Arizona Diving — Here And There
By Capt. Dave Davanzati
The current diving activities in and beyond the state are quite diverse. Arizonans can dive Lake Pleasant or Canyon Lake as well as a White Mountains lake.
When you do, you can see lots of fresh-water fish like bass, blue gill, and trout — as well as an odd lawn chair, sunglasses, a lost fishing pole, and other “artifacts.”
There are some who believe the Lost Dutchman Mine is really under water now and have contacted me to guide them in diving the area. Wow, is that fun or what?
Now add that the Sea of Cortez is in our backyard. Divers can travel to San Carlos and swim with all the beautiful reef fish, bill fish, Mahi Mahi, golden grouper, not to mention viewing the beautiful flora and fauna.
You can also dive up close and personal with pup sea lions at Seal Island, just 20 miles off the coast from San Carlos. When we’re there, we have great lobster hunts, enjoy both the flounder season and the fun stingray mating season.
Every month brings a different species into the shallows and allows a different experience. The water temperature in Mexico changes from 65 in the winter to 85 in the summer; the resultant fluctuation in the flora and fauna is dramatic. (The Arizona dive sites are only warm in the summer.)
Kids Dive Too
We can now train kids as young as 10 years old to scuba, with bubble programs for as young as 8. This teaches the kids snorkeling skills and how to breathe on scuba.
These are our “seal teams,” and they are given different missions as they progress. They start by diving down in the pool.
We have classes starting daily with our special program we instituted here about five years ago. The way it works is that a student signs up for open-water training or scuba training.
Students must attend four classes and two pool-training sessions. They are given their books and given a homework assignment. As soon as they complete the first homework assignment, they call in, and then we schedule a classroom session, which can be at their convenience.
They can come in the morning, afternoon, or early evening from Tuesday through Saturday. This really gives them the opportunity to have one-on-one training with a scuba instructor.
There’s Even Ice Diving In Arizona
And, although this is not quite the season now, we do teach Ice Diving in the winter up on the Mogollon Rim lakes, where we have to cut a hole in the ice and everybody wears dry suits. We drink hot chocolate and tell lies about how big were the fish we saw.
(This is lots of fun, but I am getting too old, so I probably won't do it much longer. I sure wish I could find someone to replace me.)
Looking For Nazi Subs — And Gold!
I have been contacted twice now by two different people wanting us to put together a team and search equipment for two Nazi subs that were bombed and sunk toward the end of WWII in the northern Sea of Cortez.
The story goes they were on a mission to break out German prisoners whom we had at the prisoner of war camp in Arizona. They had gold coins, and women came so they could pose as couples while traveling.
The plan was never put into action, and nobody knows anything about the gold, which has been said to be worth $2 million. I have learned that the ballast used in these old subs was mercury and that there are a couple tons of mercury available for salvage. This would be worth more than the gold.
Anyway, that's the story, and I have been waiting for one more contact before we begin the searching. There are many rumors of Spanish gold also as Rocky Point was a shipping port for the Spanish for many years.
At one time Arizona actually owned the port of Rocky Point, and it was by error of treaty that we lost the port.
For more information, visit Captain Dave's-Diver Emporium, 708 E. Prince Road, Tucson, Ariz. 85719, or call 888-547-DIVE(3483).