Earlier this month, the dive shop had a group of 28 people who made the drive to Mermet Springs, IL, for the September dive trip. If you’ve never been to Mermet Springs and you can swing the trip, I highly recommend that you take the opportunity at least once. Grady & Deb work extremely hard with the group from Mermet Springs to make our trip successful.
The whole point of our trip was to head to Mermet Springs, IL, to go scuba diving. What’s so special about Mermet Springs you ask? Have you ever seen the movie U. S. Marshalls with Tommy Lee Jones? Well the 727 airplane that they are flying on in the first 15 minutes of the movie… has been purchased by Mermet Springs and now sits in the quarry. Oh… and you can dive it! Along with many other treasures.
As you first enter, you drive straight into the sight. You keep to the right which will bring you up the building. You’ll have to check in with them and they’ll take your C-card and keep them the whole weekend while you’re there. Don’t worry, Grady gets them back at the end of the weekend for us . If by chance you’re using this to get your open water certification, you’ll need to check in with your instructor.
Mermet Springs has quite the set up. They can refill your tanks in about 5-10 minutes; you drop them off and pick them up in their air refilling area. Tank refills are $7 per refill.
They have set-up areas where you can get your equipment/gear ready, leave your bags, etc. When you go with groups, they have special areas assigned to each group so that you can get ready together. The area’s are covered open spaces, so if it happens to be raining, your stuff will have a roof over it while you’re out diving.
Once it is time to head to the water, there are two dock areas to enter. One takes you to the shallow platform as a starting off reference point and the other takes you off to the deeper waters. Two things to keep in mind. You’re not allowed to do solo diving in these waters, even if you have the certification. Also you’re not allowed to float in the water unless you have at least your bc on.
Attire to have in this particular water, especially if you are going toward the deeper end which registered in around 39 degrees on this particular trip, is a 5mil wet suit, at least 3mil gloves, dive socks are handy, and either a 3mil or 5mil hood. If you stick to the upper platform around 15 feet you can get by without the hood, gloves and socks, but if you plan on going through the plane, you get down to 50 feet so be cautious.
Once you’re ready to hit the water they have maps you can purchase for $10 that show where all the different items are, these maps will clip on your bc to help you keep from getting lost. Another exciting thing is they play music while you’re underwater.
We all took snacks with us and piled them on a table, but if you don’t find something satisfying, they have a shack open there where you can get hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hotdogs, etc.
Keep in mind, if you’d like to go and don’t want to drive by yourself, just let Deb or Grady know ahead of time and they will work hard to get you someone to ride with so you aren’t driving up by yourself.
Mermet Springs sits just outside of Metropolis, IL. Grady also works with one of the hotels in Metropolis to get special rates for those who are headed that direction so we can all stay together. This trip the hotel was The Metropolis Inn. When it comes to the rooms, again, if you don’t want to room by yourself, contact them ahead of time and they’ll also try to find you a roommate.
On the last day before we all head home, there are showers where you can rinse off and get comfortable for your trip home.
After this spectacular trip, we need to congratulate Amy La Due, Jason La Due, Lee Lake, Mark Willoughby, and Nicole Willoughby on their Wreck Diving certification.
Looking foreword to next year’s Mermet Springs trips and hope to see you there.