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Out of Season @ Aurora Res

Discussion in 'Rocky Mountain Region' started by jvogt, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
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    If you go to Dive Training Magazine online and check out their writeups on dive sites in the USA, you will find a description of Carter Lake.I just checked it out to see if is the same one I wrote about a dozen years ago. I think it has been altered a bit, but it has some of the items from the original. The story behind that is worth noting for those who want to dive there. I will explain some of the references.

    I wrote it after one of the last times I ever was there, following an instructional session back when I was assisting classes as a DM. I wrote it as total sarcasm, intended to show the alert reader why no one would want to dive there. It was written in total frustration after a really bad day, and I was stunned when it was printed in the next paper issue of the magazine, with only a couple of the most pointed references removed in order to mask the sarcasm. Here is an explanation of some of the "code."

    References to visibility: The red clay makes for red water. A student dropped a mask and snorkel in very shallow water near shore, and we had the class go nearly shoulder to shoulder on their hands and knees to look for it. We did not find it.

    References to cleanup of red clay: In a rescue class, students attempting a rescue from shore in which they had to put on their fins to race out to save a victim had to sit down and scrape all the accumulated red crud off of their booties before they would fit into their fins. It took several minutes.

    References to rules being rigidly enforced: On the weekend I wrote the report, we arrived, as usual, before the rangers were there and put our money in the envelope. We then went about our business setting up the site. I was on the team that set up the platform, and I lingered a few extra minutes to complete some work before heading in to shore. The rangers were on site, and fortunately they did not see me coming in alone, or I would have been fined $100 for solo diving. They were there because they said we were not on the official list of dive operators allowed to instruct there. We pointed out that it was August, we had been instructing there every 2-3 weeks all summer, and no one had had a problem before that. They said we could not dive without the proper paperwork. We called the shop, and they said they could fax the rangers all the paperwork showing that we had all the proper permissions, but they said that would not matter. We had to be on the official list of approved shops, and the only person who could add shops to the list was off duty on weekends. They said the only way we could dive was as individuals, with no instruction going on, and we would have to show our cert cards if we were not instructing, which none of us had. (We had a dozen students gearing up as we talked.)

    Looking at the list of approved shops, we saw a shop owned by someone we knew. We called his cell phone, and he informed the rangers that we were going to be working for his shop that weekend, so we could be allowed to dive there. The rangers were visibly upset--they clearly thought they had effectively screwed us over, and now they could not think of any way to keep us out of the water. They were openly frustrated because they had to let us dive despite their best efforts. The next day they tried to stop us again, saying they would not allow us to use that "little trick" from the day before, but eventually they realized they had no legal way to keep us from using the lake for which we had not only paid our entry fees but had also paid the annual fees required for instruction.

    In general, the rangers tried constantly to find a way to make our lives miserable. They seemed to see it as their duty. We quit gong there after that year, and I have never been back.
     
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

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    A friend of mine was a police diver doing a search and found an upside down car AFTER he had entered through an open door. He did not know what it was at first--all he knew was that he had somehow gotten trapped inside some kind of a box.
     
  3. g2

    g2 Divemaster

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    Your experience at Carter Lake sounds sounds odd.

    I've dove The Saddle a couple of times as an independent diver and never had any problems with the rangers. Yeah, it can be muddy around the shoreline if the water has receded... But I think I prefer that to the goatheads at Aurora.
     
  4. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
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    As I said, it was more than a dozen years ago. That particular crop of rangers may have all retired by now. They were, however, so very, very nasty that I vowed never to return, and I have kept that pledge so far. I have had some interactions with the rangers at both Aurora and Chatfield, and in every case they were as polite and pleasant as they could possibly be.
     
  5. BigBubbaJ

    BigBubbaJ DIR Practitioner

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    I dove Chatfield 11/8/2008 and it was 47 degrees by then, so it gets chilly!
     
  6. jvogt

    jvogt ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

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    If you havn't seen the new facility at Aurora you would be pretty amazed. Gear benches, changing rooms, lockers, and a concreate ramp down into the water. All this is actually making me miss the lime stone quarries back in TN.
     
  7. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Do you still have to pay an extra $15 to get the key so you can bring your gear to the diving area?
     
  8. jvogt

    jvogt ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
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    Ya. Obviously only worth it if you have a large class. For an individual or two I just use a hand truck and walk my gear up.
     
  9. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
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    I bring a lot of gear. If I am going to be there, I might be practicing some skills. If I am there with a student, it will be a tech students working on skills. That might mean steel doubles, dry suits, deco bottles, scooters, etc. I guess the $15 is worth it, or you can just go to Chatfield and park a few feet from the entry point.
     

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