Mike Struchen's Dive Log
Windsock on 1/16/2006
I find myself partial to the Northern sites, and I consider this a Southern site because of its characteristics. I did mention this site because of critters here. I saw 2 of the biggest examples of a particular species I have ever seen. I saw a Green Moray that was well over 7 feet, a Southern Stingray that was bigger than our rental pick-up. There were lots and lots of schools of smaller varieties. The downfall here was the surf and swim out to reef.
Hilma Hooker on 1/16/2006
As a Great Lakes wreck diver I really enjoyed this warm water wreck! I was told to do a surface swim out and then descend onto the wreck. I sort of followed this advice. I descended at the reef buoy and then over to the wreck, that way you get over any initial anxiety a have a chance to get relaxed before dropping over (I went to the stern first both times I dived her) The vis was better on the first day, as we were approaching a full moon and the surf increased each day, with the full moon being full the day before we left. It was great vis compared to what I am used to, though, and it was nice to be able to get back a ways and take in the entire ship. A must see, but only a couple times. I much prefer the reefs.
1000 Steps on 1/16/2006
I had heard and read the horror stories about the climb back out. When you first come out of the water and feel your full body weight, you look up and think: "how am I ever going to do this?" BUT, with the exhilaration of the beauty of this, as with all the northern sites, it was well worth the climb!
Oil Slick Leap on 1/16/2006
I used to be afraid of heights; since I started diving I have learned to love doing giant strides from "high places" It is such a rush and this one is awesome. Nice cement pads make the base stable and as for the exit… the ladder and platform were top notch. The dive itself is spectacular! I love the Northern sites! The reef seems closer and more abundant life. I did this site 3 times during the week, and there also seemed to be a lot of snorkelers, so that should speak for the ease of the dive.
La Machaca on 1/16/2006
I stayed at Capt Don's, so maybe that makes me biased, but this is one of the best overall sites on the island! I dived it at all different times of the day and every dive was awesome. There was always something new to see. The facilities make it a breeze. There is a line all the way out to 114 feet so you really feel safe doing even night dives here (for those of us who are "navigationally challenged" ;-} Plus the entire area is lit up. Everything about this site is diver oriented.
Karpata on 1/16/2006
Karpata was my favorite site of the week! The entry is a little less easy than some of the southern sites but it makes up for it. It was spectacular with its "mountainous" underwater terrain and hugely abundant life. We found a sleeping 7 foot Nurse Shark in-between a couple coral heads. It was awesome to look down the slope and know it just keeps going, almost bottomless. I agree with the "must dive" analogy!
Nelson Ledges on 11/25/2005
YUK, I did my first certification dive here and returned on a later date just to see if it was as bad as I remembered... it WAS. It would be good diving practice for public service divers as the vis was close to zero. It seems to average in the 15 foot deep range except for a couple of grooves around 30 feet. If there is anything to "see" I couldn't really say! I also couldn't vouch for the depth listed in the previous post, although I would personally doubt it.
White Star Park on 11/25/2005
I would consider this "home" quarry. I am from Ohio and have been diving here since my 3rd and 4th certification dives for the last 5 years. I use it for practice dives before and after boat dive season on Lake Erie. There are 2 entry points. The first is walk-in and used by classes. Very easy! The second is a platform style deep entry where they just added a ladder this past Spring. Again very nice entry/exit. The bottom is limestone and the main floor is 40 feet. There are the remains of the crusher going down to 70 feet and a tunnel that is off-limits. There are piles of stone rubble on far end by the deep entry on which an old police cruiser is perched. There are several "wrecks" and a step-van that used to deliver for the Frito-lay Company. The vis can vary widely from the spring to fall and from weekday to weekend. I have seen it as high as 50 feet in the Fall on a weekday, to around 10 feet when there have been classes all weekend in the Summer. There is a dive concession there during the weekends during the Summer offering air fills and snacks. The "facilities" are outhouses, but there is an area for changing. It is a great place to take students (I am only a DM, but I assist there a lot). I also like to go there during the week just to enjoy a relaxed kick back dive.
Gilboa Quarry, Gilboa on 11/25/2005
Best shore diving in Ohio, and I would think it has to be top 10 in the mid-west. Located about 15 miles West of Findlay, OH by taking US 224 until you see a giant cement "Steer" (you know…a cow) making a left turn, going to the blinking light and turning right, it's about a mile down on the left. Lot's of things to see including a Gruman Gulfstream IV airplane. There are several different depth levels from 25 to 60 and then "over-the-wall" to 115 to 135 feet. There are several entry points, a platform with steps, and there is also a walk-in. They have a great dive shop and offer air to O2. There are several types of fish life from a school of rainbow (which expect to be fed) to a prehistoric type known as Paddlefish - these are truly a spectacular sight!