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Thread: Lake Michigan - Hennepin wreck dive

  1. #1
    Bob Sweeney bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi's Avatar
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    Lake Michigan - Hennepin wreck dive

    6 divers left South Haven, MI yesterday to dive the Hennepin, the first self-unloading barge on the Great Lakes. a wooden ship built in 1888, the engine was removed in 1923 and it sank as a barge in 1927. The Hennepin is sitting upright in about 225' of water.

    We chartered and dove off the Elsie J. an 1948 steel tug captained by Bob Jenson. The Elsie J (48' long) is not fast but it makes up for it in space! The wreck is located about 12 miles out of South Haven so it was about a 2 hour boat ride with 2-3 foot waves. The wreck is bouyed so tying up was quick and easy.

    I was the only rebreather diver in the group so myself and my buddy decided to be last to splash. All went pretty well except one diver experienced some serious hip pain on the way down and aborted the dive and we had to help him get back in the boat. The pain was not dive-related. By the time we splashed everyone else was doing their shallow deco stops.

    Going down the line the vertical visibility was great until the 80' mark where there was a major thermocline and the temp dropped from 63F to 42F, visibility dropped to about 20' and it got dark really quick. It lightened up around 170 and visibility improved to where we got our first glimse of the wreck. The bouy is tied into a 2" steel tow cable at the bow at about 195'. Horizontal visibility was about 50'. There is a large capstain that contains the tow line on the bow, a length of the tow line can be seen going over the side and out in front of the wreck. Directly behind the capstain is a double ships wheel, the small wheel about 3' and the large wheel is around 6' (nice picture of this is on the MSRA website). The holds are empty, there is a large A frame amidships that connects to the conveyer system that is is still in it's stowed position, intact except the conveyor belt is gone. You can still see the angled sides to the hold and the material moving equipment in the holds. We didn't penetrate the holds since we had pretty good visibility of everything from outside.

    The smoke stack broke off and is laying on the deck in front of the aft cabin which is mostly intact. The steam boilers are visible here. They were used to generate steam for electrical power to run the conveyer. The aft of the ship is pretty much scrap wood, it appears to have sunk stern first which demolished the stern, but you can see the back of the boilers. The bow of the ship is intact, there appears to be a large mushroom anchor on the bow with the anchor shaft still inside the bow so only the bottom of the anchor is visible.

    We did a run time of 20 minutes, total dive time of 68 minutes. This is a very pretty wreck, you can swim around the entire ship in 20 minutes although I originally planned 30 minutes none of my OC friends wanted to stay quite that long this time.

    I don't have any underwater pictures but if you Google the Hennepin wreck, click on the MSRA link (they are the ones who found it), they have some nice photos on-line.

  2. #2
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    rEvo

    Oroborus, GEM

    Re: Lake Michigan - Hennepin wreck dive

    Glad you had a nice dive. The next time I'm able to get down there to dive the Hennepin I will be doing it CC, so if your able to go then, you can have someone else "like minded" to dive with.

  3. #3
    Bob Sweeney bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Michigan - Hennepin wreck dive

    Always looking for new dive buddies, especially non-bubble blowers - I think I'm about the only rebreather diver in this part of the state.

    Bob

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    rEvo

    Oroborus, GEM

    Re: Lake Michigan - Hennepin wreck dive

    I'm not sure, but we may have spoken at Ghost ships.

  5. #5
    Train Wrecked Canadian Tekdive has a spectacular aura about Canadian Tekdive has a spectacular aura about Canadian Tekdive has a spectacular aura about Canadian Tekdive has a spectacular aura about Canadian Tekdive has a spectacular aura about Canadian Tekdive has a spectacular aura about Canadian Tekdive's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Michigan - Hennepin wreck dive

    Quote Originally Posted by bobmaggi  View Original Post
    Always looking for new dive buddies, especially non-bubble blowers - I think I'm about the only rebreather diver in this part of the state.

    Bob
    Where abouts are you located Bob?

    I am about an hour from Detroit and Port huron in Canada. I have been diving the river in Sarnia/porthuron for a bit this summer just to get some practice in.

    Nice Report. I have some buddies that live over that way and dive it on OC and have been diving it since last year. Who did you run out with and what were the cost per diver if you don't mind? I was thinking of getting out there after I put a few more hours under my belt.

  6. #6
    Bob Sweeney bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi has a spectacular aura about bobmaggi's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Michigan - Hennepin wreck dive

    I'm located in St Joseph MI, right next to Lake Michigan. The Hennepin is located out of South Haven, about 1/2 hour north (I trailer my boat up their often).
    I chartered Jenson Charters out of South Haven - tek diver cost was $125 per diver. I didn't want to take my boat that far out there alone - last year we had 2 boats but the other boat was sold over the winter.

    Bob

    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian Tekdive  View Original Post
    Where abouts are you located Bob?

    I am about an hour from Detroit and Port huron in Canada. I have been diving the river in Sarnia/porthuron for a bit this summer just to get some practice in.

    Nice Report. I have some buddies that live over that way and dive it on OC and have been diving it since last year. Who did you run out with and what were the cost per diver if you don't mind? I was thinking of getting out there after I put a few more hours under my belt.

  7. #7
    Train Wrecked Canadian Tekdive has a spectacular aura about Canadian Tekdive has a spectacular aura about Canadian Tekdive has a spectacular aura about Canadian Tekdive has a spectacular aura about Canadian Tekdive has a spectacular aura about Canadian Tekdive has a spectacular aura about Canadian Tekdive's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Michigan - Hennepin wreck dive

    ok your closer to my buddy Mark that lives over that way...

    cool Thanks for the Info. I think this is who Jeff was using when he was setting up a trip last year but it all fell through for us.

    Thanks...

    Chris Bell

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