What to Expect
PLEASE PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING SECTION ON PARKING AND LOADING. SIGNIFICANT CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE IN THAT PROCESS BECAUSE OF INCREASED SECURITY MEASURES IN THE FEDERAL MARITIME SECURITY ACT WHICH APPLY TO THE STARLINE FERRY DOCK. THESE MEASURES ARE THE RESULT OF CHANGES IN THE LAW FOLLOWING 9/11. PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH ALL OF US AS WE ADJUST TO THESE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS. TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE, WE WILL STRIVE TO REDUCE THE INCONVENIENCE TO YOU.
The following information is offered to assist you in planning for your dive trip. One cardinal rule applies: Space onboard is always at a premium. Please do not bring anything you do not realistically need. Coolers, dive boxes and dive bags take up a lot of room. Ask yourself if you can leave them in your vehicle.
FOOD, DRINK, AND PERSONAL ITEMS: Even in the summer, it can be cool on the water. You may want to consider the weather and bring a light jacket or sweatshirt if it seems appropriate. You should bring sufficient food to provide for approximately a five-hour trip. Usually a sandwich and snacks are sufficient. A community ice chest supplied with ice will be on board to reduce the need for you to bring a cooler. Regular and diet soda and bottled water will also be provided.
In the event you require seasickness medication, please bring it with you and follow the manufacturer's recommendation for use. Generally, it is recommended that you take it before leaving the dock.
Information on the dive sites, including books, is available for your use on board.
PARKING AND LOADING: Please arrive at least one half hour before departure to permit boarding and timely completion of registration forms. On arrival, please park in one of the 15 minute visitor spaces at the west end of the dive shop building or in the general parking lot. PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN FRONT OF THE DIVE SHOP or in one of the Starline valet parking spaces.
You should then check in at the dive center located directly in front of the Rec Diver. The staff will then direct you in unloading your equipment, boarding the boat and parking your vehicle. Because of changes brought about by increased security regulations, it is no longer possible for you to drive your vehicle down the dock to the boat for unloading your equipment. It is now necessary to transport it to the boarding area marked by yellow lines adjacent to the Rec Diver. Our staff will assist you in transferring your gear.
After you have unloaded your gear, please check with the crew to make sure the boat is ready for boarding. When it is, you may carry your equipment on board and locate it at one of the several bench positions that line both sides of the rear deck. Each location is provided with bungee cords to secure your tanks and other equipment and a crate to store any loose gear like knives and lights.
When you have your equipment on board, please move your vehicle to the area designated by Starline for all day parking. Generally, that area is across the street behind the Driftwood Motel. The drive is on the South side. Do not park in the Starline lot on the same side of the street as the Rec Diver (unless you have purchased Starline ferry tickets for use later that day).
With your gear on board and your vehicle parked, please set up your gear for your first dive and double check to make certain you have what you need to go diving. If anything is missing, please let the crew know. It may be possible to find substitute equipment while still docked. It will be much harder to do this with the boat offshore. After setting your gear up, be sure it is bungeed down so that it does not roll off the bench while we are underway.
REGISTRATION: Before the boat leaves the dock, you will be required to produce your C-card, complete a Medical Information form, and sign a standard release of liability form. The Registration and Medical and Release forms can be downloaded on this website on the "Liability" page . If you desire to do so, you may complete those forms and bring them with you. Otherwise, you will be provided copies dockside.
In the event you have a potentially disqualifying medical condition, please bring a physician's statement of ability to dive. Other medical conditions will be considered in light of the recommendations from DAN and PADI. Generally, they recommend a case-by-case evaluation and do not necessarily prevent you from diving. Please do not withhold this information.
CAMERAS AND SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: In the event you will be using a camera, please let the crew know so that a safe location can be set aside for your use. Every effort will be made to accommodate the use of your equipment. Just ask.
MANEUVERING THE BOAT: When the boat is undocking, mooring, releasing from a mooring, docking or executing other maneuvers, you should permit the Captain and crew to accomplish those tasks. It is most helpful if you will be seated so that the Captain has an unobstructed view. Please do not attempt to assist the crew unless you are asked to do so.
ENTERING AND EXITING THE BOAT: After the boat is safely moored, the crew will assist you in entering the water. This will require you and your buddy to suit up, check equipment and proceed to the platform and ladder at the stern. The platform is very easy to use because of its uncommon width. However, the steps swing with the rise and fall of the boat. Therrefore, as you enter the water, caution must be exercised to avoid striking a submerged step, especially if conditions are rough. A giant stride entry is usually the best. Please signal the crew that you are okay after you enter the water and wait for your dive buddy. A tag line will be provided off the stern for you to hold onto while your buddy enters the water and a similar line will be provided to guide you to the mooring line at the bow if conditions require it.
At the end of your dive, surface at the bow, give an okay sign and proceed on the surface to the stern. A crew member will assist you in reboarding the boat and seating yourself. Please use care in walking on the deck. It can be very slippery when wet.
SURFACE INTERVAL: After all divers have returned, a mandatory surface interval will be taken considering the previous dive and the next planned dive. This is usually the time when lunch or a snack is eaten and will allow you to set up for the next dive. It can last for two hours or more.
RETURN TO THE DOCK: After your dives are completed, please secure your equipment for the trip back to the dock. On arrival at the dock, you can unload your equipment dockside, keeping in mind the requirement that the Starline dock be kept clear for passage. We will assist you in moving your gear off the dock and to your vehicle. It is usually busier in the afternoon than in the morning. If you are diving the following day, please leave your tanks to be filled as directed by the staff and check for the next day's departure time before leaving.
From time to time, emergencies may arise while boating or diving. These situations
can be very serious. Confusion is one way to make a bad situation worse. Therefore,
if an emergency does arise, please permit the Captain and crew to handle it.
They have prepared for such occurrences and are prepared to deal with them.
You may be asked to assist and, if so, please do as requested.
587 N. State St. in St. Ignace, Michigan