Here’s What It’s Like To Dive San Diego Bay
Power Scuba And The Control Group Dive San Diego Bay For Underwater Cleanup
Ever wondered what it would be like to dive San Diego Bay under the Maritime Museum of San Diego's historic ships? I most certainly hadn't—until local dive club and non-profit Power Scuba announced their massive underwater cleanup of the Port of San Diego, where they would be removing trash from the bay floor beneath that stretch of famous vessels and as far south as the Tuna Harbor. Though I count many boat owners and commercial divers among my circle of friends, I've never held any aspirations to get beneath a boat to fix and/or clean something (which is not to say I haven't done it, of course!).
But it was a worthy cause, so last Saturday, having been granted special permission by the Port to be in the water, off we (dutifully) went to get wet and hopefully retrieve lots of trash out of the bay. My expectation was that the water would be silty and hopefully not too gross—there can't possibly be much tidal inflow that far back in the bay, right?
For posterity, I brought my camera along, and I'm pleased to report that diving in San Diego Bay was just as bad as I expected. The water was silty (my photos are definitely doing the visibility some favors) and I noticed an alarming greasy haze on my camera's dome port... ew. Good news, though: the team retrieved over 1,000 pounds of trash!
San Diego startup The Control Group sponsored the event, and volunteers from TCG donated their time Saturday morning to act as surface support, hauling garbage out of the water as Power Scuba divers brought it up from the bottom. There was a fascinating and diverse spread of items in the dumpster at the end of the day, including, but not limited to, quite a few lobster traps (which presumably had not been in use in the bay, but rather fell off the dock), two shopping carts, the smashed remains of a laptop, and my personal favorite: what can only be described as a prison shiv.
It was fun to float around the Star of India and the Soviet B-39 submarine.
- I was blown away at how much growth there was on the ships. (Doesn't anybody clean those? Apparently not.)
- The B-39 submarine is in wretched shape. Up close, you can really see just how wrecked the hull is.
I think I'll stick to shipwrecks that are on the bottom from now on!