Far, Freezing and Fish Myths


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Early in my life in japanese United States, I took up exploring the underside of the floor in ponds, rivers, lakes and the ocean. Later, as an athlete and waterman in highschool close to Chicago, I turned intoxicated by the scuba bug. Like most individuals when they're younger, I lacked the money and time to make “unique” dives as a lot as I needed. Even a Florida street journey was typically a stretch past “spring-break,” so my pals and I spent plenty of time exploring our underwater “yard” – near-by Lake Michigan, smaller lakes, forest protect rivers, rock quarries and so forth. Later, once I lived extra east and south in my late teenagers, I added ocean shore, seashore and jetty diving to my native diving. As a scholar in Florida, I poured over the Divers Information to Underwater Florida and had a mission to seek out and splash each spring, sinkhole and assessible shore dive described by Ned DeLoach in that compendium. That peaked my curiosity in turning into a licensed cave diver, with Sheck Exley’s tips in “A Blueprint for Survival” resonating in and influencing my thoughts and apply.

Issues have modified since these days clearly, and at present I’m privileged to have a log guide that lists a number of the world’s most acclaimed websites. But, amongst them these early near-home dives stand out. They continue to be pinnacle reminiscences that I might by no means commerce for one thing “extra unique,” have been it potential. Lots of them have been that good – and I nonetheless like to discover native dives with masks, fins and snorkel or scuba once I can– anyplace. It's superb what journey you'll find and what you'll be able to study a physique of water if you view it from beneath the floor.

If that’s shocking to you, you’re not alone. Individuals who study to dive later in life than I did typically have the means to make their first dives some place like Grand Cayman, Koh Tao or the Egyptian Red Sea. There’s nothing fallacious with that (the truth is, it’s actually superior), however typically it results in three “f” myths about what makes a dive nice – you've to have the ability to see Far, the water can’t be Freezing (i.e. cool) and there need to be hundreds of thousands of colourful Fish. Not true!


I really like nice viz as a lot as the subsequent diver, however it doesn’t outline nice diving. Which dive is best: An hour twiddling your thumbs alone in an air-clear swimming pool? Or, 30 minutes fossil combing in a river together with your closest pal in a single meter/three foot viz? Which can you keep in mind, speak about, giggle about and share on social media? It’s about what you see and do, with whomnot how far you possibly can see.


Heat water additionally doesn’t outline nice diving as a result of it’s not chilly water, however being chilly that’s no enjoyable. Take it from somebody who’s dived beneath seven metres of Antarctic ice (sure, that was fairly unique), with modern dive suits water temperature is not a barrier. Actually, for those who let cooler water cease you, you’ll miss a few of the most superb dives –kelp forests, pristine wrecks, distinctive organisms and tons of of different experiences you’ll by no means have in tropical ocean water.


Fish are superb, fascinating creatures, and one of many causes we love diving. They ought to be there in the event that they’re supposed to be there (being a PADI Torchbearer is all about making certain this!). However, some dive websites appropriately have few fish, or no fish – so assume function, mission or exercise as an alternative. Watching/imaging fish is a function, however so are watching/imaging backwater invertebrates, becoming a member of a Women’s Dive Day event in a flooded quarry, gathering/documenting trash littering sand greenback beds simply outdoors the surf zone, studying search techniques in a bay, and exploring some place close to residence simply since you’ve by no means dived there earlier than.

Dispense with the far-freezing-fish myths and an entire world opens up. Together with native seashores, rivers and lakes, inside a brief drive you might discover dive parks like Athens Scuba Park, Dutch Springs, Kraken Springs, Stoney Cove or one in every of Australia’s 58 marine parks. And, anticipate the sudden – globally, native diving consists of distinctive websites you gained’t discover anyplace else:

  • Because of a human-made reservoir, Chinese language divers can dive the Great Wall of China? (No, I’m not kidding).
  • In North America, you possibly can dive a flooded chilly warfare relic missile silo about 20 minutes outdoors of Abilene, Texas. There’s one other one in Washington state [Titan missile silo] if it’s extra handy.
  • Off the coast of Cap d’Antibes, France, there’s an entire town underwater – in miniature. It’s the restored stays of a 1960s film set with buildings no taller than a meter/three ft.
  • If full scale is extra to your liking, Lake Lyngnostøylsvatnet, Norway has an entire preserved village that was flooded greater than 100 years in the past, at about 10 meters/30 ft.

We’re simply getting began, and this listing might go on for pages. The purpose is that perhaps you possibly can’t go far now because of the pandemic, however so what? There’s fascinating, nice diving virtually in all places. You solely should look, and even higher, contact your local PADI dive shop as a result of they’ll know the highest spots close by, in addition to the suitable illness transmission danger discount protocols that apply to diving right now. Additionally, take a look at the COVID-19 Scuba Diving Status Map to see the place diving’s open globally.

Nobel prize profitable French writer Andre Gide stated, “You can't uncover new oceans until you've the braveness to lose sight of the shore.” True.

However typically you additionally gained’t uncover them until you could have the braveness to look near residence.

Search journey. Save the ocean.

Dr. Drew Richardson

PADI President & CEO

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