The Piedmont Dive and Rescue Association (PDRA) held a treasure hunt and founders’ day celebration at American Quarry on Sunday 16 September 2008. Visibility was good down to 20 feet and the thermo cline was ~30 ft. There is a training platform in ~20 ft of water. Lines run from the platform to all the sunken objects, boats and a couple of oar cars. It starts to getting dark at ~25ft. At 41ft it was pitch black and the water temperature was 56 degrees F. My buddy and I didn’t have any lights so we didn’t spend too much time that deep. My shinning moment at this dive was when my snorkel popped off and sunk to the bottom during a surface swim. The snorkel sunk in only 30ft of water but it was so dark I couldn’t see my glove in front of my face. Never found the snorkel, but I did find numerous sticks in the mucky bottom that were about the same size and shape as my snorkel. The facilities at the quarry are basic, but the dive staging area and entry points are brand new and very nice. There is lots of parking space and areas to camp. You must be a PDRA member or guest to dive at this quarry. I managed to win a Nitrox class even though my ticket was near one of the last ones to get picked in the first round. Thanks to all the companies that contributed. I completed 3 dives.
Couple lessons learned for me on this dive. First, when using someone else’s BC try it on without the tank and get used to finding things in the dark or by feel only. The BC I used had really small knobs on the lower dump valves and I had trouble finding them on my first dive. Second, when renting gear make sure you verify that the gauges glow, luckily mine did but I never thought to ask. This could be dive standard but until I hear otherwise I’m going to ask and check.