Summer Dives

It’s definitely summer, and I hope you’re all enjoying the sunny weather. The club is planning some fun dives over the summer, so save the date!

  • Saturday, July 31st: Eat, Float, (maybe) Dive. Redgranite Quarry is currently closed to diving, and we’re looking into alternatives.
  • Sunday, August 8th: Devil’s Lake.
  • Saturday, August 28th: Lake Wazee.
  • Sunday, October 3rd: Yahara River cleanup drift dive.

More details will be coming in upcoming club meetings and on the website, email, and Facebook.

Lake Cleanup Dives

May is when we do our part to clean up the area lakes. Trained divers, come help us out on the following days, weather permitting. If you need rental gear, be sure to check out your local dive shops.

  • Saturday, May 15 at 9am, Lake Waubesa: 2783A Tower Rd, McFarland. This is private property and we’re guests using their dock. This is a great spot for finding anchors.
  • Sunday, May 16 at 9am, Lake Kegonsa: Town of Pleasant Springs Boat Launch. Parking is free! Another great place for anchors.
  • Saturday, May 22 at 9am, Lake Mendota: Top of Lake Street near One Alumni Place. Drop off your belongings at the boat launch, then find parking nearby, either metered street parking or in the Lake Street parking ramp a couple blocks away. Between Memorial Union and Frat Row, there is a staggering amount of trash here. We’re planning to have the barge for this dive to help bring some of the furniture.
  • Sunday, May 23 at 9am, Lake Monona: Yahara Place Park.

For each of these dives, be sure to bring mesh bags, a dive flag float, garbage bags, a tray or tote to keep your car clean, and work gloves for carrying the junk above-water. If you have a lift bag, it could come in handy.

Ribbon Cutting for 140-Acre Joyce M. Baer & George J. Socha Nature Conservancy

Land Generously Donated by Joyce M. Baer & George J. Socha Now Includes Parking Lot & Hiking Trail

On Friday, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi joined Dane County Parks staff and community members to cut the ribbon on the Joyce M. Baer & George J. Socha Nature Conservancy. The land was donated to the county in 2007 with a life estate and was turned over to Dane County in 2019. With a small parking area and hiking trail recently developed, visitors can now experience the conservancy’s solitude and beautiful setting along the Maunesha River. George Socha is a long-time Four Lakes Scuba Club member.

“This is a great addition to our Dane County Park System. I want to thank George Socha and his late partner Joyce Baer for their incredibly generous donation of land,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Containing over a mile of the Maunesha River and several drumlins dotting its landscape, this conservancy will offer residents ample opportunities to enjoy Dane County’s natural resources for many years.”

The 140-acre conservancy offers quiet, nature-based outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing, bird watching and foraging for nuts, berries and mushrooms. Future enhancements will include a canoe landing, additional hiking trails, pedestrian bridges, a second parking lot and prairie and woodland restorations. 

“We understood that land is a limited resource and wanted to give everyone the opportunity to experience our land. We want it to be here forever for people to visit, appreciate nature, wander in the woods and marshlands and see all the wildlife here,” said George Socha.

The conservancy is located at 5784 Cherry Ln., about 2 miles east of the Village of Marshall and 3 miles west of Waterloo, within Dane County’s Maunesha River Natural Resource Area. To learn more, visit the property webpage at https://www.danecountyparks.com/park/Joyce-MBaer-George-JSocha-Conservancy.

May Meeting

With the warmer weather and progress in vaccination, things are looking up! May 2021 will be a big month for the club. Namely, a return to in-person meetings! We also have the annual lake clean-up dives coming up soon. And don’t forget that May is Cephalopod Appreciation Month[1]Every month is Cephalopod Appreciation Month, of course.

We’ll be meeting in-person on Wednesday, May 12 at 7:30pm at our new location: Hop Haus in Fitchburg! Note this is the Fitchburg location, not Verona.

We’re taking COVID safety seriously, including current attendee limits and distancing. To attend in-person, you must RSVP by May 6. Email vp@fourlakesscubaclub.org with the number of attendees in your household and whether you’re fully vaccinated and okay sharing a table with one other vaccinated household.

If you’re not quite ready to meet in-person, we’ll still have a Zoom meeting:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89039287285?pwd=ZHVBYzF4TDNHY3l3UkZOVVhUK2VsQT09

Meeting ID: 890 3928 7285
Passcode: 008626

The topic this month is dedicated to our underwater allies–octopus, squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus. Bring your video and photo footage of these great creatures, and get ready for Trivia with prizes!

A quick reminder: if you haven’t already paid your annual dues, bring your checkbook and a membership form. Your dues help to pay for the Phoenix party, holiday party, reserve the park, and other club events.

References

References
1 Every month is Cephalopod Appreciation Month, of course

Springtime!

The ice has melted, days are getting longer, and another dive season is upon us. A lot has happened over the past year of the pandemic, and things are looking up with vaccination progress. We’ve been meeting over Zoom for the past year and are excited to start meeting in-person again for our monthly socials.

Stay tuned for details on the location of upcoming monthly meetings.

Also, don’t forget our annual clean-up dives! They’ll be May 15-16 and 22-23.

Check out our newsletter here.

❄️❄️❄️ Happy Holidays! ❄️❄️❄️

‘Tis the season for festivities and to get together for our annual holiday party. This year, we’ll be meeting virtually over Zoom. We hope everyone can make it!

Join us on Wednesday, December 9th from 7-8pm over Zoom.

  • Make sure to count up your dives over the past year (recreational only) because if you could win the traveling trophy!
  • Also let us know if you’ve been diving in all four local lakes, because there will be prizes for that too!
  • Dress up in your holiday sweater and hat and show off your Holiday Cheer!
  • If you have any dive videos or photos, show them off in your background

Here’s hoping that sometime early 2021, we’ll be meeting in-person again!

Call-in information: Click here, or log in to Zoom with meeting ID 837 6314 5377, passcode 472945.

November

It’s November already. Time is flying! We hope you’ll join us for another virtual event this Wednesday, November 11th at 7pm.

Check out this month’s newsletter for details on the upcoming Gales of November, which will be held virtually this year. If you’re into Great Lakes maritime history and shipwrecks, it’s sure to be interesting.

Also get the word out that for the December meeting, we’ll be having a virtual holiday party! So get your festive hats and decorations ready, count all your dives for the year, put together some photos and videos of your diving this year, and plan on joining us for a Very Merry Zoom Call.

October Happenings

Here are several exciting updates from our monthly Zoom meeting last night.

WUAA Symposium

Wisconsin Underwater Archaeology Association (WUAA) is holding its symposium virtually and for free on Saturday, October 24th from 10am – 1pm on Facebook Live. Info here. Get your Shipwreck Bingo cards ready!

Cleanup Dives

We’ll be doing a couple of Lake Cleanup Dives over the next several weeks:

  • This Saturday, October 17th at 8:45am, we’ll be meeting at the top of Lake Street by the Wisconsin Alumni Center. This is the same location that we found so much junk this spring. Remember to bring a dive flag, bags for hauling trash, and a mask. If there isn’t parking available, drop off your gear next to the water and park on the street or in the Lake Street ramp.
  • Next Sunday, October 25th at 9am, we’ll be doing a Yahara River cleanup drift dive. We’ll meet at the MSCR Boathouse near Tenney Park and drift down to the other side of the isthmus. Shore support and canoeists are welcome to help out! Because of the need to shuttle divers back to the starting point, more coordination is needed, and details will follow. Let Brad know if you’re interested. Update: this event is canceled.

With both of these events, remember that preventing the spread of Covid is a top concern. Please wear a mask and bring along a ziplock baggie to keep it dry while diving.

Looking Ahead

If you know of ideas for virtual speakers, let us know. November is currently open.

As per tradition, December’s monthly meeting will be an end-of-year holiday banquet. Just over Zoom instead of in-person. Plan on fun, revelry, fun drinks, and awards for the most local dives and getting in all four of our local lakes.