Mermet Springs / PennyRoyal Road Trip Aug 2016

The Muck Divas decided that they needed some time away; so, they rented a place at the lake to relax. What are the guys supposed to do? Well, go diving of course. This gave us the perfect excuse to play hooky from work a couple days and go on a road trip to two of our favorite places – Mermet Springs and PennyRoyal.

On Thursday we made our way to Mermet Springs and ultimately shared the quarry with two other divers from Springfield. We didn’t know what to expect since the posted viz conditions were a little sketchy. But, we were amazed. The viz had to be in the 20+ range. We enjoyed the day revisiting all the attractions. The only downside is that I now remember why I wanted to be a drysuit diver many years ago….it was cold once you got deeper than 30 feet. We hadn’t dove the quarries in a couple years and forgot how cold they could be, but hey that is what Midwest MuckDiving is all about!

We talked to Glenn a little were amazed that they will be celebrating their 20 year anniversary in the very near future. Has it really been 20 years? Keep an eye out for information on their 20 year celebration. It’s been a fun 20 years and hopefully at least 20 more. The quarry is in great shape right now so make some plans to stop in….winter is just around the corner.

Our second stop on our road trip was in Hopkinsville, Kentucky at the PennyRoyal Quarry. We made the short drive down from Mermet Friday morning and was surprised when we showed up at 9am and the gate was closed. The quarry didn’t open up until 10 a.m.; so we did what every god fearing Midwesterner does….we went to Walmart. We returned about 45 minutes later and was shocked to see a line waiting to get in. We kind of thought we would have the quarry to ourselves like Mermet the day before. We quickly learned that the Army was there to do some Discover Scuba Dives. Apparently this is something they do on Fridays. At first we were a little disappointed thinking about how much muck the students were going to be kicking up; but, actually they stayed in the shallows and it really had no impact on our dive plans.

The quarry was just the way we remembered with the bluish looking water. We had some great dives, but again it got really cold about 30 feet and again we were wishing we had brought the drysuits. I would say the viz was 18-20 as they advertise. I hate to try and compare dive locations because each has their own personality. Pennyroyal is a nice dive site which really has a nice shallow shelf for training purposes and if you want to go deep you can get really deep. Over the years we have found the viz typically very good at PennyRoyal even when other areas are mucked out. Mermet has cleaner attractions, Pennyroyal does not clean the attractions. Mermet has more fish life, Pennyroyal has very little. If you want a change of pace Pennyroyal is worth the hour+ drive from Mermet.

To finish up our road trip we decided to head to Nashville. We didn’t do any diving because we couldn’t find any places near Nashville, but since it was an hour’s drive away we couldn’t pass up on it. Nashville was fun. We spent an evening on Broadway and seen some of the best live music ever. It really puts in perspective how good you have to be to “make it big”. We toured the Ryman and Music Hall of Fame along with taking a tour of Nashville and seeing Music Row where all the studios are. We definitely have to come back some time.

Our long weekend quickly became a short weekend as we headed back to Missouri and ultimately back to our daily routine that allows us to feed our diving passion.