By Mike Fabish
Early in the morning on July 4, 2011, I met Tony Piazza at his cabin north of Au Gres, MI to go diving in Saginaw Bay, MI. The skies were clear, the water was flat, and a beautiful day to dive. Our goal was to use coordinates we had to dive the Annadobbins, and then investigate a buoy in the channel. Once at the wreck coordinates, we made a 73’dive in 44° F water where we thought we saw something on the bottom, but did not find the wreck. However, the water was very clear (50’ visibility) and we had a good dive anyway.
Then we went to see the “Green Sea Turtle”. Tony, at right, had discovered it the day before while boating near the #1 buoy to Charity Island. He saw a round green object under the water just NW of the green marker buoy, which his brother-in-law aptly dubbed a “green sea turtle”. Tony dove in (no gear) to investigate, and thought it might be a column all the way to the bottom, with the top of it just 2-3‘under the surface. It made him curious, and knowing that we would be diving the next day, we made it a dive site to explore further.
Once there, Tony was able to jump in and tie off to it, approximately 5’ below the surface. He could stand on it, and we began our dive. The visibility wasn’t as good as the previous dive; only 10-15’. Turns out that it was a can buoy, approximately 30” in diameter, about 20’ long, tapered at the bottom, and attached with chain to an anchor block on the bottom in 49’, 48° F. For one reason or another it had established neutral buoyancy below the surface. The chain had slack in it and was not holding it down at that level, but it did not float well enough to break the surface as a marker. We can only speculate that it used to be the buoy marker (it is marked Charity 1 on its side) but now replaced with the much larger buoy near it. Why it’s still there is the real mystery. We also discovered tons of extra chain from the can, maybe 40-50 in length, coiled, tied and stacked on the anchor block. Another mystery? Tony plans to contact the Coast Guard to see if he can get an explanation. It could be a hazard to keeled sailboats or deep draft craft if they were to get too close to the floating buoy.
All in all, it was a great day on the bay and diving. My thanks go to Tony for supplying his boat and Carol a wonderful lunch afterward! What could be better?!
Mystery of the
"Green Sea Turtle”