It’s buoy season and that means underwater lake action. Divers from the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary are out on a mission to persevere shipwrecks in Lake Huron.
“The ‘mooring buoys’ are really the best way of protecting these shipwrecks. Typically a lot of divers in the past would drop their anchors into that wreck and over time pieces and parts of that wreck can be broken because of that and so by putting a training wheel by it and attaching the buoy system directly to that you no longer have to put an anchor into the wreck or no longer tie it to the wreck. It’s a fantastic way of physically preserving the shipwrecks,” Archeologist, Wayne Lusardi said.
Established about 15 years ago, the mooring buoy system has about 40 buoys out on the waters as far north as Rogers City, and as far south as the Greenbush area.
“Getting buoys like this into Lake Huron takes about two weeks. That’s why divers cross their fingers when it comes to weather.”
“A lot of times when it’s raining its ok to go out. When it’s really windy the conditions it can get awful on the lake. Anything more than 2 to 3 foot waves can really be dangerous. We try to go to places where’s there’s not that much wind or waves. It’s usually a slow process when the weather doesn’t cooperate. When it’s flat and calm and beautiful like today, we hope to get maybe a dozen or so out.” Lusardi said.
“These buoys right here weigh up to 100 lbs, that’s why teamwork is so important.”
“The small boat fits 5 to 6 people comfortable. Most of us are divers so we will rotate through and load about half dozen or so buoys on the boat. When we deploy those buoys we’ll then come back pick up a second load and refill our tanks and go back out,” Lusardi finished.