APRIL 20TH, 2017 – DIVE NEBRASKA
Total miles traveled on Dive and Drive USA in eleven days: 2,887- No real travel, just a new DIVE!
I have been a professional diver for over 5 years now and yet I have never had the chance to dive Nebraska, my home state. It was time for that to change. If Christine and I planned to run programs in Kearney, NE for the Sea Star Foundation, we needed to know what it was like to dive Nebraska.
Early on a Thursday we rented tanks from Heartland Scuba, the local dive shop, looked at a dive map and headed to the local sandpit known as Sandy Channels for our first ever dive in Nebraska. The local divers had filled the lake with plenty of stuff to look for. We were on a scavenger hunt for a couple sunken boats, a plane, a bell, and even a Hippo!
The lake was flat and calm and it was a warm, sunny spring day. We checked out the lake from the top side and were surprised to see tons of fish and visibility to about 15 feet! Much better than we expected.
We donned our gear and slipped into the water. The vertical visibility proved much better than the horizontal vis, and we easily lost sight of one another if we ventured more than 10 feet apart. So we stuck close and followed the dive map we had been given right into the bow of an old speed boat then into the fuselage of a long drowned commuter plane.
We found a pretty dramatic thermocline at 20 feet the water temp dropped to about 57 degrees. We crossed the lake in a wild attempt to find the hippo. We had no luck and blamed it completely on the fact that we took no compass bearing at all.
After about 35 minutes exploring the fishy green depths, we decided to call the dive since we were both a little chilly and starving. We surfaced to blue skies and whispering cottonwoods. Another great dive and another new lake we never would have thought of diving in before the Dive and Drive! It was awesome to finally get to dive Nebraska! Next stop, diving in the desert!