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Just wanted to post the latest on the Friday (10/4) dive at Lake Whitney. Blue32 and I made a 2-tank boat dive on the South end of the lake in the area of Cliffview near Soldiers Bluff. The day was sunny, warm, wind from the Northeast, with a slightly choppy surface, but we did find shelter and a good anchorage in the coves.
Our first dive was along the south cliff wall of Party Point. We anchored at the back of the cove just off the wall. Got our gear together, hoisted the dive flag and took a big step into piss-poor viz. With fingers grasping the wall we descended to about 20 ft. the whole time keeping finger contact with the wall. We slowly slithered along the wall poking into the overhangs looking to see something, anything. Talk about keeping close buddy contact, if you were more than 5 ft. away from anything it was not visible. We made it to the tip of the point, surfaced, took a look around then headed back. The most interesting thing we saw was a womanís silted up bikini top. We werenít sure what it was at first and Blue kept poking at it with her light as if it might actually be alive. She finally caught a strap and picked it up, ummm, can you say WOW. Would have liked to see who lost this!
After a trip to the boat ramp to swap tanks we headed back to the same area to take time for lunch then anchored off the wall on the opposite side of the cove. This was a much steeper cliff and a little deeper water.
Dive two started with a bit of a scare. Like earlier we hugged the wall and descended straight into the branches of a fallen tree. EEEKKK, whatís this I feel and canít see. We were within arms length and gave each other the thumbs up, letís surface signal and popped to the top. Not fun, a very eerie feeling. We moved about 20ft. down the wall and descended again to about 15 ft. Viz was worse than before, maybe 2ft. Blue led the way finger crawling along the wall using her light to lead the way. At one point I heard her yelp when she stirred up a turtle that took off in front of her like a ghost. We made it to the end of the wall and did a 180 and headed back to the boat. I lost sight of her when I had to stop and clear my mask. I swam fast along the wall for several feet but did not see where she went. I surfaced, caught her bubbles and descend right on top of her as she was coming up to check where I was. Like the first dive there were lots of overhangs, crevices, a fish or two and, well, murk. You had to be on it to see it.
We finished the dive next to the boat stowed our gear and had a beer to celebrate the fact that we have now been here, done that. Iím sure the conditions get better at Whitney and maybe when they do Iíll go back. Till then, no thanks. Otherwise, Whitney is a very scenic lake with lots of possible dive spots if the water ever clears up.
Overall, given the sunny day and nervous excitement of diving in under these conditions it was a rewarding experience. Live and learn, dive and learn.
Landing in that tree felt like a giant hand reaching up to pull us down. I almost wet my wetsuit! EXTREME!!
I think SeaHunt covered everything except the fisherman that were casting in the area we were diving when we surfaced after the first dive. Some people don't know what a dive flag means. Maybe they were fishing for divers, I dunno. There are more safety hazzards in Lake Whitney that I would care to deal with but it was still an exciting dive and definitely a learning experience. It sure beat going to work that day!
Dee, you and Blue are right on, it was like being grabbed, from all directions and I couldn't see what it was until I was in the middle of it. Had to reach out and grab a branch and pull it to my mask to see that it was a tree.
Pikachoo, I've been told that conditions do get better but a week ago I posted a request for Lake info and the feedback I got indicated that 2-5 ft. would be about right for this time of year. As I recall, viz starts going down fast from July on until the cold starts settleing in. Maybe late spring or early summer it will be better.
I will say that on our return leg of the first dive we did get down to 36 ft. and while it did get darker, the viz picked up to maybe 8-10 ft. But, like I said it also got dark and my light was playing games with me so we didn't stay down there very long.