Which Way Is Up?

Kevin's blog about diving, engineering and lessons painfully learned.

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Lake Nagawicka, Wisconsin
12 Feb 2017
Ice Dive for Bragging Rights

Dive 798:                Start 10:30, BT 2 min, End 10:32, Depth 22'

Dive 799: SI: 20 min, Start 10:52, BT 4 min, End 10:56, Depth 30'

Thanks to DiveBuddy.com for this reminder that there are other divers out there as crazy as we are!

My buddy Jake at work twisted my arm to go ice diving, which wasn't hard, because I'm insane. So I loaded my gear and drove to Lake Nagawicka and met my new buddies from Pirate's Cove Diving .

Except for me sobbing like a 5-year-old girl, the ice dive went textbook- perfectly. They had a 150' rope secured in a bowline through two holes in the ice. The other end clipped to a metal ring, which was secured to each diver in a team by a lanyard. Volunteer tenders from the dive club helped us in and out of the water.

The hole was triangular, about 6' on a side, allowing us to slip in at the corners. Think of it as an anti-Jacuzzi. You sit down and put on your fins; a tender helps you put your gear on, you slide into the water, and


...it's actually not quite that bad.

It was really just another lake dive, with all the same thrilling scenery and diverse wildlife, just with extra-numby lips and fingertips.

But my regulator disagreed. Designed and tuned for Hawaii, it started free-flowing when we got to 20'. No worries! We just ended the dive, and I traded regulators for a Wisconsin-rated model.

Dive 2 lasted just a couple of minutes longer, because why prolong the agony? I already had my bragging rights, having done both dives in a wetsuit. That's because I'm insane.

Another dive team came up through the Anti-Jacuzzi at the precise moment we did, allowing us all to enjoy cozy togetherness as we got out.

Then it was food, fun and friendship back in the lodge.

Next week: back to Hawaii, where you bet I'm going to brag about this.

Best part of all: hot buttered rum afterwards!
This is what the back side of ice looks like. Be sure to check out the full gallery!
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