Have you ever wondered what it would be like to swim through a shipwreck like this one? It may be easier than you think. There are more than 400 shipwrecks in Lake Michigan and over the weekend of Feb. 17 to Feb. 19, everything scuba is at your fingertips during the Our World Underwater Convention at the Rosemont Convention Center.
"There are over 200 exhibitors from around the world. There's dive manufacturers, equipment, travel destinations, great deals on travel and it's very family oriented," said convention organizer John Lally.
In recent years, scuba diving has grown in popularity, but who says you need an exotic location to enjoy diving. Although Lake Michigan may not look inviting right now, in several months it will be. And our big lake holds many mysteries beneath it's surface, like a wooden schooner sunk during a storm in the late 1800s. Experts have called these some of the most spectacular wrecks in the world kept intact by the cold, fresh lake water. There are also modern wrecks like The Buccaneer sunk a few years ago to create a reef 10 miles offshore.
One of the favorite sites is the historical old schooner Wells Burt which lies in 35 feet of water 3 miles off Evanston, where it has rested for the past 130 years.
There are many unique sights, from the fish to the invasive zebra mussels that cover the hulls. There is even talk of a mysterious lost treasure.
"They talk about treasure all the time, but nobody's been able to find it," said Daniel Howard of D.J's Scuba Locker. "A lot of treasures and antique items that have been dropped down here. A lot of weapons from the 60s and 70s way out there that people dumped thinking that they would not be found."
Summer is the best time to dive on Lake Michigan, which is why the perfect time to learn is right now.
"In 5 weeks or a couple of days over a weekend we can have you ready and certified," Howard said. "It's not an airplane ride away, it's not multiple thousands of dollars to get across the world, its a car ride , some parking, a boat fee and you're diving. It's awesome."