Descending Crater Lake

Descending Crater Lake header image
Descending Crater Lake
Reflections from Deep Rover.
Deep Rover. Photo by Steven Nehl for the Oregonian.

“In a few minutes I was sinking through lapis bubbles,” said Dymond. “Moment by moment the colors shifted to ultramarine, then indigo, and finally at a depth of 1,200 feet I was engulfed in blackness…When I turned off all the lights and the fans that ‘scrubbed’ the carbon dioxide from my air, I experienced the absolute quiet and darkness of this part of the Earth. During these brief moments I felt attuned to the significance of life and the uniqueness of our planet.”

In the 1980s, three OSU researchers took turns diving solo to the bottom of Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States. The three explorers were oceanography researchers Jack Dymond and Robert Collier, and fisheries and wildlife student, Mark Buktenica. They made each of their trips alone, down into the throat of the drowned volcano in a tiny plexiglass submarine called Deep Rover. Dymond, who died in 2003, spoke to Richard Hill of The Oregonian. Photo by Steven Nehl for the Oregonian. Printed with permission.

Published in: Ecosystems, Water