2010 Dive Trips

Fall is in the air and the 2009 dive season is about over. That means it’s time to plan for next year! I currently have two Great Lakes wreck diving trips planned for next year (more to follow).

On July 10-11, 2010, I’m going up to Harbor Beach, MI for a very special trip. I have booked the morning charter both days with Rec and Tec Dive Charters and my good friend Capt. Gary Venet. We’re going to try to get to the seldom-dived stern section of the Daniel J. Morrell. The Morrell was a 586 ft. steamer. In November 1966, the Morrell was upbound on Lake Huron in a horrible storm. Near the tip of Michigan’s thumb, she broke in half. The bow section sank as the stern, still under power, steamed another 5 miles until it sank. Due to it’s distance from shore and the uncertainty of the weather, neither of the sections of the Morrell are visited a lot, and when people do get out, they usually do the bow section. Our other objective for the weekend is the newly-discovered Charles A. King. Gary tells me the King is an upright, intact schooner. He and his colleagues discovered her several years ago and have been diving her to identify and document her. 2010 will be the first year Gary will be running charters to her. Be among the first of the diving public to see her.

On July 22-25, 2010, I’ll be diving Lake Huron near Presque Isle, MI. I used to dive that area 2 or 3 times per summer until about 2005. Last I led a trip there and fell in love with the area all over again. To read the trip report, which includes descriptions of the wrecks, look here.

Trimix certification is required for both trips, as depths of the wrecks range from 165′-200′. Obviously the target wrecks may change due to weather. Contact me at rick@GreatLakesTechDiving.com for more info and keep an eye on my website, http://www.GreatLakesTechDiving.com for more trips.

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2010 Dive Trips

Online SCUBA Training?

I would like your opinion of SCUBA training. As some of you know, teaching diving is my avocation. My “real” job is in the education field, specifically distance/online education. So when I recently had the chance to review some online SCUBA materials, I jumped at the chance.

Now, using the internet to deliver SCUBA training is not a new concept. Recreational SCUBA agencies have been using it for years. The course materials I reviewed were for TECHNICAL diving classes. The modules are designed to present the academic portion of a given course as well as present demos (via video clips) of some of the in-water skills. Obviously you cannot deliver an entire technical diving course over the internet, but it may be helpful for students to go through the academic portion prior to the in-person sessions. The academic modules I saw were PowerPoint-style slides with narration and the occasional video clip. Just to be clear, students are still required to read the student manual, so if you prefer to see things in print, or are a computer-phobe, fear not.

So what do you think? If you’re already a tech diver, think back to your last tech course, would you have benefited from reviewing the entire “classroom” session before meeting with the instructor? Would you have liked to have seen videos of the in-water skills? If you’re not a tech diver (yet), would the online experience I’ve described sway you one way or the other? If you think an online component would be valuable, what dollar amount would you put on it? Would you pay $50 to access these materials? $75? $100?

Feel free to respond. I’m curious what people think.

Online SCUBA Training?