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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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Dive Review of Nordic Divers in
The Continental USA/Wisconsin

Nordic Divers, May, 2007,

by Matt Schultz, WI, USA . Report 3336.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments On October 22nd, 1929, the 350 foot steamship Milwaukee disappeared with all on board somewhere on Lake Michigan's vast storm swept expanse. The Milwaukee became one of many vessels to just "sail through a crack in the lake" as the old timers say. Five days after the ships disappearance however, a note is found washed ashore written by an officer aboard the doomed ship that only adds more questions about the fate of the ship. In 1972, over forty years after the Milwaukee's loss, the wreck is finally discovered.

Four of us dove the Milwaukee Memorial Day weekend, and let me say I've never been out there when the lake was glass calm. With such great surface conditions, the expectations for the conditions below were high as we splashed in to 70 foot visibility. Bottom times varied within our group since some were diving recreationally while my buddy and I were doing a technical dive. 35 minutes was about all my buddy and I could handle with the temps being about 42 degrees, we got cold before we were gas limited, but with another 15 minutes of deco to do, it was going to be a long wait before we could warm up again.

The wreck looked as she usually does whenever we visit her - a broken heap on the floor in 125 feet of lakewater. The railroad cars inside her revealed a myriad of treasures including bathroom fixtures and even an old automobile. Unfortunately with all the zebra mussels some of the features of the wreck are obscured. At the stern of the boat can see the massively misshapen seagate - the result of the battering storms and the rogue railcar that smashed through the gate. A small portion of this railcar is can be seen underneath the stern of the boat near the twin props.

On the port side of the wreck, towards the bow of the vessel, you can also follow a line to the wheelhouse. It's a bit of a swim, but under good conditions you can usually see it from the main wreck. Take a close look around the wheelhouse and you can see some artifacts, as well as the words "Milwaukee" painted across the top of the door.

Please keep in mind that this is wreck diving, and not for divers that like lots of fish, critters, or for that matter warm water. On the otherhand if you love wrecks, then this site should be on your must-see list. A drysuit is a must in cold 40-45 degree waters, and especially if you're diving long profiles. The SS Milwaukke is one of the classic Lake Michigan wrecks and has been featured on the History Channel's "Deep Sea Detectives."

The Nordic Diver is an opration that caters to both recreational and technical divers. The crew is friendly, knowledgable and willing to help out whenever necessary. All the crew are experienced divers and are eager to bring you to other wrecks in the area. Boat space is limited to 7-8 divers - fewer if you're doing all tech diving. They've been in the business for years, and seem to enjoy taking people out to the sites. While it's only a charter, I would recommend bringing your own snacks/food along. They do have bottled water aboard.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Belize, Bahamas, Bonaire, San Juan Islands, Puget Sound, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Mexico
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 42-45°F / 6-7°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 70-80 Ft/ 21-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Drysuits are recommended this time of the year.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments It's wreck diving, so bring a wide angle lens.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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