us for years, we love to hear of your adventures, stories, share your photos or just relax getting to know you better. Stop out, the fridge always has something in it for you.
‘Til next time – Let’s get wet.
We have many opportunities to dive locally this summer with MadisonScuba. Most are free, most have a special price for rental gear, most are nearby and all are FUN! Even if you are a warm water only diver, as we get into July, August and September, there are several warmer water opportunities for you!Haigh Quarry Day Trip – This Saturday, July 6, we are going to Haigh Quarry in Kankakee, Illinois. Even Stick hasn’t been there! Known as ‘The Caribbean of the Midwest’, Haigh is a great place for all levels of diver. Split into 3 sections (makes for a nice 3 tank day) – deep (to 75′), middle (40′-55′) and shallow (25′-30′) – the quarry has tons of fresh water fish including perch, bass, walleye, northern, musky and even 4 paddlefish! We’ll leave the Dutch Mill park-n-ride at 7 am and return around 10 pm. Sign up here. Our Tuesday Night Adventure Dive program – Every Tuesday night at a dive site around the Madison area, MadisonScuba hosts a fun dive for any certified diver. Come on out by yourself (you’ll get paired with a buddy) or bring your buddy (or five) to dive some interesting places in Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, or Devil’s Lake. There is always something new to see that you may not see again. Have you seen a sturgeon in Lake Monona? Georgie did on her first dive. Have you seen the Treasure Chest at Second Point? JoAnn and Brian did.
There are several night dives planned along with “The 115th Annual Golf Ball Hunt” in August at Shorewood. You can work on and finish several different specialties while participating in these dives. All of those can count toward your Advanced Open Water diver certification!Instant Dives on Facebook – Like our Facebook page here and get together with divers who want to dive. Post a dive you would like to do or keep in touch and join a dive that ‘just happens’. Got some extra time during the daytime and looking for a dive buddy? We have several avid divers who have night jobs and are open to diving during the daytime during the week. Want to dive Lake Michigan wrecks? Post that too. There are several divers who make trips to Milwaukee and Port Washington quite often.
The Dive Season Begins!
The dive season starts off on the right note with the Season Opener party at the shop on Tuesday night, May 14 from 6-8 PM.
Share your dive stories of those great warm water dives from your travel destinations of the past winter, check out the reconfigured shop and classroom set up and pick up the 2013 Summer Dive Schedule.
2013 Summer Dive ScheduleThis summer MadisonScuba has over 20 Tuesday Night Adventure Dives (shore dives) planned along with several boat dives, weekend trips and day trips to area dive locations. Our traditional Advanced Training weekends of June 28 – 30 and September 27 – 29 at Lake Wazee in Black River Falls will have some exciting new twists to them. Pick up the entire summer schedule at this event. sign up online now – The annual Monona Terrace Clean-up Dive, part of the “Take A Stake In The Lakes” project, takes place from 10am – 3 pm. We’ll be making 2 dives – 10am and 1pm – to clean up the garbage from the shore area of Lake Monona. Everything from cans and bottles to chairs and tables from the Monona Terrace are cleaned up each year. Yes, even tires are still found at the bottom of the lake where we bring them up and recycle or throw them away in a proper place. Free gear rental and free air are included for this event. Please reserve yours today by signing up on the website.
Tuesday Night Adventure Dive Rental SpecialWhile the rental rate for a complete set of gear for the Tuesday Night Adventure Dives remains at $35 (what a deal!) a special SEASON PASS is available for $279. This gets you rental equipment for as many of the Tuesday Night Adventure Dives as you want to dive. If you make all of the dives, it’s less than $14 per dive! That’s incredible. This offer is only available until June 1 and is only for the Tuesday Night Adventure Dives.
See you on Tuesday night at the Season Opener.
Let’s get wet!
New Look of the Shop
The shop at MadisonScuba has been in a transformation for the last couple of weeks. We have a new classroom, the pool is gone and the retail space has been enlarged (former classroom space). Bigger brighter displays of BCDs, masks, wet suits and accessories are in place with the finishing touches being completed. Overall, it will function better for all facets of the growing MadisonScuba shop.
We have added Tilos to our in stock brands of gear. They have great mask designs, innovative regular designs and creative fin technology. The price point of their products are very competitive while maintaining a quality product. We are very excited to bring you the Tilos brand. Stop out to check out the selections.
A new shipment of SF-15 X-Pert Zoom Z3 fins has arrived. New colors accents and even a couple of the white and pink sets are in. The staff loves diving the TUSA fins, especially those of us with tired knees. The split fin and 27 degree bend technology gives us great relief without compromising on thrust and control.Several new TUSA masks including the popular Freedom One that uses TUSA’s Freedom Fit technology to fit many shapes of faces, are now in stock.
Lavacore has retooled the fit and sizing of the popular Lavacore undergarment line. We have shipments coming in each week and can special order one or several pieces for you. A great layer to wear under your wetsuit to provide thermal warmth in and out of the water along with making it easier to don your wetsuit.
Stop into the shop this week to check out the new digs and gear. We are open M-Th from 5-9 pm and Sat from 9 am – 4 pm.
Let’s get wet! – Brian
The Ghost Ship Festival has many informative sessions dealing with shipwrecks around the Great Lakes. This year’s festival will document such wrecks as the 300’ wooden bulk carrier Australasia which now lies in 25’ of water just off the beach at Whitefish Dunes State Park in Door County. The New York, a 280’ wooden steamer that foundered in a violent storm on October 1, 1910 in Lake Huron is also the focus of a session. She now lies in 90’ of water in Thunder Bay near Alpena, Michigan.
Lake Michigan Wrecks
“Shipwrecks of Muskegon County Michigan” is a session that deals with five wrecks off the central eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The highlight in this group is the whaleback steamer Henry Cort which lies broken and scattered along the Muskegon north breakwall in 50’ of water. The other ships included in this presentation are the Alpena, Muskegon, Salvor and the LC Woodruff.
The final session of the festival deals with the wreck of the self-unloading barge EMBA. Built as a schooner barge in 1890, she was converted to a self-unloading barge in 1923. In 1932, she was towed out into Lake Michigan off Milwaukee’s North Point and scuttled. She now lies in 170’ of water.
The Ghost Ship Festival exhibition hall opens Friday at 3pm and continues until 5pm. It reopens Saturday morning at 8am until the show closes at 7pm. This is a great place to find t-shirts, information on wreck dive charters and other wreck diving interests. Several marine archeology clubs have information on their groups as well.
With my background as a merchant marine working on ships on the Great Lakes for many years, as well as my time on the Great Lakes serving in the US Coast Guard, and my interest in wrecks and wreck diving, I have found this to be a very informative festival. The $25 ticket price for admission to all the sessions is well worth it. Hope to see you there.
by Andy Pressnell, Divemaster, MadisonScuba
For more information on the festival go to www.ghost-ships.org.