While there’s nothing better than rolling or stepping off a boat right above your dive site, shore diving can pretty be cool — and best of all — it can be pretty affordable!
Whether you have access to shore diving near where you live or while on a dive trip, shore diving has a lot to offer. Once you’re underwater, you may not notice much difference.
If you own your dive gear and can drive to a shore diving location, such as lucky California and Florida divers, shore diving can cost nothing more than gas money and maybe a parking or park access fee.
However, many dive destinations around the world have great shore diving for minimal cost. For example, in Bonaire, you can choose from more than 60 shore diving sites! You simply pay park access fees and tank rental / air fills (some places offer package deals) and you’re free to explore.
Instead of rising at the crack of dawn or cutting your lunch short to meet a dive boat, you can shore dive on your own schedule. For example, you can head out for a morning dive, come back for a leisurely lunch, head to another site for an afternoon dive, come back for a quick nap and dinner, and then head out for a night dive — no stress to be somewhere at specific times.
Let’s face it, if you’ve been on many boat dives with divers you don’t know, you’ve likely been stuck on the boat with someone who has “way more experience than everyone here” and doesn’t hesitate to regale everyone in earshot with his or her amazing global dive experiences.
Or you’re stuck in a group who chews through its air right away and the divemaster makes everyone surface, yet you could stay down for another 30 minutes easy.
With shore diving, it can be just you and your dive buddy or a few dive buddies. You get to dive only with people you know well and trust. And best of all — in a small group — you’re more likely to see aquatic life!
Instead of having to dive at predetermined sites and the divemaster’s planned depth and length, you and your dive buddy get to choose your site, plan your depth and your time.
Obviously, you should ONLY consider shore diving if:
Here are some tips from Scuba Diving magazine about how to safely enter and exit the water when shore diving.
Guided Shore Diving:
If you’re interested in shore diving but aren’t comfortable without a divemaster or guide, many areas offer guided shore diving. This offers many of the same benefits such as a more flexible schedule and smaller group.
Consider taking another course or two, at the very least Advanced Open Water where you’ll learn navigation skills. A Rescue course can be beneficial too if you plan to do a lot of diving on your own without a divemaster or instructor.
If you live in the Dallas area, Scuba Toys offers year-around courses, so give us a call at 972-820-7667, visit us online or swing by our shop at 1609 S Interstate 35E, Carrollton, TX 75006!
Do you shore dive? Let us know about your experiences in the comments section below!