Our Progress July 23, 2001...
Date: November 23, 2001
for our progress report of July 23, 2001
for our progress
report of May 1, 2001
for our progress report of December 11, 2000
for our progress report of September 24, 2000
for our chronological progress up to March 26, 2000
It has been three years to the date in which we began our SS Tahoe adventure. Many things have occurred since 1998 and all have been extremely positive, incredibly educational but some frustrating, although, developmental. Where does one begin? First, our schedule for 2001 was interrupted by weather and terrorist attacks on our Nation. July 20 and 21 we were on the lake for over 20 hours in conditions of up to 4-foot seas. We marked the wrecksite twice but both markers broke free from the wreck and were un-useable. The good news is that Captain John and Gary Trimble from Lockheed Martin Perry Technologies can now locate the site within minutes. Also, Gary developed a titanium "superhook" that we will place on the wrecksite next year that will not break free. Our second attempt, planned for September 14 and 15 had to be cancelled out of respect for our Nations tragedy and for personal and emotional reasons directly related. Our hearts go out to those effected by these horrible acts of terrorism and we know that we, New Millennium Dive Expeditions, as well as our Nation, will become stronger and better as a result. We dedicate our efforts to those that gave their lives so that we may have a better world in which to live. So we continue on into 2002 with a solid foundation.
Second would have to be the continuing situation with funding. We have projected that each dive we professionally, safely and responsibly conduct below 350 feet will cost about $3000. This includes the expenses for boats, medical staff and equipment (including a portable recompression chamber), diver breathing gasses and supplies; costs that we have self-funded to this point in our endeavor. In order to solve the funding issues, we formed a non-profit organization and have received our letter of determination from the Internal Revenue Service exempting us from taxation and thus accepting our classification as a 501(c)3 organization. Thus, if you need a tax deduction, you can donate cash, old dive gear or anything of value and receive a complete taxable write-off for that donation. To do this become a sponsor. Thanks! Also, we are working closely with the State of Nevada in obtaining funding from the Federal Government via the Abandoned Shipwreck Act Guidelines and from the State of Nevada itself. We are pursuing a variety of other grant/funding source opportunities that have been presented to us. All of which look very promising. We have taken the right steps over the past 3 years that have now led us to the success we can clearly see for 2002.We did receive a donation of a 20 inflatable boat with twin Honda motors and are now in the process of selling this vessel (this is the link where the boat is listed for sale with all the information). If you know of anyone that might be remotely interested or have a contact in the boat selling business, please let us know. We hope this will be converted to cash that will fund our activities throughout this winter.
Another important aspect of our progress and development with this expedition is training. One constant we have found to be unwavering is training; it never stops and we, never stop learning. In August of this year we had the opportunity to train with dive instructors in Akumal, Mexico that teach with a philosophy that has evolved over a 50 year time span; the cave diving philosophy. Commonly referred to as DIR (Doing It Right). A highly controversial mode of training and diving techniques by those never trained under this genre that we found to be incredibly beneficial and quite educational. In fact, we returned to Nevada and began re-tooling our training, methods and protocols. An implementation of skills that will make us more knowledgeable with our equipment, decompression theory, profile generation, dive preparation and planning. The end result is that we have and will become safer and better able to professionally and responsibly conduct and represent deep technical mixed gas diving as a legitimate genre of diving. This educational format trains focusing upon "worst case scenario" situations and handling thereof. Not a lot of positive reinforcement. Just plain do the skills properly or get out of the water. Many of us, divers for over 20 years, felt as if we were once again "Openwater Divers". Quite humbling but a vital step in getting us to where we are now. Since August, we have spent hours reconfiguring our equipment, eliminating convoluted procedures, reevaluating decompression theories and profiles, and practicing in shallow water in order to master the skills necessary for such deep diving. Skills such as back-gas valve management, equipment malfunction, diver communication under stress, air consumption maintenance under duress and many other skills mandatory in maximizing the safety of all divers involved. We learned that it is irresponsible to be diving this deep solo and thus we continue to maintain a team approach in an attempt to represent maximum professionalism in and out of the water. We realize that at times this may prevent us from conducting a dive but the long-term the representation of professionalism that we want our team (and future expeditions) to display is worth the short-term delay at the detriment of our egos. To put this into perspective recall the race between the rabbit and the hare.
One of the most important realizations evolving from our participation in DIR training is that we need to go back to the basics and simplify in the name of safety. We have formally decided upon equipment unification amongst all team divers and are in the process of completely setting up our rigs with new equipment from Halcyon; a leader in equipment technology and knowledge. Not a cheap undertaking but one demonstrating an attitude accepting evolution in personal knowledge, commitment and skill. Quite an exciting time for all.
Our overall project scope, mission and intent have also evolved during this past year. Our initial project, the SS Tahoe will be followed-up with the location, diving utilizing submersible technology and documentary filmworks of the Nevada and the Meteor. The sister ships to the Tahoe that also lie on Lake Tahoes frigid bottom. Our mission has developed into a two fold focus that of 1) underwater research, exploration and study and 2) education. Our education will stem out into two basic areas, 1) state entities such as historic preservation offices, historical societies, museums, etc. and 2) state educational institutions such as K-12, community colleges and state colleges and universities. Our intent is to research pertinent history relevant to a community wide benefit, plan expeditions and obtain visual records of such history, develop the educational program specifically for the target entity and then begin the educational process.
As you can see, we have undergone many growing pains this past year for the betterment of our service to the community and the representment of technical diving. It has been a great year and we would like to thank you for your continued support and input. Without you and your interest there would be no reason to continue. Look forward to a dynamic 2002.
For now, you are up to date. Keep coming back to our site. We hope as always to update more often but the time is limited and we are doing the very best that we can. If you have any input or sponsorship ideas, please email us. We look forward to hearing from you.