Lake Amistad’s Scuba Cove- February 29th, 2016

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Lake Amistad Scuba Diving

Lake Amistad’s Scuba Cove- February 29th, 2016

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Any day you can dive is a good day, but Monday was one of those perfect weather days; a Goldilocks kind of day, not too hot and not too cool.  The sky was overcast, but temperature was warm.  It was definitely a perfect day for scuba diving at Lake Amistad’s Scuba Cove near the Diablo East boat ramp.

Lake Amistad is currently at 67% full pool and slowly rising.  The visibility is lower than normal as a result of the low levels.  Although the 15’+ viz we usually enjoy is awesome to have, diving in lower viz is a great exercise to improve your comfort with scuba.  I found the bottom time I spent in low viz as a new diver helped make me much more comfortable in the ocean.

Monday’s dive was good practice for skills learned in the PADI Underwater Navigator specialty course.   The 4’ visibility provided an excellent opportunity for relying on compass and natural navigation skills as we toured the cove.

We dived to a max depth of 55’, staying within the limits available to a PADI Open Water Diver, while touring the area.  I found more fish activity during this dive with most of them in the 20-30 foot depth range.  Throughout the dive I saw blue gill and one goby.  I didn’t find any bass, but expect they will be staying near the main lake points at the edge of the cove due to the cold water temps.

The water temperature is still at 54 (f), which is typical for lakes in the region during this time of year.  Choosing the correct exposure protection is very important in scuba and can make a difference between a comfortable dive and a miserable experience.  I chose my typical cold water exposure set for this dive; a 7/5mm jumpsuit, a 3mm hooded vest, a pair of 5mm boots, and a pair of 5mm gloves.   I was able to stay comfortable and focused during the entire 40 minute bottom time of this dive.

We finished the 3-minute safety stop and ascended at the dock thanks to navigation skills.  The dock has a newly installed set of stairs which were very helpful in exiting the water.  The dock and stairs are a definite improvement to the dive site.

After disassembling my scuba kit I looked up the long walkway leading to the top as I prepared to carry my gear up.  I could hear AC/DC’s Bon Scott singing “It’s a long way to the top, if you want to rock and roll!”  It sure is Bon, but enjoying a great dive on a beautiful day is always worth the climb.

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Phillip Peeler is a PADI Divemaster and owner of Scuba Oasis, LLC.  He’s an avid diver who enjoys sharing his passion for scuba with experienced and new divers alike.  He can often be found diving lakes and rivers of the Southwest Texas region.  Be sure to Like the Scuba Oasis Facebook page to receive alerts of our upcoming dives and join him on an upcoming dive.

 


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Treasure Chest

Lake Amistad- Scuba Cove February 11th, 2016

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Treasure Chest

Treasure Chest at Scuba Cove

After getting my gear back from annual service I was anxious to get in the water and Amistad seemed like a good choice for a local dive.  I posted on San Antonio Scuba Divers’ Facebook page I would be looking for a dive buddy and connected with John B.  We made plans to meet at 10 AM on 2/11/16 to do two dives at Scuba Cove on Lake Amistad.

Upon arrival I made a quick stop to pick up a SD memory card and headed out to the Diablo East portion of Lake Amistad.  I found John and his son, Issac, already on location and getting set up.  John and I took some time to get to know one another and we hit it off great.  John’s a super nice guy and loves to dive.

After the introductions were complete we got all of the gear set up and planned the first dive for an orientation to make sure all of the serviced gear was in proper working condition and check on the current conditions.  The skills needed for these dives would be PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, PADI Underwater Navigator, PADI Underwater Photographer, and PADI Underwater Videographer.

We expected the water be chilly and dressed accordingly.  John wore a 7mm Farmer John wetsuit with hood and 3mm gloves, while I went with a 7/5mm jumpsuit, 3mm hooded vest, and 5mm gloves.  The water was chilly as expected with my computer registering the temperature at 54 degrees Fahrenheit.  We used the dive to tour the area with no specific goal in mind.  Our bottom time was 31 minutes with maximum depth at 68 feet.  Below 40′ we found it necessary to use our flashlights to help us see things a little better due to low light penetration.  Although the visibility was not as good as I had hoped for, we were still able to enjoy five to six feet of viz.  We completed our safety stop and ended a successful dive.

We took about an hour surface interval to do some more socializing and getting to know one another before planning our next dive.   The topside weather was fantastic!  We had high blue bird skies, very light wind, and warm sunshine. Our second dive of the day was to do another tour of the area with specific goals of seeing the Treasure Chest and first boat.  After getting our gear ready we slipped into the chilly waters and began the dive.

John and I found the Treasure Chest straight out from the stairs at a depth of 10 feet.  I had noticed the lake level was lower than when I had first visited the dive site in 2008 at which time the Treasure Chest was at 35′ depth.  After spending some time video recording the chest we headed out on a 270 degree heading towards a depth of 30′ in search of the first boat.  The boat was located with the stern sitting at about 33′ depth.  We continued to a maximum depth of 60′ then toured the area before completing a safety stop and exiting the water.

After packing up and saying our goodbyes I jumped back on US 90 headed westbound for Uvalde.  It had been a great day spent with some good people.  I really enjoyed John and issac’s company for a day of diving at a great local dive site.

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Phillip Peeler is a PADI Divemaster and owner of Scuba Oasis, LLC.  He’s an avid diver who enjoys sharing his passion for scuba with experienced and new divers alike.  He can often be found diving lakes and rivers of the Southwest Texas region.  Be sure to Like theScuba Oasis Facebook page to receive alerts of our upcoming dives and join him on an upcoming dive.


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