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Lake of the Ozarks (Boat Hoist)
Tyson - 9/05/2007 1:03 PM
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Category: Personal
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Lake of the Ozarks (Boat Hoist)Down at the lake to visit family, my cousin had bought a new house and the old owners put a new hoist on top of the old one. This causes some issues in the winter months as the lake is prone to dropping a good six to eight feet. The new lift at this point is unusable as it will rest on the now submerged rusting hunk of iron. A very toasty 86F at the surface, air temp 100F, with the thermocline at 20 feet. I dropped in right off the dock and could really get the feel for 2-3 foot vis, the water green-brown with a very fine `dust` if you will surrounding me. No line at this point so falling and hoping to hit bottom. From the point of my entry I can stop at about 18 foot. A somewhat rocky bottom, pebble sized stones, and silt. I feel my way forward, the vis clears a bit I see nothing but bottom. I pass a large rock and think about setting a visual reference to where I was. Then remembered the vis and decided on using my compass. To shore was a north-east direction, so I would ascend out a south-west direction. I followed the bottom towards the shore, shinning a newly acquired UK light (that my mother had given me, as she has retired from diving) in all directions. First I see a large car battery, a few more feet I see a brush pile of sorts, then another car battery! Wow I thought, how healthy it must be for me to be swimming with all the these great chemicals leaching from these batteries. I see nothing, something that would appear as a wall, but from the vis and darkness its unrecognizable. I swim out after seeing what I could, to relay the message topside, "theres nothing down there but some car batteries". My cousin thinks that perhaps its on the other side and I go down for another look. Only this time I suggested we drop a line down for visual reference. We dropped an anchor with enough line to hit the bottom, tied it off when taught ,and I dipped in again. Let me tell you in 100F weather not to mention lugging my gear down maybe one hundred or so steps, I was ready to get in that water, and stay in it!. It felt great. At about 20 foot I see a large refrigerator shaped object. This is it! Two large iron boxes connected with all types of rigging, steel belting and bolts came into view as I float above it. I run my hand over one of the rails to see how secure they are. This causes rusting iron to plume off the rail like an mushroom cloud. I quickly ceased this activity to save the vis, and really did not budge a thing. The plan was to pull this out with a tow strap and a very powerful fishing boat. Realizing that this thing has to be a ton or more, as it is filled with water, I know that this boat idea is not sounding so good anymore. I ascend again and relay the news. My cousin thinks it will work and just as he is getting ready I am saying I will be nowhere near this action. Then I ask, "what are we hooking the tow strap to on your boat?" these tow hooks in the back, yeah you know the type you would pull a 150 pound world champion wake boarders with. In my mind, not nearly as much strength for this kind of project. Oh yeah, the 225hp outboard motor is gonna pull something, probably the tow hooks from the boat I mention. So this idea is out. I go down the line one more time to access the situation again. I spot a 10 inch hole in the middle of the boxes. This must be where the old pump went. If we can get some air in here, we might lighten the load a little and be able to float this out. Well this idea will have to wait for more planning, more gear, and safety, safety, safety! Packing the gear back up I cant help not to think about the batteries. I know this will sound crazy, but what else is down there. In my 25 minute dive to 18-20 feet I had spotted three car batteries, old boat straps, concrete of various forms. People throw all types of stuff in the water. But they also drop things! My dive had brought me to a new interests in diving... "Search and Recovery".... Theres gold down there I tell yeah! :)