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LITHIA POND / BOB RICE POND

Google Earth: N 4337'34", W 11613'50"


Date of Dive: 12-MAY-2007
Location: Bob Rice/Quinn's Pond
Divers: Dave & Kathy Washburn
Surface Support: Yeah, right...
Visibility: 0 - 3 Feet
Max depth: 31 Feet
Temperature range: 69 (@ Surface) to 50 (@ 31 Feet)
Severe thermocline at 18 Feet
Duration of Dive: 01:05:00

This dive had one primary purpose: COOL OFF! To that end, we assembled our gear at home in front of the air conditioner, threw it all in the car, put on our wetsuits and booties in the house, jumped in the car and turned on the air conditioner. When we got to the pond, we geared up as quickly as possible and dashed - okay, waddled as quickly as we could - to the water. The plan was to drop down and find the trampoline, then head over to the dock and beyond, because we wanted to explore the western part of the pond.

File that one under best-laid plans. We got badly off course, due mainly to really crappy viz and our failure to take a heading, and wound up on the rope out to the man on the bike sculpture. When we came to that, we surfaced to revise our plan. We decided to snorkel along the shore back to the steps and start over. File that also under best-laid plans, because somehow Kathy had lost her snorkel. So we took a heading toward the steps and dropped down again. We came upon one of the ropes that we knew led to the tramp, so we followed it there. We worked our way around and got onto the rope toward the dock and headed off that way. When we came to the end of that, I reached for my slate/compass to check our heading, and discovered that it had gone off to find Kathy's snorkel. Since it was clipped solidly to one of my retracting cords, I have no idea how that happened. But it was gone. We wandered in the general direction of the dock for a while but decided to surface and talk things over.

We agreed that this hadn't been a very fun dive so far. When I told her I had lost my slate, she suggested we follow the rope back again and see if we could find it. I agreed, but by this time viz was so bad we had to keep our faces about 3 inches from the bottom to see anything. So if somebody finds one of those Trident slate/compasses that they sell at Dive Magic, with a full size pencil on the tether instead of that little golf pencil they come with, and that glows in the dark, you know how it got there.

We went clear around the trampoline when we got there and decided to call it a day. As we made our way north toward the steps, we came upon Kathy's snorkel in about 8 feet of water. We were glad of that, but I'm still mourning my favorite compass. Anyway, about that time we came upon the fish. We spent the next 30 minutes or so at depths between 3 and 15 feet playing with them. Kathy found a line with a lure on it and tried to tantalize some of them, but the lure was as big as they were, so they probably looked on it as a relative rather than a meal. While playing with the fish, we each found the requisite golf ball, so it's an official Boise dive. As we moved back toward the steps, still chasing the fish, a snorkeler jumped in and nearly landed on Kathy. Yes, dude, those bubbles actually do mean something! When we got out, he quizzed us a lot about how to get certified.

As far as the deeper water goes, this was the least pleasant dive we've had there so far. The fish in the shallower water made it worth the trip, as did the chance to get out of the heat. Beyond that, we worked on buoyancy and a little navigation and generally enjoyed getting wet.

Submitted by Dave Washburn


Date of Dive: 06-MAY-2007
Location: Bob Rice/Quinn's Pond
Divers: Dave & Kathy Washburn
Visibility: 6 - 10 Feet
Max depth: 30 Feet
Temperature range: 63 (@ Surface) to 47 (@ 30 Feet)
Duration of Dive: 00:45:00

We had actually headed out to the pond around 2:00 P.M., but I had made some mistakes in my eating patterns and wasn't feeling so great, so we went home so I could take a nap and headed back out around 4:45 P.M.. We had planned to use the cart I have invented to go to one of the docks, but didn't feel like it so we just went in at the steps like usual. We took a heading south and cut across the pond toward the clock tower. As we got deeper, we got into really bad viz, so I steered us east toward shore until we got to where we could see the bottom, then resumed our original course. At one point Kathy's valve got tangled in one of the ropes and we had to pause to get her unstuck. We also came upon the man-on-the-bike sculpture, and for the first time I could see the man on the bike (duu-uu-uh). As we moved into shallower water, around 20 - 25 feet, we decided to surface and see where we were. We were right by the clock, and a big family of ducks were just entering the water from the shore. The group included about half a dozen fluffy little babies, so we decided to see how close we could get to them. We probably got within about 10 feet before the adults started swimming faster to get away from us.

We took a heading back toward the steps and descended again. Almost immediately I spotted a huge carp. Determined to get a good picture this time, I actually chased him around for a while, eventually making a full circle. But I got my picture! He's a monster, probably close to 20 inches. Now I had to find my wife again, so I found my depth, took a heading, and spotted her fins within a few seconds. We got into deep water again; this time we just held on to our compasses and kept going. Eventually we came out in the corner by Pleasanton, and as we moved into shallower water we found the school of bluegills that lives there. We found one dark-colored fish that seemed to be ill, and another that is colored like a crappie except that it had a huge white stripe down its left side. I took several pictures; the white almost looked like a tumor or something. It was a fascinating sight. We played around in the shallows there, mostly chasing that fish, for about 10 minutes, but Kathy was low on air so we finally got out. We entered at 5:15 P.M. and exited right at 6:00 P.M., though because we spent so much time in the shallow water our computer said 5:55 P.M..

It was a really good dive. We worked on buoyoancy and navigation mostly, and otherwise just enjoyed being under the water.

Submitted by Dave Washburn


Date of Dive(s): 05-MAY-2007
Location: Bob Rice Pond, Boise, ID
Elevation: 2700 Feet ASL
Air Temperature: 68F
Water Temperature: 56F - 50F
Max Depth: 30 Feet
Visibility (max): approx 10 to 12 Feet
Divers: Tom, Denise, Jim, Dave, Kathy, Malinda
Surface support: None
Dive time: 1:05:00

Tom had posted that he was coming to Boise out of the Elko, Nevada area and was looking to do a dive while in town.

We met at the BRP parking lot at around 1:30 P.M.. Suited up and was in the water by about 2:15 P.M..

The plan was to dive out to the jetty following the east shore. It was voted that Jim would lead. Almost immediately upon descent we saw a large school of fish. Must have been a couple of hundred fish. They did follow us a bit. We were about 00:25:00 into the dive and had not found the jetty yet. Didn't think we were moving along that slow. At about 00:30:00 into the dive we decided to surface and see where we were.

Upon surfacing we noticed that we had overshot the jetty by a long ways. What we ended up doing is following the edge of the pond or so we thought right on around the end of the jetty.

Since some were a bit on the edge for air reserves we decided to head back the same way we came. Tom was going to take the lead on the return trip. We were doing pretty good to stay together on this leg of the dive. Once we got around the jetty it seemed that the viz got worse and we got somewhat separated. Tom and the Washburn's ended up following along the shoreline as per the plan. Denise was using her compass to follow a northerly heading. I was bringing up the rear so I ended up following her. At one point I noticed her taking a hard left. From my vantage point I could see she was trying to maintain a North heading. However, it just did not feel right to me. We were headed deeper and I felt way off course. I directed Denise back to the direction I felt the shore was and we started off in that direction until her compass started to act normal.

Denise and I ended up way across the pond near the steps. We surfaced to see if we could find the others. They were surfaced probably 100 yards away along the planned path. They had run low on air and were making a surface swim to the steps. Denise and I descended again to meet up with them. On the way we ran into a big carp and that big school of fish again. We just hung out checking out the fish. They were getting a bit friendly.

We surfaced and exited the pond.

It was one of the better dives I have had in BRP. The viz above the thermalcline at 16 - 18 feet was not too bad at about 10 feet. Even under the thermal cline the viz wasn't too bad either at about 5 - 6 feet. The temperatures were just about right until you got down to about 30 feet. Another thermalcline at that depth was a bit too cool for a wet suited diver for any length of time.

Congrats out to Denise. This was her 400th dive.

Submitted by Jim Hull


Date of Dive: 30-APR-2007
Location: Bob Rice Pond
Max Depth: 30 Feet
Divers: Dave & Kathy Washburn
Surface Support: Malinda & Becca Washburn
Air temperature: 82 F
Water temperature: 65 average, 10 thermocline at 18 Feet
Length of Dive: 0:42 Minutes

Yesterday (Sunday, 4/29) we were at the dock at Bob Rice Pond with our dogs, when I met a man whose little girl (probably about 5) had dropped a brand new fishing pole into the water. He was rather upset, but obviously she didn't do it on purpose, so all things considered he was handling it pretty well. We had been talking about doing a dive there that afternoon, simply because we had the air available and nothing better to do, so I told him if we wound up diving there I would look for it and try to get it back to him. He gave me his name and cell phone number and went on his way, probably never expecting to hear anything and writing the fishing pole off as part of the cost of fatherhood. cWell, we didn't get there Sunday, but we did get there this evening (Monday). We got in the water at 6:39 P.M. and made our way over toward the dock. As we got beneath it, we picked up a few aluminum cans and Kathy came across a nicely-preserved Barbie doll. She handed it to me and we headed for the surface to get our bearings and start looking for the fishing pole. Our daughter Becca was swimming on the surface, essentially following our bubbles (she's getting certified the first week of June). When we started to come up she got a good laugh: some little girls who were playing there were scared because they thought a sea monster was coming after them. They were delighted to see that we were divers and not a monster, and they were even more delighted when they saw what was in my hand. Two of them exclaimed in unison, "You found our Barbie!!!!!" They had dropped it just a few minutes earlier. They asked if we could go look for its clothes, and we tried, but who knows where they drifted off to. Hey, we returned the doll. They were very happy with that.

In any case, I moved to the spot where the man said his daughter had dropped the fishing pole and descended, and started to look. I hadn't gone 5 feet when I found it. The hook was wedged between a couple of rocks, and when it came free the hook caught itself on my glove. I had to surface and have Kathy get it loose. We gave it to Becca and continued our exploration. We tried to go deeper toward the middle of the lake, but visibility was so awful that Kathy started getting dizzy. In addition, there was a NASTY thermocline at 18 feet; by our computer, the temperature actually dropped a full 10 degrees. So we came up again quick. We moved to a little shallower water and descended again and started to make our way back to the steps. We came upon the DAN box and followed the rope from it to the trampoline. We made our way around and started to follow the other rope toward the soda machine, but once again viz was so bad that Kathy started getting vertigo. So we went up again, took a heading, dropped to about 20 feet and headed for the steps. We got a little off course, but that was a happy accident because we found a large school of small fish over in the corner of the pond. I tried to take pictures while Kathy tried to catch one... From there we went back to the steps where Becca was waiting for us. We exited at 7:21 P.M. and headed home to call the man about his fishing pole.

Submitted by Dave Washburn


Date of Dive(s): 21-APR-2007
Location: Bob Rice Pond
Elevation: 2700 feet ASL
Air Temperature: 68F
Water Temperature: 53F
Max Depth: 29 Feet
Visibility (max): 0 - 5 Feet
Divers: Dave & Kathy Washburn
Surface support: Malinda Washburn
Dive time: 0:52 Minutes

Malinda was supposed to go with us, but didn't feel up to it. That was a good thing, because as it turned out one of our tanks had a faulty valve and was leaking air like there was no tomorrow. Kathy and I entered at the usual place, the steps by the kayak shop, and headed down to the trampoline. The water seemed unusually murky, and I learned a day or so later that some other divers had just vacated the place. So that probably explains it. In any case, from the trampoline we followed the rope over to the "treasure chest," which I had not seen before. We messed around there for a bit, then headed for the dock. Just after we left the rope, I briefly spotted the biggest fish I have ever seen in that pond. This thing had to be close to 2 feet long; I suspect it was a perch, but don't hold me to that. I tried to snap a quick picture of it, and captured a faint image that is going to require some serious work in Photoshop in order to actually look like a fish.

As we passed the dock, Kathy found a golf ball. I think Dan is rubbing off on us! Anyway, we kept going in the direction of the greenbelt and came across some interesting items. I found a brake drum from some kind of very large vehicle; it was too heavy to pick up. We found a tree stump that was a good 5 feet across; apparently this tree was cut down before the pond was filled, because it has clearly been cut down with a chain saw. We also came across one of those garbage can holders that you see on the greenbelt, the kind with the vertical wooden slats. This one still has the cement on its base, and I'm not asking how it got there. When we surfaced to get our bearings, we were nearly at the corner where the walkway from Pleasanton intersects the greenbelt.

Just to get some more navigation practice, I took a heading toward the dock and brought us back there. We played around there for a while, and Kathy found a couple of hair clips and similar items that kids have lost while playing on the dock. We examined the chains hanging down from its outer corners and discovered they're not attached to anything, they're just sort of there. Then we decided to follow one of the chains that extends from the dock out toward the center of the pond. We followed it for quite a while until things got so dark and murky that we both began to get a little freaked out; Kathy was also getting cold. So we surfaced again and made our way to shallower water. I wanted to go back down ASAP to safety stop depth, because Kathy had ascended much too quickly that time.

So we dropped back down to the 15-20 foot range and started making our way back toward the steps. Along the way, we FINALLY found Harvey's plaque. I took several pictures of it, with and without the flash. We never got to meet Harvey, but I think when my time is up, I wouldn't mind a little memorial like that one. It was touching, and left us feeling just a bit humbled.

We found our way back to the steps and began the process of exiting. I had a little trouble getting one of my fins off, and fumbled around with it for a couple of minutes, which made me feel like the ever-popular 3-legged gooney bird for gracefulness. But it was destined to get worse: apparently, while I was being defeated by my fin, the camera strap slipped off my wrist. I got involved getting myself out and helping Kathy out and didn't notice that the camera was gone until we were in the car and ready to go. We quickly dug through the stuff in the car and it didn't turn up. That meant it must still be in the water. I tried to go look and see if it was out there where I was having the fin problem, but there was a woman at the bottom of the steps throwing sticks for her dog, and I couldn't see a thing. Malinda had to get to BSU for an appointment, so we dashed over there, dropped her off and came back.

By this time the dog was gone, and when I stood at the head of the steps I could see the camera in about 3 feet of water, maybe 10 feet out from the steps. Thank God for the fluorescent yellow-green of the strap and edges of the case! I was still in my wetsuit, so I just waded out and grabbed it, heaving huge sighs of relief as I brought it back to the car.

One other fun little tidbit: Kathy got in the water several minutes before I did, and as she descended the steps and made her way in, there was a couple with two small boys standing there watching her. One of the boys stared at her as she put her regulator in her mouth and asked "How do you breathe with that thing?" She said "Here, try it" and let him take a couple of breaths off her octopus. He thought that was the most amazing thing in the world.

So we may very well have another Idaho diver just as soon as he gets big enough!

Submitted by Dave Washburn


Date of Dive: 14-APR-2007
Location: Bob Rice Pond - Boise, ID
Elevation: 2700 Feet ASL
Air Temperature: 60F to 65F
Water Temperature: 54F surface / 48F bottom
Max Depth: 29 Feet
Visibility (max): Approx. 2 Feet to 10 Feet
Divers: Wade Pfennig, Denise Roberts, Jim Hull, Bruce McCarthy
Surface support: None
Dive time: 1:07
Time In: 12:50 Time Out: 14:00

We entered the water and formulated the dive plan. We decided to head down the trampoline then follow the rope out to the sunken soda machine then continue on that heading until we either hit the other side of the pond or ran into the jetty.

Viz was pretty good until about 12 feet or so then it started get a little more algae and particulates in the water. The viz varied as we trekked across the pond bottom and along the edges.

At about 0:25 into the dive we found the jetty and surfaced. It was shallow enough for us to stand up with water to our necks. Spent about 0:06 there discussing the dive so far and what to do next.

We decided to that we would take a heading of due north. We descended and headed off on that heading. Well almost immediately we go separated from each other. The buddy teams stayed intact. Wade and I were having problems with the compass. It was going in circles. We did this for a couple of minutes then decided to surface to see where we were. After all that circling we were kind of confused as to our location and bearing.

We surfaced and looked for the others' bubbles breaking the surface. We did not see them. We decided to head in the direction of the edge of the pond. Once we descended we found the man on the bicycle sculpture and then followed the rope back along our original route out.

Wade and I got down in the dark depths there for a bit. At about 28 feet the water turns real dark. We fumbled around a bit then found our bearings again. Once we got back on track we ran into Denise and Bruce. It was at this point that we also found a large school of crappie and/or bluegill. There must have been 50+ fish in this school. Very cool indeed. Made the dive for me. If it had ended there I would have been very happy.

Denise and Bruce continued on to the egress point while Wade and I had some more exercises to run. Wade wanted to work on a 2nd mask deployment. So we stopped and floated while Wade did the mask exchange. Did it in about a minute's time. His mask then kept fogging up after he put it on. Something for Wade to work on for the next dive.

We then proceeded down the trampoline again. This is where Wade worked on his buoyancy and weighting a bit. I worked on mine too but then with the lack of activity I started to get a bit chilled. Started doing circles around the trampoline while Wade just floated. I did this and push-ups until I could not feel my fingertips anymore. I signaled to Wade it was time to go. We surfaced just west of the stairs. When we got out we found out the Bruce and Denise had already exited the water.

I used this dive to try out some BC trim weighting. I am still trying to tweak in my new equipment. I moved 4 pounds from my belt up to the top D-ring on my BC to try to flatten out my trim. For the most part it worked. I still need to do a bit more work on it. Perhaps another pound or two up on the BC to trim it out some more. I was still just a tad feet heavy.

Submitted by Jim Hull


Date of Dive: 07-APR-2007
Location: Bob Rice Pond - Boise, ID
Elevation: 2700 Feet ASL
Air Temperature: 70F to 75F
Water Temperature: 50F surface / 46F bottom
Max Depth: 29 Feet
Visibility (max): Approx. 5 Feet to 10 Feet
Divers: Wade Pfennig, Denise Roberts, Jim Hull
Surface support: None
Dive time: 0:48

This was a dive to try out some new equipment. Both Denise and I had new BCs to work with. So the pre-dive preparation was a bit longer than usual as we had to tweak and adjust the new gear to fit and configure for our needs. Wade had some small upgrades to his drysuit that he wanted to check out.

Once we hit the water we had some more adjustments to make to the new equipment. Once that was squared away we proceeded to dive our plan. We descended to our intended depth then headed west toward the dock. We proceeded along at about 24 feet. Passed the dock anchor chains, the geocache, and ended up past the big cement lego block.

We started back once we got a little ways beyond the lego block. Back past the geocache and anchor chains. We went past Harvey's plaque and onto the egress point.

Problems we encountered with the new equipment:
1) Both Denise and I had the heavy foot problem. Need to move some weights up higher on the BCs.
2) I need to get more familiar with the angles needed to vent my new BC.
3) Need to work on equipment placement and various strap adjustments.

The post dive briefing was educational. Wade helped us debug our equipment issues and then went on to give us a half-hour long dissertation on dry suit discharge valves.

Submitted by Jim Hull


Date of Dive: 01-APR-2007
Location: Bob Rice Pond - Boise, ID
Elevation: 2700 Feet ASL
Air Temperature: 60F
Water Temperature: 50F surface / 46F bottom
Max Depth: 29 Feet
Visibility (max): Approx. 5 Feet
Divers: Wade Pfennig, Jim Hull
Surface support: None
Dive time: 1:02

Wade and I met at the scheduled time (noon). Geared up and was in the water by about 1:00 p.m.. Wade was diving with doubles and a pony bottle and had a list of things he wanted to work on.

I was diving in a 7mm wetsuit and Wade was in a drysuit. We did our buddy checks in the water at the base of the stairs.

Wade lead us down to the trampoline so that he could stow some gear for later use. Then we headed off toward the dock at about 25 foot depth. We went past the dock then back past the geocache. That was when I found a dive knife laying there on the bottom. Picked it up and noticed that it was the same kind I have. What are the odds I was thinking of finding a knife just like mine here!??? Duh. It must have fallen out of my sheath on our trip out.

We continued back to the trampoline to work on our list of tasks. Once we got there we did a 3 minute hover. Of course my hovering skills need work. I was all over the place. Wade however, like the rock of Gibraltar, just hovered there seemingly effortlessly. We then practiced a couple out of air regulator exchanges.

Then it was the mask remove for one minute then replace and clear drill. Wade noted that he wanted to go for one minute. I was watching the timer but about 30 seconds into it he is putting his mask back on. He motioned that his face was cold. So I signaled that it was my turn to do one minute. I took my mask off and as soon as that cold water hit my eye lids it was like someone stuck icicles in my eyes. I now know why Wade didn't last a minute. Dang...

Then Wade wanted to do a weight belt removal and replacement. It was impressive to watch as he has a bunch of buckles and straps to navigate to remove and replace the thing. He was successful in replacing it.

Wade spent a couple of minutes working with his pony bottle setup and doubles values.

We then headed back to the egress point. We made our safety stop at 13 feet for 3 to 4 minutes then proceeded to surface.

Submitted by Jim Hull


Date of Dive: 17-MAR-2007
Divers: Dave, Kathy and Malinda Washburn
Air temp: 76 degrees
Surface water temp: 65 degrees
Water temp at depth: 45 degrees
Max depth: 29 feet
Entry & exit point: Stairs by the kayak shop at the end of Pleasanton St.
Time in: 2:42 PM
Dive length: 38 minutes

I learned from a Parks & Rec person that the official name of this place is Bernadette Quinn Park Pond. I've heard it called Bob Rice Pond, Quinn's Pond, Clocktower Pond, Lithia Pond, and I usually call it "that there pond" which is short for "that there pond by the kayak shop where people like to dive." Anyway...

In keeping with St. Patrick's Day, the water was nice and green...

Seriously, this was the first time Kathy and I have been there. Malinda went once before last Fall, but her buddy was in such an all-fired hurry she didn't get to do much except try to keep up. So today was much more leisurely for her. Unfortunately, her hands got cold and badly stiff about 15 minutes into the dive and she had to turn back.

We ran into Denise and Jim out there; they headed off toward the dock, staying around 12 feet where the vis was good, while we headed out into deeper water to find some of the stuff we've heard so much about. We found the line out to the soda machine, then located another one that brought us back to the trampoline. Vis down there was about 3-5 feet. My hands and feet were getting cold and I almost quit with Malinda, but Kathy gave me those puppy-dog eyes and I relented so she could stay down :-) I decided that since I could still work the camera, my hands weren't all *that* cold.

Our 7-mil suits kept us nice and toasty, our bodies didn't get cold at all. Can I just say: I LOVE MY HENDERSON !!!!!!!!! With the fringe of my hood tucked inside it, it fit tight enough that I didn't even get any water down my zipper, and came out virtually dry. Kathy's was the same way. These suits are one of the best investments we ever made.

*commercial mode off*

Anyway, from the trampoline we followed the line over to the dock, and when it ran out I took us up the slope to 15 feet and we finished the dive at safety stop depth. We went to the dock and poked around under it a bit, then headed back toward the steps looking for Harvey' plaque. We never found it, but we weren't entirely sure what we were looking for, either. Denise described it to me after the dive, so next time we'll make her take us to it! In all, we were down for 38 minutes. The temp down deep was 45 degrees by my gauge, 46 by Kathy's computer.

We did see one fish, a poor little thing that we thought was dead until Kathy touched it. Something had chewed its tail off and it couldn't swim for beans. She picked it up and tried to help it along, but I don't expect it to survive very long without a tail. We felt bad for it, but there wasn't much we could do.

The most interesting thing I found was a contact lens still sealed in the package. I'm not even going to ask how it got there!

All in all, a great first dive of the season. We're looking forward going back and exploring some more. One of these days I want just to take a heading toward the opposite shore and go, see what's out there toward the middle and the other side. I also hope to go over to the greenbelt side and poke around those two new docks that the Parks people put in over the winter.

Submitted by Dave Washburn


Date of Dive: 20-FEB-2004
Maximum Water Depth: 30 feet
Average Water Temp: 41
Above Water Temp: 45
Visibility: 5 feet
Dive Access: Northeast end park and walk 200 feet to steps / greenbelt access

We made two dives. No thermocline. Surface temperature above was approximate. Nothing spectacular to report. We worked on our buoyancy and had a good time.

Submitted by Wade


Date of Dive: 13-JUN-2003
Maximum Water Depth: 35 feet
Average Water Temp: 62
Above Water Temp: 95
Visibility: 5 feet
Dive Access: Northeast end park and walk 200 feet to steps / greenbelt access

Located behind the Clocktower Apartments off Fairview Avenue, this dive spot is to preferred location for dive training in the summer months. Rigged with ropes, trampoline frames and lots of concrete chunks, it can be hazardous if you aren't alert and aware of what you are doing. Some fish, mostly trash.

Submitted by Chris


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