Water temperatures vary with the season. Surface temperatures can reach 70 degrees F in summer, but even then divers will find underwater temperatures in the 40s and 50s. A full quarter-inch wet suit is recommended. Dry suits should be used in spring and fall
Visibility normally ranges from 10 to 80 feet, but can be reduced to zero under certain weather conditions. Murky runoff after storms can cloud visibility near mainland sites.
Diving parties should be know CPR and emergency procedures. Carry an adequate first-aid kit including an oxygen delivery system.
In an emergency, contact a park ranger. Rangers and the U.S. Coast Guard monitor marine channel 16.
We recommend that all boaters use NOAA Charts #14973 or #14966 for navigational purposes.
Licensed charter dive boat service is available in Bayfield. Publications, including The Unholy Apostles - Shipwreck Tales of the Apostle Islands, are available at the headquarters visitor center in Bayfield.
Stockton Island, southwest side, near "The Wall".
(WGS 84) N46 54 29.9 W90 37 34.8
Hermit Island, south side.
(WGS 84) N46 52 54.6 W90 40 43.8
Lucerne (Schooner) Background: 195 feet in length; sunk in 1886. Features: The hull is intact and upright on the sand bottom. Cargo of iron ore still visible around the wreck. Visibility varies from 5 to 40 feet depending on weather. A current of about 2 knots is common. During the boating season, there is a mooring buoy placed for public convenience at the site. Depth: 25 feet. Location: Long Island, northeast side, outside park boundary.
GPS N46° 43.389' W90° 46.035'
More information on the Lucerne at University of Wisconsin Seagrant
Noquebay (Schooner Barge) Background: 205 feet in length; built in 1872; burned and sunk in 1905. Features: Large sections of wooden hull, scattered wreckage, boiler and ship's wheel. Sand bottom, good visibility. During the boating season, there is a mooring buoy placed for public convenience at the site. Depth: 10 to 15 feet. Location: Stockton Island, Julian Bay.
GPS N46° 55.568' W90° 32.717'
More information on the Noquebay at University of Wisconsin Seagrant
Sevona (Bulk Freighter) Background: 373 feet in length; built in 1890; sunk in 1905 Features: The ship broke in half, portions of the stern's twisted steel hull and cargo of iron ore remain. Depth: 20 to 25 feet. Location: Sand Island shoals, outside park boundary.
GPS N47° 00.410' W90° 54.520'
More information on the Sevona at University of Wisconsin Seagrant
Pretoria (Schooner) Background: 338 feet in length; built in 1900; sunk in 1905. Features: Flattened massive wooden three masted schooner-barge. Depth : 55 feet. Location: Northeast of Outer Island, outside park boundary.
GPS N47° 05.36' W90° 23.66'
More information on the Pretoria at University of Wisconsin Seagrant
Diving Permits: A National Park Service Diving Permit is required for diving within park boundaries, which includes all waters within one quarter mile of the shore. These free permits are available at park headquarters in Bayfield or by calling (715) 779-3398 x 2. Your diving registration helps us manage underwater sites.
Permits are required ONLY for cultural sites within the National Lakeshore. The following dive sites are the only locations that require dive permits:
Basswood Island, southeast side.
Stockton Island, southwest side.
Hermit Island, south side.
Noquebay, Stockton Island at Julian Bay
Resource Preservation: Do not remove any artifacts. They are a unique and irreplaceable window on our past. Exploring these treasures is not only fun and exciting, but allows us to glimpse a few pages from one of the most colorful chapters in the Apostle Islands' story. Help us to preserve these important sites for everyone to study and enjoy. All underwater cultural sites and artifacts are protected by law. Possession and use of underwater metal detectors in the park is also prohibited.
Dive Flag: Dive sites or boats must be marked with the standard diving flag (white diagonal stripe on a red background) or the "Alpha" flag (blue and white) whenever divers are in the water.
Anchoring: When diving on a shipwreck, avoid setting your anchor into the wreck itself.