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I知 a newbie to the board, AOW certified, 35 dives under my belt, and looking for more.
In about a week, I値l be on a houseboat in Lake Don Pedro, and I was wondering if there are any cool spots to dive at. I know there are a lot of old mines and equipment and such, and I read somewhere about a wall, but I was unable to pinpoint anything specific.
Also, I was thinking about taking a side trip to Lake Camanche. I read they have an underwater ghost town, but I don稚 know exactly where it is or if it is even accessible to the average recreational diver.
Sorry, I don't have any specific information, but please be aware that the lake levels are WAY HIGHER this year than in the past several years, so consider than when you look into depths and locations. Lake McClure is just a couple miles from Don Pedro and the water is probably more than a hundred feet higher than the last several years.
We did a GUE RecTriox course at Lake Camanche back in April of this year. We probably did close to 20 dives there this past winter in preparation, and had some good and bad experiences there.
There's a camp site that we found that turned out to ge a good place to dive. By paying for the campsite ($20 a night), we were able to keep the park rangers happy, have easy access to the water, and dive within a 5 mph - no wake zone area. Earlier in the winter the water temps were around 50 degrees, and the visibility was 40'+. As the weather warmed up, the algae started to bloom, and the vis dropped to 20' or less.
The site we primarily dive at Lake Camanche has some really nice rock formations in the 30' to 5' range with territorial bass that come right up to you. I was able to capture a great shot of a bass in 5' of water as it postured and charged my strobe. We tried to keep our distance during the experience, but his territory encompassed our exit point.
On another dive we found a 2 1/2' to 3' cat fish hanging out around 30'. It just hung out on the bottom as 3 of us checked him out with our lights. Very cool dive.
The max depth I've been to at this part of the lake was around 65'. It gets quite dark past 40' depth, and you'll need to treat it like a night dive. We spent a day in the simulator (RecTriox class) at this depth over a very silty bottom, it made for some confusing yet exciting video reviews.
The boats at this site are suppose to maintain 5 mph speeds, but often pull right up onto the shore. Thus you'll want to have a dive flag, and if you're not able to ascend on the line, shoot a bag to let the boats know where you are.
With summer upon us, we've switched from Lake Camanche to Lake Tahoe on those days we skip the 7 hour round trip to Monterey from Sacramento. The algae in Tahoe is also blooming, and the vis has dropped in certain areas from 60'+ to 40' or so. We'll likely go back to Lake Camanche in the Fall when the water is cold, the water is clear, and the boaters are not on the water.
As for the ghost town, there's talk of an old rail road town getting flooded up one of the rivers. You'll need a boat to get to it, and that's why we've never searched for it.
I've never dove the other lake. Sorry.
I'll try to track down the camp site name for you if you're interested.