Preparing you for the adventure that lies ahead!

SCUBA Education & Training

Open Water Weekend FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

The following is a list of some of the questions we frequently receive regarding our open water training weekends. If you are not able to find your answer here, please Contact Us and we will be happy to respond to any additional questions.

What should I bring?
How many dives am I required to do?
Is there anything to see underwater?
Do we dive from the shore or from a boat?
Will I get cold during the dives?
Anything else I should know?

What should I bring?
The following items will probably come in handy for Perch Lake and Square Lake outings:

  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Clothes appropriate for the weather. Check the weather in advance: Square Lake weather forecast, Perch Lake weather forecast. Keep in mind that since you will be on the shores of a lake the temperature will likely be slightly lower and the wind slightly stronger than what is called for in the forecast.
  • Snack and something to drink. Trust us: you will likely be hungry and thirsty by the time you are done diving.
  • Check made out to Superior Expeditions (or cash) for the open water weekend fee.
  • Money for parking: both Perch Lake and Square Lake charge for parking, approximately $5 per car, plus an additional cost per person if more than one person in the car.

The following items will probably come in handy for Lake Superior weekends:

  • The weather on the North Shore is very unpredictable. Check the forecast for Beaver Bay, MN to get a general idea on how to dress. Be sure to pack extra clothes for varying conditions (extra sweater(s) or sweatshirt(s), jacket, rain jacket, long pants, shorts, hat, etc.).
  • Swimsuit and towel.
  • You may find a sleeping bag and pillow will be to your advantage. Please feel free to bring these if convenient.
  • If you are interested in carpooling contact Bob. He can sometimes help you arrange a ride with other students.
  • Saturday evening dinner is provided. You’re responsible all other meals so plan accordingly. Some rooms have small refrigerators and microwaves, and we can share these as needed. There is a grocery store on the way to Beaver Bay in Two Harbors, and another several miles down the road from Beaver Bay in Silver Bay. There is also a convenience store just across the street from the hotel.
  • Check made out to Superior Expeditions (or cash) for the open water weekend fee.

How many dives am I required to do?
A typical Open Water Weekend will be structured as follows: On Saturday you will do 1 snorkel dive and 2 SCUBA dives. On Sunday you will do 2 SCUBA dives. This is the same whether we are at Square Lake, Perch Lake, or Lake Superior. Depending on the dive site and conditions that day each dive will typically range between 20 and 45 minutes.

Is there anything to see underwater?
Yes! Perch Lake and Square Lake have a wide variety of underwater fish and plant life. Both lakes also have a number of sunken fishing boats, platforms, and other "surprises" that we can show you. Lake Superior is a whole different story: while we can never promise anything due to always changing wind, wave, and weather conditions on the North Shore, students almost always get to explore at least one real shipwreck, and sometimes as many as three different wrecks. There are also a number of underwater geological formations that make for fun, fascinating diving.

Do we dive from the shore or from a boat?
When using Perch Lake and Square Lake we dive from shore. Both locations provide nice parks that allow us to gear-up close to the water. When up in Lake Superior these dives are almost always boat dives, although there are a number of shore diving locations that can be used if needed. Lake Superior boat dives are typically conducted in the following manner: You will assemble your SCUBA unit on the dock and place it as well as all other necessary diving gear on the boat so it is ready to go when we arrive at the site. We usually have you put on your wetsuits just prior to boarding one of the boats. You can count on a 10 to 20 minute ride depending on where we launch the boat , where we are headed, and conditions on the lake. Once we arrive at the site we will have you put on your gear and enter the water as a group with your instructor. Once the morning dive is over we will head back to shore to give you a chance to dry off and grab lunch. The afternoon dive will repeat the same process. On Saturday you will do one snorkle dive from shore before we head out for the first SCUBA dive.

Will I get cold during the dives?
To be honest: maybe a little depending on your body type, the time of year, and the dive site conditions that day. But in all likelihood you will be having so much fun it won't be of primary concern. Rest assured that we dress you in extremely thick and warm two piece wetsuits, as well as boots, hoods, and gloves. The vast majority of students are just fine and almost always have a big smile on their face when their dive is over! Trust us ... we wouldn't do this if it wasn't fun!

Anything else I should know?
Get plenty of rest the night before going diving. Also, eat a good breakfast that morning. Doing so will go a long way to helping to keep your energy up and your body warm during and after these dives.