I am a lifelong resident of Michigan and for 13 years I have taught in Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Michigan State University. Before that, I founded the four Washburne Travel Centers in the Lansing area and, besides traveling the United States extensively, I have made numerous trips to Europe and the Middle East, the Far East, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific, Siberia and Outer Mongolia, around the world, the Arctic and Antarctica, visiting a total of 134 countries and island groups.
As a certified scuba diver, my underwater experience includes dives at the Great Barrier Reef, the Red Sea, Truk Lagoon, the Solomon Islands, the New Hebrides, Bonaire, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Acapulco, Ixtapa, Manzanillo, Hawaii, the Florida Keys and an underwater photography course in Grand Cayman.
When I and my teenage son decided to explore camping in Michigan, I discovered that there was little or no knowledge of Michigan’s inland lakes from a snorkeling viewpoint. It was this lack of available information that spurred me to make an underwater survey of all of Michigan’s public access lakes so that snorkeling could be developed in Michigan as a leisure activity. “Snorkeling Guide to Michigan Inland Lakes” is the result of that survey.
I have created a unique book that fills a void for snorkelers worldwide and especially in Michigan. A lifelong resident of Michigan and experienced scuba diver in some of the most exotic dive locations of the world, I discovered that there was no information on Michigan’s inland lakes from the snorkeling point of view. Although my book surveys all of the State’s public access lakes to support snorkeling as a leisure activity, it also contains a wealth of information including lake size, fish, aquatic plants and more.
After several negative responses to my inquiries about where I could find the best inland lakes to snorkel, I realized that the information was not available anywhere. With my curiosity unsatisfied I embarked on what would end up being a six-year field research study covering over a thousand inland lakes all over Michigan.
By myself, I drove over 200 miles a day during spring, summer and fall of 1992-1997 snorkeling over a thousand public access Michigan inland lakes. With the discipline of a scientist, I kept copious notes of every experience, detailing the types of vegetation, names of resident fish and their locations.
To complement my research, I, an experienced underwater photographer, took over 80 hours of video that I later painstakingly edited myself, which resulted in three outstanding 24-minute videos. The PBS TV show “Michigan Out of Doors” introduced me, my book and my video during their March 26, 1998 TV program. Since then, I have made nine presentations at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, as well as during the 30th Anniversary of Our World-Underwater.
For someone who has experienced the best diving and snorkeling sites that the world has to offer, I was thrilled by the beauty and excitement found in Michigan inland lakes. I was not expecting so much color or the great variety of fish, large and small, along with the beautiful vegetation. When you add all of these to the enjoyment of snorkeling, you end up with one of the most therapeutic and energizing activities that the whole family can engage in, virtually around the corner for those fortunate enough to reside in or near Michigan.
In addition to providing detailed information on 480 inland lakes for your snorkeling pleasure, the book brings you a wealth of information about the sport, including photography.
Fishing enthusiasts are among those who love to sit down and read what my book has to say about a particular lake and its fish population. Bob Garner, the popular former host of the Michigan Out of Doors TV show told me “Nancy, I can’t be without your book,” it lets me know what lakes I might like to fish. The book is also popular with sailing enthusiasts, as it tells of many ‘no wake’ lakes where sailors will not be bothered by personal watercraft.
Website: Snorkel Michigan