Torch Lake

Torch Lake

After our first Charlevoix dives, we spent that afternoon putting the finishing touches on the barn roof. Three straight days of long drives, hard work, early mornings, and boats dives. We were just plain wore out! We swore up and down we’d go to bed early Friday night. Ten o’clock may be early for some but it wasn’t early enough. Saturday morning came too quickly.

We intended to dive all day Saturday. We’d start the morning at Charlevoix and do a couple dives with NorthWest SCUBA. You saw last week how those turned out! Next on our list was Torch Lake.

Torch is a huge lake. It’s Michigan’s biggest inland lake. It’s also unworldly beautiful. Just coming back from the Bahamas, we can safely say it looks like the Caribbean - when you’re on the surface. That’s an important distinction because when you get in and start swimming towards the middle, the water gets pretty milky. Past 20 feet or so and you can’t see a whole lot. At 300 feet max depth, this beauty is cold. She also rarely freezes across the entire surface because of her size. Absolutely amazing.

Due to the viz considerations, we stayed pretty shallow and played around. We had planned to swim out to the drop off and kick around along the wall. It’s basically a shallow ring around a very deep hole.That didn’t really work out so we just had some fun. Boat traffic was of minimal concern. As a matter of fact, most of the traffic we saw was people pulling their boats out for the season. Which is common up there the week or two after Labor Day.

The water was spectacular. It was like diving in a chilly swimming pool. After we got out, some ducks came and poked their heads in our flippers and walked on our dry suits. Once they figured out we had no food, they waddled down to the beach and hopped in. Special thanks to Jonathan Butler for suggesting we check this one out!  

Sadly, this was our last dive of the trip. We wanted to dive West Traverse Bay again but the boat traffic was heavy and there were some questions as to our map of the area and where the wreck we wanted to see was located. So we went on a tour and stopped by Chrystal Lake, Bear Lake, and the Coast Guard station in Manistee right on Lake Michigan. We thought we’d check out access points at Chrystal and Bear then decide which to dive on Sunday. We liked Bear Lake a bit better as it was closer to home and had easy access near the boat ramp. We later realized there was no way we’d have time to pack everything, dive, and actually be home at a decent hour on Sunday. So with heavy hearts, we decided to nix the dive and hit those lakes next time.

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We caught the sunset on the pier in Manistee that evening. Beautiful beach area there with a playground. Fisherman were everywhere trying to catch Walleye and whatever else might bite. It was a perfect end to an amazing week of work and diving. Until next time, Michigan!