| On Saturday June 28th my alarm went off at 3:45 am as I was about to meet at the Manta Dive shop to venture to Haigh Quarry for some diving. These were my first OW dives since I became certified in May. I arrived at the shop at about 5:30 and we left shortly after that. Randy and Neil were riding with Mike and Lisa also and getting their OW certification that day.
It was a beautiful day at the quarry though they had predicted thunderstorms. The rest of our group, Michael, Pat, Tony, Lindsay and Dan met us at Haigh and had staked out a choice spot near the main entrance to the water. We geared our tanks and were ready to hit the water. Lindsay, a rescue diver candidate, and her dad, Dan struck out together and I went with Mike, Patricia, her husband, Michael and Tony. I was surprised at how clear it was. We went to the rock crusher and saw some sunfish, bass and crappie. I felt very comfortable in my 7mm wetsuit with a water temperature of about 68 degrees. I believe we went down about 30 feet on that first dive. At the same time Lisa took 3 other divers to be certified, Randy, Neil and Calin.
On my second dive, Mike took me to the other side of the quarry. We went down 40 feet and it was COLD! I think the temp was about 55 but to me for a few seconds it seemed like 33! Note to self: wear a hood! We saw a boat called the Flamingo and the cabin cruiser and the Marine dump truck. We played the guitar. On the way back in it was murky and I could only see Mike’s yellow fins in front of me. In the past I would have thought that diving in murky water would have freaked me out, but it didn’t at all. I felt very comfortable on that dive and felt I had good buoyancy. Mike is a good dive buddy. Before we came in we ran into the sunken outhouse. I was surprised when I opened the door!
I thought that I was done for the day, but Lisa, Randy and Neil were going out again so I went too. We went down 23 feet by the rock crusher and saw a lot of sunfish, bass, some crappie and large catfish. I had a little buoyancy trouble on this dive, but I guess that it all just takes practice and a lot of dives to perfect it!
Haigh Quarry is a real nice place to dive and is easy to drive to in one day. It is called the Caribbean of the Midwest.
Gear is available for rental and air fills are $8. There are picnic tables and grills. The cost is $20 per day and $10 for a non-diver. You can expect to see Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Catfish and Paddlefish. There is ample parking, 4 changing rooms, concessions and overnight accommodations close by. It is located in Kankakee, IL, about 2 ½ hours from Kenosha.