LOCAL DIVING Gives YOU MORE Access and DIVE TIME!

While we all have that “special place” we must see, do not miss out on what we have close to home!
Years ago, I recall hanging out around the set of a TV station for an interview about diving. Teaching a local college diving program for many years had brought me the distinction of being somewhat of a “diving expert,” a nomenclature that I will always scoff at!

On the way to the interview, I thought of the places I’ve had the good fortune to dive and those I still would like to visit. I had it nailed in my mind. “Ask away; I’m ready!” I reflected. I sunk into the well-worn couch and waited for the first question.

I heard nothing but a murmur during the introduction process as I continued to rehearse my answer to the inevitable question, “What is your favorite place to dive?” Without a second thought  I blurted out, ”Locally, right here at home!” I certainly didn’t rehearse that!

Despite my quick response, I still stand by my statement to this day. There really is no diving like local diving. Local diving gives you unequaled access and in most cases great variety if you are creative in your approach. Now you may be thinking, “but there’s only one dive site near me!” To this response, I ask: Have you ever seen it through the eyes of other divers? I can assure you the dive you make each time will be as unique as your dive partner if you simply insist they take the lead and ask them to point out anything they see of interest.

Local diving sites can offer many challenges and rewarding moments. They’re a great place to socialize, meet more divers to add to your contact list and a better place to try new gear or acquired techniques.

Here are a few suggestions to stir some interest in your local diving:

  • Get the word out– A simple posting in the Dive Center, Divers blast e-mail, newsletter or social sites will work nicely.  Set up a meeting- Don’t be scared. This isn’t meant to be a serious work meeting; it will be fun! Talk about local diving opportunities and places that someone in the group “has always wanted to check out.”
  • Create a social gathering surrounding the dive– We all know that in the scheme of things a two- dive day does not require a lot of time. But having a barbeque, volleyball match or round of drinks will fill the day nicely.
  • Set a date– Select a time each month to get together, dive, grab a coffee, see a movie or go bowling. After all, you share an important common bond: you are divers!

Remember, everyone’s definition of local diving will vary. One particular group of local divers invited me to one of their monthly rituals. Early on a weekend morning we met at the Dive Center, the regulars retrieving their coffee mugs that proudly hung on the wall. We grabbed a coffee and a donut and marched into the classroom, a destination they had selected last time they met a month ago. We arranged who was driving with whom, consolidated gear and headed out the door.

Any place that could be dived and return home in one day was considered local, but the adventures often spanned a full day. As we headed out the door, the group split, some heading to the 2/3 of a day option while I jumped in with the “let’s go for it all day!” crowd.

By the time we returned to the rendezvous point that night at the Dive Center, it had been long closed and we meandered to our vehicles. As I wearily pulled away, I was approached and asked, “Hey, want to join us for a cold one?” Their day was not over yet, but I was too tuckered out to continue.

You see, local diving is where the fun and friends are! You meet new ones to go explore and answer the ever-burning question: “Hey, I wonder what is at the bottom of …?”
So, what are you waiting for? Start diving locally! Make it happen & make it safe!
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