Project Baseline-Tahoe: First Official Dive

Observation Date: 11 August, 2012
Dive Team Members: Marc Briseno, Todd Kincaid, Laura James, Vanessa Belz, Martin McClellan
Begin Time: 10:00a End Time: 11:30a     Bottom Time:  22min

Weather Conditions: Clear, Calm, Sunny
    Wind  Direction : N/M Speed: N/M  Duration: N/M

Water Conditions  
    Surface Flat w/tremendous boat chop
    Last 24 hrs: Calm, Afternoon Thunderstorms, temp mid 80’s
    Temperature: Surface- 66f  At Depth- 54f [75′] [Mild thermocline at 22′ (60f) and major thermocline at 50′ (58f)]
    Visibility: Vertical- 30′-35′ Horizontal- 20′-25′ on bottom a bit better mid H20 to surface
    Current: Direction- Southerly longshore SE Speed- 30 feet per minute
    Site Depth Benchmark reading: 80ffw by Tekna Depth [Bench Mark Depth Gauge] – 77′ Uwatec

Animal & Plant Life  
    Fin Fish Description : N/M Quantity: 0
       Copepod Est. Density: Low up to first major thermocline at 50′ then high throughout
    Invasive Species Saw none
       Mysis Shrimp Est. Density: N/M

Team Observations/Comments: This was an exciting day as it was NMDE’s first official Project Baseline Tahoe dive and joining the NMDE team were Todd Kincaid, VP GUE and Vanessa Belz, Project Baseline Director GUE and Laura James, Seattle based videographer and GUE diver.  The objective was to set up the SS Tahoe and the Sand Harbor Site.  This was the first dive of the day and it took place at our SS Tahoe starting point in what is now approximately 78′ at the sand.  This is the location for all of NMDE’s runs out to the Steamer Tahoe.  At the bottom, we secured a permanent altitude adjustable depth gauge (Tekna Zero Adjust) which we zeroed at the surface and a thermometer gauge.  These gauges are mounted to an aluminum board and secured to our depth benchmark preventing the gauges from moving.  We then established visibility markers at 30-40-50 feet from the depth benchmark location however we were very dissapointed as the visibility was well below 30′ and we will have to go back and place a 20 foot visibility marker.  These markers were placed with the use of a physical tape measure.  Upon arrival at our station, we noticed significant algae build up on our line approaching the surface. It was measured to be 1.5″ thick at the zone from 30 feet to the surface.  The line was cleaned along with the benchmark buoy and a photo was taken as a baseline photo of the white buoy suspended.  This dive had two teams, Marc Briseno and Martin McClellan doing the work of establishing the PB station and Todd Kincaid (video support) and Laura James (videographer).  Project Baseline Director, Vanessa Belz was our surface support and boat tender during this operation. Dive was short in duration due to the schedule for the day, 22min at 77′ with water temps at 54f.