Living in the Las Vegas Valley, I'm not exactly close to an ocean. Unfortunately.
But it's not only oceans that need our attention, so it seemed a perfectly fitting day for an eco-dive at Lake Mead.
Jeff and I joined a meet-up scuba group when we first settled in Vegas, but this was the first chance we had to dive Lake Mead. We packed and organized all our gear Friday night, so that Saturday morning, we'd just have to load the van and head out to meet our group at Fiesta Henderson.
|Not sure why we thought this would be a gas station - not a casino.|
We met our group around 7:45 and convoyed out to Placer Cove at Lake Mead. It was a great spot to stage a shore dive.
|I'm in the back with the orange floppy hat and the pink shirt; |
Jeff is in the yellow shirt. :)
After going over a few hand signals and some other things, we donned our gear and descended under water.
I was shocked at how cold 74°F water felt. My head was freezing around 17'. We foolishly left our dive hoods at home. Never again.
I was cold and the water seemed very murky. I started getting an uneasy feeling, so I signaled to Jeff that we should ascend. Back at the surface, I calmed my nerves and asked some basic refresher questions that I should have asked before we started. Oh well.
After a few minutes, we tried it again. Picking up that first piece of trash changed everything. Well, Jeff actually picked it up while I attempted to dig the dive bag out of my pocket. I was hooked after that. My eyes were peeled looking for other trash to put into our bag. It was so much fun! More fun than I would have imagined.
We stayed down for a while and got to a depth of 30+ feet. We needed a break, so we returned to the surface for a
Feeling rested and ready to get back under, we donned our gear for a second dive. This time we made it to 45' depth. Woo! I wasn't really concerned with any of that. I was having too much fun looking for trash for my bag. LOL.
We didn't really see anything too crazy, but here's a pic someone else took of a couple larger items that were retrieved.
|There was a pile of bones found next to that carpet. Yikes!|
These were our first two dives since Oct 2011. I did surprisingly well for not doing it for such a long time. I only freaked out a tiny bit the first pop down but was calm for the rest of it.
I did okay with my buoyancy for the most part. The safety stop at 15' was a bit tricky. Oddly, it was a little trickier on the 2nd dive, when we were close to an embankment. I felt like I was having a little more trouble resting my knee on the ground at 15' than I did when we were just hovering on the first dive. Weird.
All in all, it was a great way to celebrate World Oceans Day. I had a lot of fun diving with a purpose - even if I only saw one teeny tiny fish.
Maybe next year, we'll actually be able to do something in the ocean.