Lake Washington Wreck Dives

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boydski
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Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by boydski » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:57 pm

The Northwest Wreck Dives crew had a great weekend out on Lake Washington. The water is "brisk" (~ 43-44° at depth), but the visibility was decent and calm surface conditions made for good side-scanning. We located and dove on 4 barges, 2 boat lifts, a large stump, a run-about, a bunch of BFR's (big rocks) and a couple of decent wrecks.

My favorite dives of the weekend were photographing the Wheeler in the south end of the lake (very picturesque):

Image

and the YMS 359 Minesweeper in the North End of the lake (which has a very interesting fairlead on the bow):

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Image

Prime time for good viz in the Lake should be over the next three months. So if your up for a little "low to no viz" wreck diving, you might start thinking about Lake Washington.

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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by LCF » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:06 pm

You know, we did a simple training dive in the lake a week ago or so, and I was astonished by how good the visibility was (at least until we got through with it). Maybe it's time to give the lake another chance. I'll have to have a look at your book, and see what's down there that's within my "legal" range.
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:09 pm

LCF wrote:You know, we did a simple training dive in the lake a week ago or so, and I was astonished by how good the visibility was (at least until we got through with it). Maybe it's time to give the lake another chance. I'll have to have a look at your book, and see what's down there that's within my "legal" range.


valient
dawn
hauler
PBM (but avoid this if the Cedar river is at all high)

are all popular & worthwhile dives in your range

The wheeler looks great Scott :)
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by 2loud4u » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:13 am

What kind of depth are we talking about for these wrecks? Any of them within recreational limits?

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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by Nwbrewer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:54 am

2loud4u wrote:What kind of depth are we talking about for these wrecks? Any of them within recreational limits?

Brendan


"Recreational limits" in the lake is kind of a different thing. All of the stuff Richard mentioned is above 130', but diving in the lake is DARK, and the bottom is such that touching the bottom with a fin tip can mean game over on a small wreck.

There is also the wreck of the I-90 bridge center span at the south end, it's in about 60' of water, as well as the lake washington mill site, which is fun and REALLY shallow.

Follow the two links in Scott's post to check out more of the stuff in lake washington. Dan Warter's DCS films site is great too.
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by boydski » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:30 am

2loud4u wrote:Any of them within recreational limits?


Hi Brendan,

As mentioned above, ALL of the ambient light in the lake disappears at about 60'. When you combine no light with 10' of viz in brown water, a brown silty bottom and brown silt covered wrecks, it is often impossible to actually "see" the bottom. Most new divers in Lake Washington face plant into the silt before they even know they have reached the bottom.

There are a couple of good wrecks that are in 60' of water or less. They still have ambient light from the surface, which makes exploring them much easier. The Snickerdoodle is very shallow (just off the Atlantic City Boat Ramp) and the Wolf Bay Wreck is about 60' deep (just South of the Sand Point Boat Ramp).

The PBM Mariner (at the South End of the Lake) also makes a nice dive with ambient light still available. There are also several barges in the Lake that can be accessed from shore (Like the King Street or West Shore Scows).

Good Luck,

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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by Nwbrewer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:37 am

Is the Wolf Bay wreck kick/scooterable?

boydski wrote:
2loud4u wrote:Any of them within recreational limits?


Hi Brendan,

As mentioned above, ALL of the ambient light in the lake disappears at about 60'. When you combine no light with 10' of viz in brown water, a brown silty bottom and brown silt covered wrecks, it is often impossible to actually "see" the bottom. Most new divers in Lake Washington face plant into the silt before they even know they have reached the bottom.

There are a couple of good wrecks that are in 60' of water or less. They still have ambient light from the surface, which makes exploring them much easier. The Snickerdoodle is very shallow (just off the Atlantic City Boat Ramp) and the Wolf Bay Wreck is about 60' deep (just South of the Sand Point Boat Ramp).

The PBM Mariner (at the South End of the Lake) also makes a nice dive with ambient light still available. There are also several barges in the Lake that can be accessed from shore (Like the King Street or West Shore Scows).

Good Luck,
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by CaptnJack » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:00 am

Windermere Park in Wolf Bay is gated & private so there's no shore access. I know one of the homeowners there so I theoretically <could> get the gate opened, but its easier to just use a boat.
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by Nwbrewer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:16 am

CaptnJack wrote:Windermere Park in Wolf Bay is gated & private so there's no shore access. I know one of the homeowners there so I theoretically <could> get the gate opened, but its easier to just use a boat.


I wasn't sure how for "just south" of the boat ramp was, as there is shore access at the park that we've used there before in the winter. There's not much to see, mainly golf balls and crawdads. (oh, and beer cans)
"Screw "annual" service,... I get them serviced when they break." - CaptnJack (paraphrased)


"you do realize you're supposed to mix the :koolaid: with water and drink it, not snort the powder directly from the packet, right? :smt064 " - Spatman

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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by CaptnJack » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:23 am

Nwbrewer wrote:
CaptnJack wrote:Windermere Park in Wolf Bay is gated & private so there's no shore access. I know one of the homeowners there so I theoretically <could> get the gate opened, but its easier to just use a boat.


I wasn't sure how for "just south" of the boat ramp was, as there is shore access at the park that we've used there before in the winter. There's not much to see, mainly golf balls and crawdads. (oh, and beer cans)


The "wolf bay" wreck is on chart 18447. Its way way too far to swim from Magnusen. Its probably scooterable from Windermere Park but the gate (a people gate not just a car gate) makes that pretty impractable. How about getting your boat out to Discovery Bay for the Warhawk on Feb 13th?
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by boydski » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:26 am

Nwbrewer wrote: I wasn't sure how for "just south" of the boat ramp was


The "just south" was probably a poor choice of words on my part (sorry). The Wolf Bay Wreck is about a mile south of the boat ramp in Wolf Bay (and on the Chart as Richard indicated above). Too far to swim/scooter and much easier in a boat.

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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by Nwbrewer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:31 am

CaptnJack wrote:
Nwbrewer wrote:
CaptnJack wrote:Windermere Park in Wolf Bay is gated & private so there's no shore access. I know one of the homeowners there so I theoretically <could> get the gate opened, but its easier to just use a boat.


I wasn't sure how for "just south" of the boat ramp was, as there is shore access at the park that we've used there before in the winter. There's not much to see, mainly golf balls and crawdads. (oh, and beer cans)


The "wolf bay" wreck is on chart 18447. Its way way too far to swim from Magnusen. Its probably scooterable from Windermere Park but the gate (a people gate not just a car gate) makes that pretty impractable. How about getting your boat out to Discovery Bay for the Warhawk on Feb 13th?


Ok, gottcha. I may try and get the boat out into the lake this weekend, might try and do a shallow wreck or 2 as long as I'm at it.

Not sure about the 13th, I think I'm supposed to be out of town. I'll check with my travel coordinator.
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by LCF » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:58 am

It would be my opinion that diving wrecks in the lake is not something for beginners at all. I did two dives there in early 2006, and they were so stressful that I've never gone back. It's taken several years of heavy-duty training in the dark to make me brave enough to try again :)
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by CaptnJack » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:03 am

Yeah but you're a chicken (your own words there...) Look at Jake he can't get enough of the lake, no current, no vis, no current...

Its an aquired taste and I haven't aquired it. Although now is the time to go before the jetskis and waterskiers get going.
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by Nwbrewer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:17 am

CaptnJack wrote:Yeah but you're a chicken (your own words there...) Look at Jake he can't get enough of the lake, no current, no vis, no current...

Its an aquired taste and I haven't aquired it. Although now is the time to go before the jetskis and waterskiers get going.



I just like collecting golf balls.... \:D/
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"you do realize you're supposed to mix the :koolaid: with water and drink it, not snort the powder directly from the packet, right? :smt064 " - Spatman

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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by CaptnJack » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:25 pm

Nwbrewer wrote:
CaptnJack wrote:Yeah but you're a chicken (your own words there...) Look at Jake he can't get enough of the lake, no current, no vis, no current...

Its an aquired taste and I haven't aquired it. Although now is the time to go before the jetskis and waterskiers get going.


I just like collecting golf balls.... \:D/


You have obviously never been to 3Tree North.
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by H20doctor » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:28 pm

i have 3 swimming pool client in windermere... so just let me know and we can do this as a dive ... 2 on Penrith Road
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by CaptnJack » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:40 pm

Looks like its about 1/3rd of a Nm (~2000ft) from the park. Little less than 15mins of scooter time.
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by Nwbrewer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:50 pm

CaptnJack wrote:Looks like its about 1/3rd of a Nm (~2000ft) from the park. Little less than 15mins of scooter time.



Better to just boat it.
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"you do realize you're supposed to mix the :koolaid: with water and drink it, not snort the powder directly from the packet, right? :smt064 " - Spatman

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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by Jaksonbrown » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:14 pm

So Im curious. Why is the lake so clouded? I understand that there is a lot of runoff but without any real current and the size of that lake, one would think that if you stayed away from the river inlets you would get some pretty good vis. I haven't dove in fresh water since I was in Idaho, but we had several lakes that had quite good vis. Is there a monster major tributary that I am missing somewhere?

Inquiring minds wanna know....

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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by Sounder » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:21 pm

Jaksonbrown wrote:So Im curious. Why is the lake so clouded? I understand that there is a lot of runoff but without any real current and the size of that lake, one would think that if you stayed away from the river inlets you would get some pretty good vis. I haven't dove in fresh water since I was in Idaho, but we had several lakes that had quite good vis. Is there a monster major tributary that I am missing somewhere?

Inquiring minds wanna know....


Not sure on the vis, but the silt at the bottom just doesn't really move - so much of it is "suspended" in the water column... which is why people often crash into the ground.

I don't have a whole lot of interest in the shallow lake stuff, and won't go below 80ffw or so in the lake without helium... even last time I was at 120ffw on 25/25 I was creeped out. It's "weird-creepy-dark" down there to me even with a 50w HID and a rockstar team.
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by Nwbrewer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:23 pm

Sounder wrote:
I don't have a whole lot of interest in the shallow lake stuff, and won't go below 80ffw or so in the lake without helium... even last time I was at 120ffw on 25/25 I was creeped out. It's "weird-creepy-dark" down there to me even with a 50w HID and a rockstar team.


:prayer:
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by John Rawlings » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:24 pm

Jaksonbrown wrote:So Im curious. Why is the lake so clouded? I understand that there is a lot of runoff but without any real current and the size of that lake, one would think that if you stayed away from the river inlets you would get some pretty good vis. I haven't dove in fresh water since I was in Idaho, but we had several lakes that had quite good vis. Is there a monster major tributary that I am missing somewhere?

Inquiring minds wanna know....


Think HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of sewers and septic tanks, coupled with with storm water run-off and no major outlet..... :huge:

There's a reason that people get skin rashes and diseases each year from swimming in Lake Washington.
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by CaptnJack » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:36 pm

Very few septic tanks anymore in the nearshore. The darkness is mostly a function of the tannins in the water (think about how many Cedar trees are in the watershed. To a lessor degree silt and the seasonal bloom & dieoff of phytoplankton.

Nutrient-wise Lake Washington is vastly cleaner (and clearer) than it was 50yrs ago. For a toxics perspective there are some lingering issues, like the current DOH fish advisory for bioaccumulative PCBs http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/oehas/fish/co ... Washington
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Re: Lake Washington Wreck Dives

Post by Jaksonbrown » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:29 pm

John Rawlings wrote:
Jaksonbrown wrote:So Im curious. Why is the lake so clouded? I understand that there is a lot of runoff but without any real current and the size of that lake, one would think that if you stayed away from the river inlets you would get some pretty good vis. I haven't dove in fresh water since I was in Idaho, but we had several lakes that had quite good vis. Is there a monster major tributary that I am missing somewhere?

Inquiring minds wanna know....


Think HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of sewers and septic tanks, coupled with with storm water run-off and no major outlet..... :huge:

There's a reason that people get skin rashes and diseases each year from swimming in Lake Washington.


Well there goes my desire to dive in the lake! Thanks John! :crybaby:

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