Raphael Nowak has been fascinated with Okanagan Lake his entire life.
“I’m just naturally a curious person and I’ve grown up here on Okanagan Lake my entire life,” Nowak said. “I just wanted to learn more about what goes on in this large, deep and unexplored lake.”
For the past 13 years, the author has been passionately studying the science and history behind the local body of water. The result is a 272-page investigative book titled Okanagan Lake – An Illustrated Exploration Above and Below the Waters.
The book explores many questions, such as what is at the bottom of the lake? How did the lake get here? And what are the environmental impacts of humans throughout the centuries?
“The science includes the biology, geology and limnology (or freshwater science) of the lake, but there’s also a special chapter dedicated to my own underwater research and exploration expeditions that I’ve done on the lake since 2005.”
Nowak builds his own underwater gear which includes remotely operated vehicles, sonars and camera rigs. This allows the researcher to capture underwater footage and take samples up to 300 feet below the surface.
“A lot of people might assume that the bottom of Okanagan Lake is predominately sand and, indeed, that’s true,” Nowak said. “But there are also many places where the bottom has many geological features, such as remnants from volcanic activity and boulders that would have been deposited during the ice age or when the ice retreated in the Okanagan.”
The book has been completed and is awaiting printing. The author has a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to assist with covering printing costs. He hopes to have the book available at local retailers by Fall 2018.