Tuesday, May 05, 2009

U.V.P. - Tahoe City

The Undersea Voyager Project spent the past two rainy days on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe departing out of the Tahoe City Marina, Tahoe City, CA. Although the weather was poor the outings on "SeaMagine" were excellent. A real test of maneuvering the submarine in rough waters, with a die-hard crew. Unfortunately the submarine needed to stay within the vicinity of the marina due to time constraints and the weather. We were unable to go the distance to the Stateline Wall or the Dollar Point wall, two locations that I thought would be good. Although, Capt. Scott Cassell was very interested in seeing both locations. So hopefully as the weather betters, we'll have the opportunity to dive those sites. We traveled about a half mile off shore, directly in front of the Tahoe Tavern condos and found a nice hole in 65 feet of water that quickly went down to 125 feet. What was found? Well, a baseball cap, lots of crawdads, an old railroad train wheel, a bit of algae and trails of a sand dwelling worm. I'll have to research that worm! These are still preliminary dives and introduction of the vessel to local youth scientists. (The photo below was taken with an iPhone camera.)

The U.V.P. group will be in the Tahoe/Fallen Leaf Lake area for the month of May and now that the introduction of the sub to the Tahoe waters is over, it is now time to get down to work. Today the sub will be in Fallen Leaf Lake working with scientists from Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Tomorrow will be spent a half a day with the Scripps group again on Fallen Leaf Lake and then moving back to the Tahoe Keys and working with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency looking for invasive species.

I dove with my friend Jerry Burawski, High Camp Food & Beverage Manager, Squaw Valley (left) and unfortunately we were a bit too late getting in the water to join the SeaMagine on its descent. By the time we entered the water the submarine was already in 85 feet deep water. Our mistake. We're rookies at diving with submarines. I take that back, Madison and myself had the experience of seeing a tourist submarine come by when we were doing a drift dive on the Barcadera Reef, Aruba. We plan on joining the group again and do the Emerald Bay wreck dives that are located in 20-30 feet of water that will put us within site and swimming distance of the submarine at all times. Remarkably, I was not the least bit cold diving in the 45 degree water surface temperature. And when I got out, I pulled my wetsuit down to my waste and kept my upper body warm with multiple layered clothing.

I purchased a Flip Video Mino 720p HD Camera last week to add video to my blog. This thing is great! Although it only has a 4 GB hard drive which equals one hour of video, it is High Definition quality. No bigger than a standard cell phone, it's a great tool to have in the camera bag and use when I want to document something. The Flip comes with a simple to use software program for editing, making snapshot images and adding music to the video's an ease. It's just a fun camera to use and the quality is acceptable. I am not trying to make an IMAX movie here, that crew will be in the water next week with the UVP group.

(Click on any photo to see larger.)

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