The First Ascent from the SS Tahoe:  A Documentary Film

Project Progress Report as of July 5, 2002


Description written January 2000

Over sixty years ago, in the sapphire waters of Lake Tahoe, a historical Icon was laid to rest… The SS Tahoe elegantly carried passengers and freight on the lake from 1896 to 1934. On August 29th, 1940, the SS Tahoe was towed from her berth
in Tahoe City into Glenbrook Bay where, 60 years earlier she was launched and by the order of her owner, William Seth Bliss, her sea cocks were opened and she was left to sink. However, the SS Tahoe fought her doom.   She was supposed to be sunk in about 100 feet of water.  Due to a moonless night and inadequate depth sounders, she actually submerged much deeper.   Twelve hours after she began her ordeal and on August 30, 1940 she submerged below the surface of Lake Tahoe and came to rest in 400 feet of water in a canyon on the Glenbrook Shelf. Steamer.jpg (20041 bytes)
In the present day, the dawning of a New Millennium, with impressive technology available, a group of self contained underwater explorers are going to physically visit and view for the first time in over 60 years, the Lady of the Lake…The SS Tahoe. A team of 15 exceptionally trained divers and support staff, carrying all their own life support equipment and breathing gasses, are going to descend to historic depths of 400 feet in Lake Tahoe, with water temperatures of 39 degrees, for the sole purpose of videoing the expedition and the SS Tahoe. Goal? The creation of a dynamic and exciting one hour documentary film.
lakeshot.jpg (20572 bytes)

The documentary will entwine the rich maritime history of Lake Tahoe in the late 1800's and early 1900's with that of the adventure and intrigue of deep technical SCUBA diving. Fascinating historical aspects of Lake Tahoe will be drawn from the extensive collections of the local historical societies. Drama and adventure will be provided by the suspense filled technical diving. It will be a historical presentation guaranteed to keep the viewers on the edge of their seats.

At this point the project has been approved by the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office, the Nevada, North Lake Tahoe and the South Lake Tahoe Historical Societies along with Bill Bliss, the Grandson of William Seth Bliss. The project has received coast to coast media coverage from the San Francisco Chronicle to the Washington Post, has been covered in numerous TV news magazines and was a feature segment on the Discovery's Science Live Channel.  New Millennium is a Nevada Non-Profit Organization and presently seeking funding, which is tax deductable, to accomplish its mission.  Follwing our expedition to the SS Tahoe, New Millennium will endeavour to locate the Nevada, the Meteor and the Marion B also historic shipwrecks of Lake Tahoe, and complete documentary filmworks on them as well.  

(August 18, 2002)The expedition dives are in full progress and our first ascent occurred on June 29, 2002 followed by our second, third and fourth attempts.   Our project is moving forward with full momentum with anticipation of diving the wreck for the fifth time in September of 2002.  We are well beyond the beginning phases of this project with high expectations for its outcome. 
nhslogo.jpg (26862 bytes)
Click here for further detail on the SS Tahoe, the interest she has generated since her scuttling in 1940 and New Millennium Dive Expeditions activities.