We all know that variety is the spice of life. The same can be said of SCUBA diving. In the ocean, divers have all kinds of variety to choose from. Wrecks off the Carolina coast, kelp forests in California, bugs (lobstering) in Florida, or the plethora of marine life at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, or Africa, or the South Pacific. Exploring our underwater world is a grand way to keep your passion for diving alive and thriving. And roaming the planet in search of new cultures and new dive destinations can be a rewarding experience. However, in all that wandering, you might be missing out. Believe it or not, there are dive locales near you right now, local sites where you can get your underwater fix. And you don’t even have to buy a plane ticket. Sound good? Read on.
Since they are pretty ubiquitous in America, rivers are first on the list. Though they can often be shallow, murky, and have strong currents, they can still be outstanding places to SCUBA. However, because of these conditions, it is recommended that you take a specialized course on river diving before embarking on such an adventure. You will learn the techniques for safe and effective river diving such as different considerations for different river environments.
Some of the best diving in the United States is in abandoned rock quarries. They are popular in inland areas for diver training as well as recreational diving for several reasons. They are an opportunity for fresh water deep dives, they sometimes have wrecks or other artifacts to explore, and they have reasonable underwater. Most are privately owned, and very often objects are intentionally placed, like boats, automobiles, aircraft, and even statues.
Like rivers, lakes offer their own sets of challenges and rewards for SCUBA enthusiasts. Small lakes are often utilized for training. Bigger lakes have many features of oceans, such as a variety of marine life and shipwrecks. Man-made lakes, because of sediment or other factors, have lower visibility. Many lakes are in alpine regions, which make them high in elevation. High altitude lakes can be quite clear due to their source—snow-capped mountains—but they can also be very cold. Because of these factors, you should take special considerations before diving.
Some of the most incredible dive sites are in springs. A ton of information can be found on the internet about the best spring dive locations. But be careful. Many of these places are easily accessible with no dive master around making sure you know what you’re doing, so you need to be responsible for yourself in many cases. A dive into a spring cavern without proper preparation could easily lead to disaster. Do some research before you go and be certain the site you choose is right for you. Better to be safe than sorry, and knowledge will make your dive safer and more pleasant.
Make plans to dive locally. Get involved with your local dive community. It’s a wonderful way to learn about the local diving scene. Find a dive club or dive center near you and go to the meetings. This provides for excellent opportunities to find a buddy, locate a great local dive site and socialize with other divers who want to dive locally with you.
Sources: floridadiveconnection.com | awaterodysseyscuba.com | wikipedia.org | diversinc.com | craterlakeinstitute.com