Really enjoyed the story Bob. When I read your stories I also as a diver know all the prep that goes into the before and the work after.
I can appreciate your dive buddies attitude towards a place that just isn't making him feel the desire to go back and be skunked again.
But you yourself having some 6th sense about it and being rewarded. I usually go from shore although I do have a diving kayak now (that I love,
I have my dive flag on that less idiots on boats and jet skiis running over my flag while diving). My friend who has done lots of lake diving speaks of
instances of long ago spring clean outs being found. Basically people cleaning out their barns n houses dragging it out on the ice to deep water areas and when ice out
happens, gravity does the rest. I have never found one but its a honey hole under water apparently.
Really loved seeing your finds and reading your story. Kevin
Thanks Coldwater Kevin.
I don't know if the kayak could hold all your gear but if you just use it as a surface buoy, it probably works. I dove off a canoe before and it is tough to stow all that stuff and not tip it. Sometimes it helps just to suit up shallow and leave the boat by shore.
About jet skis, I once had two jet skis using my flag as a racing buoy and it was only five or six feet deep. I pressed myself to the bottom hoping they wouldn't bonk into my tank...
I do find what I call trash piles now and then. They usually have nothing great - just broken stuff. But it is a good place to find bottles with the stoppers still on them. I once found a pile with lots of broken hutches. I took the blobs then kept the stoppers. I later polished them and put them with bottles that are missing stoppers.
Say. Are you rooting around for glass or do you have areas where you can see them without digging and clawing?
Bob this kayak does the trick. I can put all my gear behind me strapped in with a steel 120 or two steel 72 tanks. Even w me sitting right down next to that weight its still level. I can and have paddled as much as 25 miles. ( energy bars n water a must). Total body work out, no matter if you are exploring river, lakes its a nice base to dive from. Canoe works for shore dives(holds lots of gear) Been there with jet a**h***rs or my flag being pulled up by boater not knowing what it is and that there is an extremely pissed off person at the other end. Ergo cold water diver. Finding means surface picks, seein just a corner or a sliver of a bottle and digging it up, digging in an area that was a dump1'-6' deep. Digging in sand w a rake, sinking your hands in mud visibility zero. All of that.
It sounds like we are doing similar stuff though I can't say I've ever paddled more than a mile or two. I've definitely had the boat pull up my flag before but almost every time the people were very nice. I had my line get caught on somebody's motor (which means they probably drove right over my flag) but luckily, they didn't drag me along or anything. I came up and unhooked it and again they were nice at least. But I've done stuff too. Once, I wasn't finding anything in a lake and I decided to cover as much bottom as I could and keep moving. Since I wasn't surfacing to stow anything, I was pretty far from where I had started. Then I see this brand new, I mean really nice looking anchor. No zebra mussels, no algae, just clean and nice. I grabbed it to take it up and then saw that the anchor line was curving upward. That could only mean one thing, it was still attached to a boat. Oops! I set it back and made haste to put some distance between me and those fishermen.
Anybody ever ask you to find things that they lost? This happens to me on a fairly regular basis and I have lots of stories about that kind of stuff. I'll tell three here, but this cold go long...
Okay. This first story has both success and failure to recover someone's lost items. You'll see.
I'm at the launch with all my gear and some guys approach me and say that they are doing a muskey study at a local college. They have transmitter tags on caught-and-released fish and they follow these fish around and record where they spend their time. Presumably they are learning more about the habits of these awesome fish. They record the data on waterproof plastic sheets (which is smart) but the entire log book got dropped in the lake by one of the researchers after they lost their balance. Could I help recover it?
I agreed to meet them with full tanks at a later date. The gentleman that meets me is the guy who lost the book (really anyone else would be wasting my time). He takes me right where he thinks he lost it. It is about 12 feet deep in a partially rocky, partially weedy area. Not the worst place to lose it. It shouldn't be too buried where the bottom is harder. I looked around about ten minutes, trying not to stir things up too badly but I had no results. I surfaced and asked if he could give me a better handle on what the conditions were (wind and waves), where exactly he thought it fell in, that type of thing. He did give me a better feel for where it was. This time down I focused right where he thought it was. In just a minute or two, I saw the book binder down, pages partially opened. I was (secretly) proud of myself. No bragging at the surface because I'd rather not be an a-hole but still, I know that this was not an easy challenge. This lake is huge and murky with poor visibility. It is super easy to be off in your memory and fifty or seventy five feet away in any direction might make for a mighty hard task. I saved their data and now I could go look for bottles.
Then he asked me for more help. A muskey has not moved for about a month. He's wondering if I could go recover the transmitter. It would help them to get it back. Okay. I can do that. We move to the other side of the lake in about six feet of water. There is a mat of weeds at the bottom here. It's like a gigantic scotch brite pad covering everything. Not as good of a spot for sure. But maybe I'll see this big fish skeleton and get right on it. He uses what looks like a fish net with no net on it to find the signal from the transmitter. The transmitter itself is a small black wire with a double A battery attached. I already know, I will never find a small black wire here with that bottom but again the fish might help me get it. At the boat he gives me a direction and I swim around for ten or fifteen minutes. Nothing but scotch brite. Again, I return to the boat and ask for more specific directions. Can you tell me precisely where the signal is please? How far away from the boat is the signal? He points north and says, "It could be anywhere from here" then swings his arm 90 degrees to west and says, "to here." Okay. How close to the boat? "I'd say within three hundred feet."
Again, I don't want to be a jerk but this guy has no idea what he is asking. He's asking me to find a tiny black needle in a 'haystack' that is mostly black and green and stringy and is at least the size of one football field probably larger. I said that I would search more but that he shouldn't be holding his breath in anticipation of me finding it at this point. I searched another half hour and gave up.
OH Yes they have Bob. Most recent was an elderly lady 90ish. Well she was backing her car out of the garage, thought she had put the car in park. She didn't, she just braked and got out of her car, then somehow got run over to boot. Across the street from her is a good sized small pond. After running her over the car continued to pick up speed in reverse crossed the street hit the berm before the pond and went airborne into the pond. Well she had her pocket book with all sorts of cherished memories in it that was not recovered upon getting her car out of the pond. That's where I come in , my neighbor was a home care provider for her and knows I dive. I say sure $100 a tank. Go to the site pond is maybe 40x50 yards ( how bad can it be?). Within minutes no viz even though I really tried not to disturb the bottom. 30 minutes later I am thinking I'm going to be unsuccessful with this I feel what I believe is a snapping turtle on my shoulder and neck was the typical giant handbag some women carry around. (Scared the crap out of me). Generally speaking I have about a 50/50 chance of finding in open water as many will say it dropped in here(see photo), when it in reality was not. You are right to as what the conditions were wave action , prevailing winds as they can move things pretty far.
Nice recovery! Way to go.
We had a guy launching his boat right in front of us. For some reason, he got out of his pick up while launching despite the fact that he had a buddy holding a rope to the boat standing on the pier alongside. He was just going to be a second apparently, cause he left his door open. It wasn't properly in park. Same as your story. Very slowly it backs up into the water. He doesn't notice until he is all the way on the pier. By now it has some momentum and he is too far away. By the time he runs back, the truck is five feet from shore and hurrying further. He runs back to the dock and jumps onto the cab. (Not sure why). It dents inward. The thing comes to a stop but there is only a few inches of the cab above the water line. Strangely enough, it is still running.
My buddy suited up in a wet suit (no scuba gear), swam out and recovered his wallet, and some stuff off the front seat.
When we returned from our dives, we heard that they had to call a crane to get it out. Pretty big screw up for that poor guy.
I think I am going to start a new thread for recoveries 'cause I can relate multiple stories...
As I was thinking about your story last night, I realized that the purse must have been partially buoyant to get on top of you like that. Which means that the purse could move around instead of settling in. Visibility definitely helps in that case. Have you had many interactions with turtles and other wildlife?
I never discussed money with the people from the Muskey study. I was kind-of hoping that if I found their book, they might throw me a little prize, but he never offered. They may have been cash strapped I suppose. They may have thought that it was super easy to find. The book that I found was almost an entire summer of following and logging fish. They would have basically lost the year without it. Maybe I got a footnote when the thing was published? But I've never seen the study. At least I did something good.