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"NANCY WASHBURNE has 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, the author discovered that there was no information on Michigan’s inland lakes from the snorkeling point of view. Although her 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."

Michigan Authors Festival
Michigan Library Association
Annual Conference November 5, 1999
Dearborn, Michigan


World traveler Nancy Washburne, decided that after visiting 117 countries around the globe, she wanted to introduce her teenage son to the beauty of her native Michigan. Being an experienced scuba diver who has dived and snorkeled in the Red Sea, the Great Barrier Reef, Truk Lagoon, Palau, Papua, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the New Hebrides, Fiji, Grand Cayman, Bonaire, Cozumel, and other Caribbean islands, she felt that Michigan inland lakes would offer a great variety of snorkeling experiences for her family. Little did she know what this exploration was going to bring.

After several negative responses to her inquiries about where she could find the best inland lakes to snorkel, she realized that the information was not available anywhere. With her curiosity unsatisfied Nancy Washburne embarked on what would end up being a six-year field research study covering over a thousand inland lakes all over Michigan.

By herself, Nancy 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, she kept copious notes of every experience, detailing the types of vegetation, names of resident fish and their locations.

To complement her research, Nancy, an experienced underwater photographer, took over 80 hours of video that she later painstakingly edited herself, which resulted in three outstanding 24-minute videos. The PBS TV show “Michigan Out of Doors” introduced Nancy, her book and her video during their March 26, 1998 TV program. Since then, Nancy has made nine presentations at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, as well as during the 30th Anniversary of Our World-Underwater. For additional information please refer to our Video Presentations section.

For someone who has experienced the best diving and snorkeling sites that the world has to offer, Nancy was thrilled by the beauty and excitement found in Michigan inland lakes. She 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, “Snorkeling Guide to Michigan Inland Lakes” brings you a wealth of information about the sport, including photography. Nancy’s lively and colloquial literary style grabs the attention of the reader, even of people who have never snorkeled.

Fishing enthusiasts are among those who love to sit down and read what she 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 her “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.

Now you can order your own autographed copy of “Snorkeling Guide to Michigan Inland Lakes” by simply clicking here: How to Order

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