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The Pros and Cons of Inland Diving
Airworks - 3/20/2016 2:20 PM
View Member Articles
Category: Educational
Comments: 2
Let’s take a look at some positive and negative aspects of getting wet in quarries and/or lakes.

Pros:

- Quarries and lakes offer convenience and affordability for divers living inland and away from the coast.

- Quarries/lakes frequently have challenging environmental conditions such as poor visibility, very cold temperatures/thermoclines, submerged trees and branches, and various levels of silt and muck buildup. These environmental challenges help divers acclimate to difficult and demanding underwater situations.

- For novices and beginners, quarry/lake diving offers water environments that have no current, are wave-free, have readily accessible shorelines and ingress/egress points, and don’t usually have dangerous aquatic life. These characteristics help create a less stressful learning environment when compared to the ocean. No one gets lost, or encounters a shark, in a quarry! Even if a diver’s navigational skill is minimal, they simply need to ascend and surface in order to find out where they are, with no fear of a shark eyeing them from below :)

- The freshwater found in quarries and lakes is less corrosive on scuba gear.

- Objects of various sizes and shapes, such as planes, cars, buses, trucks, boats, etc., are often submerged in quarries and lakes as attractions, and/or for training purposes and exploration opportunities.

Cons:

- Exclusive diving in freshwater quarries/lakes will not fully prepare the diver for the often arduous and intense rigors of ocean diving due to strong currents and surface wave action.

- Many recreational divers who live inland tend to stop diving at quarries and lakes during cold days and the winter months, particularly because most inland site managers/owners do not usually go out-of-their-way to accommodate divers in terms of comfort. Very basic and necessary amenities are usually provided (e.g. porta johns), but not much else. Most divers are forced to don and doff gear out in the open, or under some type of canopy structure or wall-less pavilion. That’s OK during the warm and pleasant spring and summer days, but not during the colder and windy fall and winter months. Getting out of the cold quarry water only to feel the colder wind blowing all around you is absolutely miserable! Hypothermia can quickly set in. There’s no doubt that the seasonal aspects of inland diving have a significant negative impact upon overall diving participation and involvement, particularly among females.

- The numerous objects submerged in quarries and lakes to provide interest and exploration opportunities usually remain undisturbed and unmaintained for long periods of time, accumulate large amounts of silt and algae, and quickly lose their attraction and the “WOW” factor. This only bolsters the stereotype of quarry diving as dirty and boring.

- Aside from the various certifications and skill development training made available by dive shop managers and instructors, there is usually no other type of education (e.g. marine fauna and flora interactions and ecosystems) made directly available to divers while immersed in the quarry/lake dive experience itself.

Comments

jogirob - 3/22/2016 2:31 PM
Great write up. I agree 100% on providing a less stressful environment.
Airworks - 3/22/2016 2:49 PM
Thanks.