Welcome to ScubaBoard, an online scuba diving forum community where you can join over 205,000 divers diving from around the world. If the topic is related to scuba diving, this is the place to find divers talking about it. To gain full access to ScubaBoard (and make this large box go away) you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:
Participate in over 500 dive topic forums and browse from over 5,500,000 posts.
Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
Post your own photos or view from well over 100,000 user submitted images.
Gain access to our free classifieds marketplace to buy, sell and trade gear, travel and services.
Use the calendar to organize your events and enroll in other members' events.
Find a dive buddy or communicate directly with scuba equipment manufacturers.
All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the ScubaBoard Support Team.
I will leave it to others to file the official "sterilized" report and instead tell the real story of our little adventure this weekend from my truthful and completely unbiased perspective. All names have been changed to protect the innocent (that would be me).
The day (Saturday) started off well enough with our band of merry men gathering at "Mr Whites" for an early morning departure. Crossing the border was a snap with "Mr White" basically starting his motor to tell the guard we had spoken to him enough. A quick stop at Bellis Fair to pick up "Mr Brown" in our magical white (now it's red) truck and we were off!
Topics for discussion during our 6 hr drive included (in no particular order):
Steve Lewis's take on ratio deco.
How awesome "Mr Whites" truck is.
How a 2" crotch strap would be far better than a 1" crotch strap if giant striding off of the Ironworkers Memorial bridge.
Our various career pathways.
The importance of tractor discussions in agrarian societies.
Other things which I pretended to be asleep for so I wouldn't have to comment.
Along the way my sympathetic fellow travelers tried to shake my vegetarian lifestyle choice by taking me to a Cabelas hunting store for lunch. Nice.
Pulling into the metropolis of Moses Lake we met up with "Mr Green" and "Mr Black" at the Motel 8 and quickly settled in. Settling in basically consisted of utilizing every power socket to charge our flashlight batteries. Next it was off to dinner where, amongst other things, we asked the waitress to snap our picture as we were celebrating our friend "Mr Greens" recent Bris.
Back at the hotel, after persuading "Mr White" not to go pick a fight with the bikers, we all got down to some real "guy" time. Now, before anyone gets the wrong idea, this was basically 6 guys all becoming obsessed with their laptops (get your minds out of the gutter), I phones and tablets. Like the party animals we are, we were asleep by 10:30.
The next day (Sunday) we were up and ready to go for our morning meet with our site guide "XXX" and our sixth diver "007" at Judy's disproportionate Diner. Over our pre dive briefing the boys enjoyed a very hearty breakfast while I made due with an egg sandwich the size of a silver dollar. What the??? 3 hours later we were finished our short, but very informative briefing and off we flew to the silo site. Along the way we all agreed that "XXX" seemed like a real nice guy so we would let him continue to remain in control of things and not revolt and descend into anarchy underground.
You can look up all sorts of technical details on the internet already so I will not bother with things like facts. Basically, some farmer dug the biggest hole one can imagine in his field with hopes that he could store potatoes in an abandoned nuclear missile silo. Unfortunately, he found that when the military turned off the power to the sump pumps, the facility flooded with over a hundred feet of water. Who knew?
Like sensible folk, we couldn't wait to enter this water filled asbestos lined silo ourselves so we suited up in the hot sun and turned our drysuits into wetsuits while we climbed down a steel ladder in a rusty drain pipe to gain access to a flooded tunnel complex with no ambient light.
Below the ladder was a dry room partially filled with sand where we did our final gearing up and then we followed "XXX" as he led the way through the half submerged corrugated tunnels towards silo one. Along the way we learned new terms like "knee cracker" and discovered that there really can be holes within holes if one is not looking.
Then we dived the silo. I would say more about that but I was so narced that all I could do was hold on to "Mr Browns" crotch strap ring and hope for the best.
Afterwards, above ground, we enjoyed a lunch and some sunshine during the SI and then decided we had had so much fun that we should do it all again.
And then we dived the other silo.
Having had enough of silo's in general and fearing asbestos in particular, the four of us decided to leave those other guys to their respective fates and book it back to Canada where we belonged.
The conversation on the ride home was pretty well what it was on the way down but in reverse, which made me think there was a hidden message in there somewhere. We had a close call when one diver though he might be developing a case of nut bends going over the pass but it turns out it was just a cramp. Though rarely talked about in diving circles this can be one of the most severe forms of decompression sickness it turns out. Along the way my sympathetic traveling companions again tried to corrupt my vegetarian ways by stopping at an Outbacks Steakhouse for dinner but I held fast with cheesy fries and some bloomin onion.
I said BLOOMIN ONION Crikey!
Well, that's how I remember the trip and if you asked me whether I would dive those silo's again I would probably say not (except may be with my doublehose). We all agreed they are unique and worth doing once for sure though. However, would I spend another weekend diving with these guys... Definitely yes.. But only because someone needs to be the responsible one and act as a chaperon.
Thanks M, K, G, P, C, E and D for a great weekend!
We finally ate at "Michaels on the Lake". A good spot actually with good food and a nice view of the lake.
Judy's Diner had good food too. Our dive guide David recommended eating there during the dive briefing which we did inside and I think everyone was happy.
We stayed at Motel 8. It was what it was. I remain neutral on the experience but then again, I am used to sleeping in the back of a truck so my referencing may be skewed.
Thanks for the "verbally illuminated" report, Dale. It was a memorable weekend. Considering the just dive itself, I would do it again. However, I see it difficult to get there again. It is a long drive and there's not much around the place other than dunes, swamps, and the lake. The effort just to get there is high and there are few other peripheral activities I could do with my family. I rather just go north to Powell River or Courtney.
I'm still baffled by the desertic landscape with sandstorms, tumbleweeds and the lack of trees AND the abundance of water in swamps and creeks.
If we were to go again, I'd do that incomplete traverse that K did from the side chamber back into the launcher. I looked into that alley from the launcher side and it was tempting.
Even though we were told this was a two dive trip (two launchers). We did do three dives. Unless the max depth of 28 ft and a dive time of 10 mins is not long enough for you to consider a proper dive (avg depth 17 ft). Each launcher has a separate cylindrical "side chamber" connected to the main launcher by underwater corrugated tunnels. This side chamber is smaller than the launch tube.
One thing I wont miss is our way back out, falling down in the holes-within-holes and getting a taste for the knee-crackers. In one of my falls I ended up gulping a considerable amount of agitated milky white, asbestos laced water... Perhaps we should have allowed "XXX" to take the lead on the way out like he did on the way in, instead of doing a hasty retreat and leaving him last... I guess Mr. XXX wanted to make sure nobody was left behind and hence him taking the last place.