The summer months are prime time for some potential shore divers who want to explore gorgeous stretches of coastline simply by heading to their favorite beach.
While shore diving can seem relatively easy on the surface, there are a number of key considerations and factors that can make a shore dive more difficult than an open water or boat dive.
After all, beach entries and exits can be tricky depending on local water conditions. And although it’s possible to hire a guide for a shore diving excursion, for the most part, the site, route and set-up are all up to you.
So before you hit the beach to try a little shore diving at your favorite locale or vacationing spot, be sure you brush up on these tips and tricks that will ensure the ensuing trek is a safe and still completely fun expedition.
There are some sites around the globe that are known for their exceptional shore diving conditions, and particularly in key scuba destinations like Bonaire, the Cayman Islands or the Virgin Islands.
But if you’re treading new waters and territory, or even if you’re just unfamiliar with an already popular shore diving site, then a little research is key.
Start with Google maps and aerial photos to identify the “lay of the land” including potential deep gaps or hazardous areas. Check out local weather reports and tide tables, including annual averages.
If this process sounds like a lot of work, then start scoping out local divers who can give you insight on what to expect, and how to plan.
By knowing everything you should about the site beforehand, you’ll lessen your risk of being unprepared for outside factors that could cause a problem.
Once you get to the site:
These questions are key and directly relate to knowing your site thoroughly before you take the plunge.
By immediately understanding the answers to these questions and acting accordingly, you’ll be in the position to have the best dive possible.
One of the best things you can do for an initial shore diving trip in an unfamiliar spot is to bring a friend, and preferably one who has already frequented the precise region before.
Once you’ve gone to the spot and have made numerous trial-and-error discoveries about entering, exploring and exiting the point, you’ll also want to record your observations in a travel log.
After all, you never know when you’ll return, and having ample access to your more detailed recollections will come in handy down the road.
There’s a reason why the phrase “safety in numbers” exists, and if you have other divers in tow or even a guide who can help you on your inaugural trip to a new site, the better off you’ll be if trouble arises.
Utilize extra support for the first visit to a shore diving spot, and you’ll surely find that any subsequent summertime visits to your favorite area diving destinations are more or less a breeze.