Mike, Steve L. and I met at the pond this morning.
We looked the pond over and unanimously agreed that it is NOT a good place for us to run subs in. The pond is too shallow by the shore line and visibility down from the surface is very poor (less than a foot) just like most of the ponds and lakes in the area. Visibility may have been better months ago when Ray last visited the pond, but not now.. It would probably be ok for surface skimmers but not our subs.
Three years ago, when we held our very first meeting, we had visited a dive shop in Tempe where we inquired about renting their scuba pool out for an hour to run our boats. I visited that dive shop this afternoon and found out that it is under new ownership as of about 6 months ago.
It is now called Scuba Magic, and I spoke with the new owner about the possibility of running our RC subs in his pool. He said that he had no problem with us renting the pool to run our subs in it. We could rent 1/2 of the pool for 1 hour at a cost of $35.
The pool is basically split in the middle as the center region of the pool is 4 ft. deep and each end of the pool is 12 ft. deep. I paced out the dimensions and 1/2 of the pool is approximately 39 ft. x 35 ft. Since none of us really have BIG boats, then this should be adequate area for testing and running our subs. The entire pool is about 78 ft. x 35 ft. The owner said that if during our hour the other half of the pool was not being used, we could use the entire pool, until someone else needed to use the other half.
This size running area should be fine for up to 5 or 6 boats (of which we don't even have that many yet to put in the water). That would make the cost about $6 to $7 per person to run for an hour. We could even swim with our subs and wouldn't need to worry about failsale systems as the boats would be easy to recover, just jump in the pool and get them.
Steve L. has a running boat and I should have a running boat in the not too distant future, so we may schedule our first run once we have two boats to put in the water and Steve and I could split the cost for the hour. If by then some one else has a third running boat that would be even better.
I will be looking into other pool venue options as well in the future, as in my opinion, the pools are best for maiden runs with an untested sub. Plus we can see them all the way down to the bottom.