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Treasure Hunter: Lake Tahoe Dive Log pt. II

We got to it bright and early…

When I arrived on his doorstep, Ed was already rigged and ready to get in the water. He tossed an 8 mil. wetsuit to me (the thickest neoprene I’d ever seen), and suggested I use oil to get it on. I must note that getting an 8 mil. wetsuit on is anything but simple. The application of such a suit is perhaps more akin to putting on a suit of armor—one that helps you float.

Once geared up, we hopped in Ed’s 4Runner and headed down to Tahoe Meadows to utilize the private beachfront. During the ride down to the lake, I couldn’t help but wonder how prevalent such artifacts were that Ed seemed so predisposed to finding/collecting. Regardless of whether we found anything, it would just be awesome to get in the water and do some diving.

We arrived at the isolated beachfront. Nobody else in sight, we carried the tanks and gear from the car and readied our equipment for submersion. After a few minutes of checking gauges and double-backing our equipment, we slowly began to pace into the lake. I was immediately amazed at how well insulated I was with the 8 mil. neoprene—it was warm!

South Shore diving can be a bit of a challenge because the depth does not increase until about two hundred yards out, so for roughly twenty minutes, Ed and I lay on our backs and kicked our way out to the depths. After what seemed a long time, we reached the buoy outlier: it was time for action…

Placing the regulator in my mouth made the situation real in a way it had not been before. I took my first breath from my tank--and took the plunge.

Blue turquoise perfection.

The waters of Tahoe, regardless of what some people say, are immensely pristine when compared with just about any other lake in America.

Descending slowly—stopping every so often to decompress my ears, I stared in awe at gently sculpted dunes that had formed over millennia. At first, there wasn’t much to see, but the further out we went, the more debris we encountered.

Early in the dive we entered into an old logging graveyard; dozens of harvested timbers lay petrified by the cold waters, frozen in time by the icy depths.

About halfway through my air supply, my eye caught a glinting brown surface that was refracting light in a way dissimilar to the rest of the lakebed. Kicking my way down, I reached out and gripped the object and pulled. A cloud of sediment erupted around my hand, and out of the obscurity I produced an old glass bottle that had probably rested there for over fifty years.

Looking closely at the inscription on the glass, it read “please don’t litter.” I laughed into my regulator and stuffed the treasure into my dive satchel...

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