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While you may be familiar with terms like scuba diving and boat diving, only a few are aware of shore diving. Shore diving is an underrated form of diving. This may be due to some misconceptions that it’s not as exciting as other forms of diving.
But, shore diving is one of the most challenging forms of diving. It requires enough preparation and planning than boat diving. You’ll be surprised to learn that it’s one of the most rewarding forms of diving that you need to give a try.
However, you may be wondering what constitutes the shore and how it relates to diving. The shore is any land that borders a big wet area. The shore could be cliff-like, rocky, or sandy
Shore diving has lots of benefits like you don’t have to worry about seasickness or take long boat rides. You also have the freedom to dive into your schedule and explore various spectacular sites at your pace. If you’re on a budget, taking a shore dive is a cheap, yet convenient option.
Also, you have the flexibility and freedom to dive how and when you want. This is not the same for other forms of diving like scuba or boat diving.
Essentials When Shore Diving
- Rugged pair of dive boots with a non-slip, thick sole
- A compass
- A dry case
- Open-heel fins
- An SMB
- Warm wetsuit
- A BC with large pockets
Helpful Tips When Shore Diving
Shore diving sounds like an easy venture. Nonetheless, you need to prepare in advance like when going out on a scuba diving venture.
If you’re planning to go for a shore dive, here are some timely tips that will make it easier for you.
Check the Tide Tables
It’s critical to check the tide table for your area before going out for a shore dive. The oceans have changing tides. Sometimes you’ll have high tides, and on other days, you may have to deal with low tides.
There are several apps on Android and iOS that will give you this information in an instant. The tides and currents website is also a great source if you’re looking for tidal information in the Gulf coast of the US. The Pacific, East, West, or the Caribbean.
Practice at an Inland Location
If you’re a beginner, you might want to practice your shore skills. Quarries and lakes make a fantastic spot to practice walking and to gear up into the water.
Shore diving is different from boat diving as you don’t have the space of additional gear. When going for a shore dive, use your pocket only for the essentials. Your hands should be free during the entries if unexpected waves show up.
Take a Buddy with You
It’s essential to have a good dive buddy when going on a shore dive. You might need help to coordinate entry or when putting on your fins. A friend with good communication skills comes in handy when you need support.
Get to Know Your Entry and Exit Points
It’s easy to forget that it’s not apparent to land in a safe place. You may find interesting things to look at underwater, and this may cause you to lose track of time. Moreover, you could end up stranded due to strong currents. You need to know the entry and exit points before you get in the water. A dive sitemap is the best place to get this information. Remember to stick to the directions on the map.
Use a Dive Flag or Float
A dive flag is a necessary safety procedure. It signals that someone is underneath the surface. You can find the float or flag at a reasonable price.
The thrill and excitement might make you want to rush to the dive site. However, this only adds to your stress levels and can make you tired before you get in the water. What’s more, you might be susceptible to injuries. Take your time and assess the situation. This will make the entry as smooth as possible. Swim slowly without exerting too much pressure.
Swim Underwater When Getting Out
The simplest way to return to the beach is by swimming underwater. However, this may not always work especially when the surf is heavy. In such a case, kick with the waves until you get to the edge.
Remember to have enough air for your exit swim. Remove your fins only after you’ve exited the water. Log your dives if this was the final dive for the day save any researched information as it might come in handy for future dives.
Best Shore Dive Sites in the World
There are times when you don’t want to spend hours on a boat to get to the shipwrecks or the coral reefs. Shore diving is a fantastic alternative.
The best thing is that there are several places that you can go for a shore dive all over the world. Some of the favorites include Bonaire, Belize, The Cayman Islands, and Curacao.
Bonaire Divers Guide
Bonaire is not only famous for its beauty, but it’s an excellent shore dive site, and this is for a reason. The island has sloping reefs surrounding its shores, and you can have a peak of the submerged mountain. Also, the beaches have several markers, which indicates a place where you can walk off into the water and see some corals.
There are lots of Bonaire shore diving sites to choose from. You’re likely to get better rates during the summer months. Before diving in the Marine Park, you need to complete a checkout dive. This is to determine your skill level.
Bonaire shore diving allows you to choose your dive site, pick a departure time, plan your dive profile, gear up, dive, and repeat. You don’t have to deal with long wait hours, going back to a dive site that was boring, or dealing with a diver who blows through their air.
If this is your first time visiting Bonaire, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the area. You can find a variety of accommodation options from resorts to luxury hotels and simple homestays. The Dutch Caribbean experience will leave you nostalgic for years to come.
Here are some amazing tips that will come in handy.
Plan the Dive
While this may sound obvious, it’s an essential point that will help you enjoy your dive. Remember that you’re responsible for you and your companion while doing Bonaire shore diving. It’s essential to talk over your dive signals and plan before getting into the water. Stick to the plan to avoid confusion later on.
Rent a Pickup
A pickup is an excellent vehicle as it’s spacious and can handle the terrain. What’s more, you can use the tailgate when changing your scuba gear. You can use the back as a storage for your gear and tanks without worrying about getting the car wet.
Bring Some Cold Water
No one wants to drink hot water after a dive. You can freeze some bottles of water and leave them in the back as you go on your dive. By the time you’re back, the water is melted and nice to drink. A cheap cooler is a great investment, and you can keep it in your backseat.
Leave Your Valuables Home
Bonaire has had cases of theft. Do not carry anything that you would mind losing. It’s advisable to keep your windows down, and doors unlocked unless it’s raining. This will help you avoid dealing with cases of broken windows.
Do not forget the Marine Park Tag
You need to have a Bonaire marine park tag and attach it to your BC. It should be on every dive. This lets the officials know that you’re there for the dive.
Shore Diving in Grand Cayman
If you’re up for an adventure in the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman shore diving is one of the best places you’d want to try out. Towering canyons, precipitous walls, and reefs laced with swim-through are what characterizes the Grand Cayman topography.
With different diving sites, you’re guaranteed to have an awesome experience on this island.
Some of the best sites include the Sunset house reef, Wreck of the Cali, Turtle Reef, Smith Cove, and Eden Rock. Furthermore, there are great dive operators in Grand Cayman. There are people to guide you on ways to rent high-quality gear or show you’re the ropes for your shore diving Grand Cayman excursion.
Certain pointers will help you have the best dive ever in this beautiful island. First, you need to ensure that all your gear is locked down. Also, take a look at the shore dive site map. This will help you familiarize with the surroundings. In a case where you’re faced with large waves, keep your body as low as possible.
Shore diving allows you to be the dive master and the boat captain. You have the freedom to plan the underwater route and schedule in everything as you wish. The above tips will help you enjoy your shore diving experience.