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View Full Version : Mermet Springs - Dive Report



snagel
02-24-2008, 09:45
Myself, SteveC, and his brother Jim traveled to Mermet Springs on Saturday, Feb 23, 2008. We had heard that Mermet is experiencing very nice viz. The report we got was that you could see the 100 foot platform from the surface. (Which was true 2 weeks ago) As we drove down we past several semi's in the ditch and the trees were caked with ice. They had been suffering from an ice storm the previous days. Mermet looked like a winter wonderland with all the ice in the trees. Unfortionately, the viz had disappeared to maybe 20 feet. We set up our warming hut using tarps around one of the shelters and used a propane heater. This worked well, but the hot showers worked better for SteveC and Jim who were diving wet. This was my first "real" dive with my new drysuit.

The first dive we went to the plane. Surface temp was 35 and the water temp was 42. In my new drysuit I felt very comfortable. But, my buoyancy was far from perfect. (I'm in the learning curve) I struggled considerably trying to maintain neutral. The spoonbill and catfish were very interested in us, I think they haven't seen too many divers over the last month. Typically, the spoonbill are deeper, but with the colder water they were closer to the surface. This was the first time I seen the spoonbill around the plane. Due to my struggles with buoyancy, we skipped entering the plane and made our way back to the warming hut.

SteveC and Jim headed for the hot showers to warm up. Again, I like this drysuit I was warm and dry. After lunch, we suited up and headed toward the 85' platform.

I made a change to my configuration and decided to take off the thick undergarmet for this dive to see what the difference would be. I still wore fleece "long-john's" that I had picked up at Bass Pro on the way down. I was fairly chilly without the thick undergarmet, but made a critical mistake. I forgot that I had added a few pounds and the added weight and no thick undergarmet left me extremely overweighted. We descended to the 85' platform and I stayed pretty much with the ladder due to being overweighted. After about 10 minutes we ascended to the surface and I took off some weight. We descended again and made a shollower dive along wall before we called the dive.

All in all, a good dive in which I learned alot. We wish the viz would have been better, but this is the midwest and with the snow and ice that mermet has been experiencing it wasn't meant to be. In talking to the Mermet Crew, they said not to expect the viz to come back until late April. March is not a "good viz month" and it starts clearing up in late April through May until all the classes start up again in June. With all the students during the warmer months, the viz tends to get lost again.

A couple side notes, Mermet is closed in January. We dive Mermet many times throughout the year and have been told that they clean the attractions weekly. I really never believed this, but since this is their slower time of the year, you could tell that they haven't been out their cleaning things. There was a lot of "gunk" on the platforms, planes, and such. This goes to show that they do try and make Mermet a nice place to dive and keep things clean in the busier time of the year. There is a lot of work going on to make this a very nice place to dive.

I meant to ask, but forgot. But, it looks like they are getting ready to add a new attraction - A fire Truck. I've noticed it parked in the back lot on previous dives, but it is now pulled out and it looked like they are getting ready to add it to the bottom of the quarry. Again, this is a testiment to the crew trying to keep the site "fresh".

S. Nagel

DarinMartell
02-24-2008, 13:50
Sounds like a good day. If you ever go on a Thursday or Friday and wouldn't mind a Newb along I would love to try Mermet out, its a 6 hour drive but look like it would be worth the trip.

skdvr
02-24-2008, 17:00
Thanks for the report... I do not think I will be able to make it down there until June or July, but I do love that place and they really do work hard to make it nice...

Phil

DarkCoffee
02-24-2008, 19:44
Nice report. A group of us from Manitoba invaded Mermet the first week of February and had a blast. We had a couple of DPV's with us and managed to get some time in cruising with the spoonbills.

Did you guys sign the fire truck?

Glen and company down at Mermet rock!