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PHILLIP E. GRAF - PADI ICE DIVING SCUBA INSTRUCTOR

Omni Divers Ice Diving Article

David Ogle wrote:

Hi Omni Divers:

I found your page on the Web. I'm a journalist compiling an article on adventurous winter activities for the top selling men's magazine over here in the UK. I'd like to mention the courses that you run, could you help me out with the following questions?

That would be great.

Please let me know your postal address plus a phone number.

Boise, Idaho 83703-3230
208-345-1990
208-345-2415 fax
omnidive@omnidivers.com

What is the approximate temperature of the water you're diving in?

34 degrees F

Is it actually at freezing point,

No.

or is the clear water under the ice slightly warmer?

Yes, the particulate matter in the lake during the winter freeze up tends to fall to the bottom, the wind on the lake which can continually stir up the lake surface is no longer a factor and the water tends to become very clear.

We use one line which is attached to the diver and is controlled by the tender on the surface of the ice. In case a diver has a problem the tender can pull the diver back to the hole and remove him/her.

We go down in buddy pairs with each having a line tender on the surface. The instructor also uses a line with a tender.

One of the interesting things under the ice is the ice water interface. The ice adjacent to the water tends to remind one of a large ice cube, with bubbles trapped in the ice. The ice is smoother than the ice on the tenders are walking on.

For fun we invert ourselves, standing upside down with our fins on the bottom of the ice and signal the tenders to pull us in. The tenders pull and we ride the ice in. It is like water skiing using fins, just upside down, on the ice under the water instead of on top of the water on skis.

How long does it take to cut the hole in the ice?

Depending on the size of the triangle we cut and the thickness of the ice, saw 3 meters, on a side, we use an old cross cut saw, the ones that loggers used, about 30 minutes a side if the depth is 0.5 meters and we trade off cutting.

How long does an actual dive last for?

For purposes of instruction, we like to stay down 20 minutes, but due to cold it is usually less than that. The folks that try this are not always suited up in best dry suits. Last year we had several in just a rental wet suit, a bit chilly. I have with my Viking dry suit and undergarment stayed down for 40 minutes or so.

I'm sending this on 6th August. If you could respond today, I'd be very grateful as I'm under a very tight deadline. Thanks.

Your welcome.

David Ogle

You may use any of the material you find on the following ice diving pages.

Ice Diving Schedule 1999

January 1999 Ice Diving Information

General Ice Diving Information

Ice Diving Photos at Payette Lake 1997

Ice Diving Photos at Cascade Lake 1998

If you use this I would like a copy of at least the article if not the whole magazine.

Thanks and good luck

In the off season we dive Cozumel Island, Mexico Join us, see details on the page listed below

Cozumel Island October 7 - 15, 1998

Take care

Phillip E. Graf

For more information on our ice diving activities, e-mail us at omnidive@omnidivers.com

For more information on our ice diving schedule of activities, check this page Ice Diving Schedule 1999

For more information on our January 1999 ice diving discussion of needed items/activities,

check this page January 1999 ice diving info

General Ice Diving Information

Ice Diving Photos at Cascade Lake 1998

Ice Diving Location Photos at Payette Lake August 1998 * * *

Ice Diving Photos at Payette Lake 1997

This page last updated on September 6, 1998.

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