Dive Sites around Sault Ste. Marie 

(Please note: If there is anything in this site that you feel needs to be cited, please let me know.)

Fish

 

Furkey's and Pte. aux Pins 

Pte. Aux Pins, or Pine Point, is located on the St. Mary's River, west of the city just past the Sault Ste, Marie international airport.  Rich in history,  Louis Denis, Sieur de la Ronde, French commandant at Chequamegon, built a sailing craft on Lake Superior around 1734 to exploit the copper of Keewenaw Point and Isle Royale on this site  (http://www.mnhs.org/places/nationalregister/shipwrecks/mpdf/mpdf2.html).  

A plaque has been erected there to note this location as a National Historic Site.

   

     Fall 1997:  Training dives at Furkey's with Kevin Buie and Andrew Timing.  (Instructors Brooke Cooper and Graeme Cooper preside.)

                        An Excellent Training Site

                    Students prepare for their first training dive at Furkey's

            When diving this site, please note this 2008 Access Update.

Local Dive Trips

Farwell

Loran: 31030.4/47820.5 at 40"

What:  The remains of a late 19th century wooden ship.

Where: The ship is a ten minute walk up the shore from Furkey's.  Resting at about 40', it is just outside the shipping channel and an easy shore dive.  But go with a guide first.  There's a trick to finding it.

Wow Factor:  The ship is busy with fish at night.  But check out the dive first during the day.  The hull is still standing and is relatively free of zebra mussels.  It's an interesting wreck dive, where one can study 19th century wooden boat construction.

Caution:  Fly a dive flag.  It is cottage country and pleasure craft need to know you are underneath.

 

The Plane:  Expediter

What:  A twin-engine Beechcraft, sunk by the now defunct Tridents Dive Club for divers.

Where:  Downstream from the Farwell.  It's an easy 40' shore dive from Furkey's.  Just follow the rock piles placed there to guide you to the plane.

Wow Factor:  Drift down from the Farwell, or dive it separately.  Long-nosed Suckers, Perch, and Whitefish are common inhabitants.

Caution:  Fly a dive flag.  It is cottage country and pleasure craft need to know you are underneath.

 

Gros Cap and Jackson Island

 

The Batchewana

What:  The skeletal remains and boiler.

Experience Level:  Beginner to Moderate, depending on waves.

Depth:  20'

Location:  Highway 17 about 50 miles north of Sault Ste. Marie, just beyond Mamainse Harbour.  From Sault Ste. Marie, drive north on Highway 17 North until you see a sign that reads "Wawa 140 km."  Just a little beyond that sign is a small, shallow bay that approaches the highway.  Park at the side of the road and carry your gear down to the shore, or make friends with one of the local camp owners and use their beach.

You may be walking on private property, so please be respectful.

Entry Procedure:  Look off shore and you'll see a small island.  The wreck is on the North side (right) end.  Surface swim to the end of the island, about 400 metres, and descend from the surface.  (Good snorkel/regulator exchange practice!!)

Exit Procedure:  Reverse your course and return to the shore.

References:  http://www.shipwrecklog.com/List/index.php?title=Batchawana_(SIR19096).

                        Kohl, Chris, Dive Ontario Two! Chatham, ON: Chris Kohl, 1994.  pp. 205 - 209.

Lake Superior Whitefish Bay  (Shipwreck Explorers)

Sagamore

Loran:  31072.9/47771.9 at 70'

What: 

    A popular dive site for Sault Ste. Marie area enthusiasts, the Sagamore, a Whaleback barge, was discovered in 1962 resting in about 72 feet of water.  Mainly intact , the wreckage tells the tale of her loss.  The wreck site upright, intact to midship where she was hit.  Open hatches and lots of light allow divers to penetrate the ship.  The mooring rings still up on the bow, and rows of prisms allow light into the cargo areas.  The stern area collapsed, but many details of the superstructure are still intact.  Accessible only by boat, the barge lies in the shipping channel in Whitefish Bay.

    The Sagamore was launched July 23, 1892 by the American Steel Barge Company of Wisconsin.  The 308-foot Whaleback barge had almost ten years of service when she met her untimely demise.  On July 29, 1901 downbound with ore from Duluth to Lake Erie the Sagamore in tow by the Pathfinder, a Whaleback steamer, when both anchored to wait for heavy fog to lift.  Unaware of their presence, the Northern Queen steamed out of the fog and cut deeply into the starboard side of the Sagamore.  The barge sank quickly, taking two men with her.  The remaining crew scrambled to safety aboard the Northern Queen  (Aelick, B. and Lyons, B. The Sagamore.  SOS Newsletter, Summer 1994).

     

Wikipedia

 

Drake

Loran:  31167.6/47668.9 at 50'

Eureka

Loran:  31181.2/47527.4 at 50'

Mitchell

Loran:  31153.6/47545.6 at 150'

Miztec

Loran:  31156.9/47561.2 at 45'

Niagara

Loran:  31168.3/47453.9 at 110'

Panther

Loran:  31105.8/47685.9 at 110'

Vienna

Loran:  31136.0/47610.3 at 150'

 

 

The Tailrace

What:  A rollercoaster ride, not for the faint of heart, down the river from the point where the water rushes out of the Ontario Hydro Power Station.

Where:  Gear up just past the Soo locks and hop into the tailrace.

Wow Factor:  The exhilaration of speed.  If you stay in the eddy you can collect more fishing gear than you could possibly use.  Hop out of the water at Dock's and try their wings.

Caution:  Fly a dive flag.  Pleasure craft and lock tour boats need to know you are underneath.

 

Mamainse

What:  A former artillery anti-aircraft practice site, interesting for its underwater rock formations, including quartz and copper outcroppings.  There are at least two good dives here, as well as the Batchewana on the way out or back.

Where:  About 19 kilometres past the Canadian Carver in Mica Bay, on Highway 17 north of  Sault Ste. Marie.

Wow Factor:  Adjust your gear in the small 20' deep bay at the entrance point, then head out on the ledge to your left.  A cut in the rock will take you into Lake Superior and down as far as you want to go.  Starting at about 100', start looking for the WWII drones used as target practice used for target practice.  (Not everyone was a good shot, apparently.) 

Caution!  If you see unexploded shells  -  LEAVE THEM BE!!  Do not attempt to bring them back to the surface.

Pointe aux Pins 2008 Dive Season Update

Last fall a gate was installed by the Trans Canada Pipeline to restrict access to one of our favourite sites.  There have been undesirable folks causing disturbances and pollution in the area.  Since there are year round residents, you can understand their concerns over their property and privacy.

The following rules will apply to all using the site. 

These rules must be followed or access to this site  will be revoked.  Any infractions by divers can be reported to Sault Scuba Centre, 705-256-8015 and appropriate action will be taken.  We are responsible to police ourselves.  If you are on site and someone is not following the procedures, please correct them immediately, or the end result will be devastating to those who enjoy this site.

 

                                          What am I going to see around the Soo?

           

           Smallmouth Bass                            Rock Bass                                Bluegill