Lake Travis is the place to be for many people in Austin. They come to swim, to ski or wake-board or ride tubes and above all, they come to drink. That last one is a big deal and big money. There is an entire industry on the lake devoted to it. Party boats set out from numerous points on shore and converge and many locations. Many of the “boats” make 2 or 3 “cruises” a day. The boats are laden with people, many young, looking for a good time.
That good time usually means getting drunk while bobbing on the placid surface, sun and clouds over head and a cold bear in their hand. Or maybe they drink from a bottle of Patron.
Why We Dive
When we go to the lake, we are there to dive. The water isn’t clear, far from it. The life is sparse and we mostly just go because we enjoy the activity.
Along the way we like to collect sun-glasses. Don’t ask me how it happened. It is just our thing.
Most of them are junk. They were free promotional items or gas station glasses designed to be worn a short while and then thrown out or lost. Some were expensive designer glasses. After sitting on the bottom of the lake for a few weeks or months or years, they are all ruined. The lenses are separating or fogged. Many are covered in zebra muscles.
Occasionally, we find like new glasses though, which is always fun and keeps us in sunglasses.
Junk We Find
We find other stuff people lost too. This weekend we found quite a haul.
That is 20 pair of sunglasses (in case you didn’t feel like counting), a couple of which are still useful, 2 iPhone S – both totally destroyed and one in a wallet – got to mail that back, a working Apple Watch, two Yeti vacuum cups (32oz tumbler and a beer cozy), a nice anchor (we left others on the bottom – there were a lot), a broken watch, as well as miscellaneous other stuff not pictured. We collected all of it over the course of 2 45 minute dives.
We don’t even bother to pick up the trash as this point because our dive would last only a minute or two and we would be full up. And partiers would only throw more garbage into the lake faster than we could deal with it.
It turns out that the bottom of lake Travis is filthy, but not for the reason most people think. There is honest muck down there, but the real filth was dropped by people careless and probably drunk. I’m sure a good bit of it was dropped intentionally. We find reefs of cans and cups under the normal party boat tie ups, to many to be an accident even with so many boats.