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I'm done with Lake not-so Pleasant.

Discussion in 'Southwestern Region' started by AlmightyApkallu, May 12, 2017.

  1. AlmightyApkallu

    AlmightyApkallu Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Panama City Beach, FL
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    Today I went out to vista point to dive. I really do wish it was paved or at least a bit smoother. A paved path, a paved parking lot and maybe some concrete stairs would absolutely change the diving scene in Phoenix, but as usual, divers don't mean much to this state. After a nerve wracking drive carefully navigating my way down the 4x4 path in my little car I finally got to vista point, only to see some people sitting on the stairs with their pit bulls fishing. After waiting a bit they finally left, luckily, but as has happened in the recent past people may camp out there, fish there or in some other way block off 1 of about 2 dive sites at the lake. It's a shame that the city/county cannot just make some designated dive zones. But no, that is asking too much.

    Once we got suited up we got out in the water which had a good 10 foot barrier of mulch. Once under the water temp was okay which was good after being baked topside in the Arizona heat, but the the thermocline kicked in at about 30 feet quickly dropping the water to fridgid temps. The visibility was about 5 feet and all there was to see was a bunch of gravel. Yeah, if we had gone down into the fridgid and dark waters we could have found the table... Or the clock... Or the PVC pipe swim through, but mostly it was just a green/beige haze of endless gravel. After floating around in the abyss for an hour we got to pop up to boats skimming around our dive flag. Once we got back through the sea of mulch we waded up through the dirt in the 100 degree heat to undress and leave. I went out with 4 tanks planning 2 dives. After the first dive, we were done.

    This isn't the first time having experiences like this though, this is more normal than anything else.

    One of the biggest reasons for this is the lack of diver awareness in Arizona and enforcement of law out at the lakes. Some simple signs designating areas as specific dive zones and disallowing camping, fishing or boat launching would be a great start. Some more signs at the lake entrances showing what a Diver Down Flag is and to keep distance from them and watch for divers would be another huge help. There are also only so many places you can dive at the lake. In all honesty there are really only 2 dive "zones" which are fairly small and this is really the only spot divers have within about 4 hours of Phoenix.

    Doing some things like adding some pavement and diver awareness is only the start, but it would be a great start. Rules need to be enforced and laws need to be upheld.

    Having people fish right over you, boat right over you and letting their pit bulls run around right near you while they get drunk and blast offensive music doesn't make people want to dive, which hurts the dive industry in Phoenix. Sure, dive shops love offering trips but keeping people diving regularly is a great way to keep them wanting to take those trips when they can and invest more time and money into this hobby.

    It's more fight than fun anymore and I have personally decided that I will not be back to lake Pleasant. With Southern California and all it's diving just 6 hours or so away and other sites like Balmorhea in Texas and the Blue Hole in New Mexico there is just no reason to waste time in this lake. I wish the story was different but as time goes on I have watched the scene at Lake Pleasant get worse with nothing done about it. Natural things you cannot help so much but when paired with many problems that could be it simply makes it no fun.

    I hope one day for the divers of Arizona and beyond Lake Pleasant is changed in some ways for the better, but until then I will not be back nor would I ever recommend it.
     
    The Chairman likes this.
  2. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

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    It has been more than a year since I have done a shore dive at Pleasant. Yes, fighting the hillbillies is frustrating. The idea of going to were you want to dive turns into where can you just get to the water and hope there is a decent site within swimming distance. And the water level being so high right now also means there is less shore.

    But my fix has been a boat. Motor you away from most of the idiots. Get you away from all the floating trash (mulch and people) and thistles at the shore line. Now my own boat makes for a miserable dive boat. Too small and I am way too picky about it getting scratched up with dive gear. So my choice is PleasantCharters.co, Lake Pleasant Dive Boat I've done everything with them from simple open water classes just trying out new gear all the way to 130'+ dives, and a few trips to the dam as well. It can remove the "un" from unpleasant.

    For what it is worth my first experience at Pleasant was in the late 90's. I found it unpleasant as well. Never went back for over a decade I hated it so much. After finding ways around the unpleasant parts of it, Pleasant can be a pretty good place. Just not from the shores, on hot weekends. Although hanging out at the public ramps can be entertaining.
     
    AlmightyApkallu likes this.
  3. AlmightyApkallu

    AlmightyApkallu Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Panama City Beach, FL
    113
    21
    18
    Yeah, I know there are a few charter boats out at Lake Pleasant, but for not much more I can get a charter out of California. Why pay 60 bucks or so to dive at Lake Pleasant? It's not worth it, even at it's best. I guess if it's in the middle of the winter on a weekday? Maybe? Otherwise I would rather drive out to California and dive there. Who wouldn't?
     
  4. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

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    I would do California every time, given the chance. But 100 miles round trip to the lake and be home the same day. Or 1000 miles round trip, at least one hotel room, whole weekend. I don't have that many whole weekends to give up. I have a hard enough time just doing a day. California adds a lot more expense than just the boat ride.
     
    AlmightyApkallu likes this.
  5. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    2,788
    1,684
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    When given a lemon, make lemonade. I feel for you guys, but that's what long weekends are for...how much is airfare from Sky to COZ or CAN or SAN for that matter?


    Me, I need 75 feet viz and 78 or higher temps or I ain't diving...we all have our limitations.
     
    AlmightyApkallu likes this.
  6. CaptainCalamari

    CaptainCalamari Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Australia
    84
    32
    18
    I like having people fishing where I am diving, it's fun to yank their chain and watch them react.
     
    AlmightyApkallu likes this.
  7. tilikum

    tilikum Banned

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    I think I would be cutting their lines.
     
    AlmightyApkallu likes this.
  8. AlmightyApkallu

    AlmightyApkallu Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Panama City Beach, FL
    113
    21
    18
    Eh, not so safe to have fishing lines go past your neck and face, especially since when they hook something they tend to pull quite hard. To me, driving out on your last day of working, finding a cheap motel for the night and diving either off a beach for free or off a boat is 100% worth it. Don't even need a whole weekend. Airfare to Cozumel and other places is as expected, not something you can do on a regular basis unless you're wealthy. San Carlos is also 6 hours away but not sure if I'd go there without a big group... Or at all... lol
     

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