SCUBA diving, local?

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ElZorro
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SCUBA diving, local?

Post by ElZorro » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:26 pm

Someone asked me about local diving locations. Couple options:

Lake Rawlings, Rawlings VA - 150 miles from Beltway/Springfield. Decent size quarry, relatively easy in/out. Lots of local dive schools go here. Is an old quarry and can get stirred up with weather and crowds. Camping onsite and nearby hotel. Recommend getting there Friday night, camping and getting in the water early Saturday morning before the dive schools are allowed in. You can get 4-5 dives in Saturday (with a night dive) and another one or two Sunday.

Guppy Gulch, Delta PA - 70 miles from Beltway/College Park. Decent sized quarry. Was nice and quiet in 2005 (haven't been since). Can be very cold, the quarry is spring fed, steep sides and well shaded. Camping on site or nearby hotels.

Lake Millbrook, Haymarket VA - 30 miles from Beltway/Vienna. I haven't been, but I've heard it is extremely busy (proximity to DC and local dive school use) and gets stirred up and muddy quick. Limited schedule.

Virginia Beach is also not too far away, and has a number of dive locations and dive outfits. I dove with Lynnhave Dive Center back in 2004 and they did a pretty good job.

If someone was looking to just blow some bubbles and hang out with some cool peeps, I'd recommend checking out SK Divers. Scott does Lets Go Diving specials, for certified divers, and can provide all of the gear. Scott is squared away, not a fly by night dive instructor - I've done three certifications with Scott, and brought a girlfriend and her son to him for training. Looks like his website is out of date, but drop him an email and he'll answer pretty quick.
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Katya4me
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Re: SCUBA diving, local?

Post by Katya4me » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:12 am

Here are a few more to add to the list:

In Maryland, Hyde Quarry is in Westminister, MD. Brass Anchor Scuba Center uses that quarry for checkouts. I've never been to that quarry but the folks at Brass Anchor can give you some information. Here is Brass Anchor's "where to dive locally" page: http://brassanchor.com/divewher.htm

In Pennsylvania, there is Willow Springs Park. I did my checkout at Willow Springs in May and it is cold as it is spring fed and the visibility is not ideal. There are multiple entry points though and there is shade and camping facilities. The entire quarry isn't that deep either, averaging 40 feet in depth so can be good for a novice.

A bit closer is Bainbridge Sportsman's Club near Harrisburg.

Further away is Dutch Springs. The visibility at Dutch is much clearer, but the water is colder (although at this time of year it probably won't be that bad).

I have not been here yet but a dive instructor provided this information: In West Virginia there is Mount Storm (http://www.deepwater.org/asa/scuba/mt-storm.html). The lake is used to cool a power plant so the water is downright tropical in the summer. It is an interesting place to dive, but I would not suggest going here for now as the lake is at altitude (3400 foot elevation) so you will need to get trained for altitude diving. Also, getting help in the event of a dive-related accident is tough to come by over there (cell phones barely work at the dive site). You must have a thorough emergency plan before getting in the water. If you want to dive there I suggest getting altitude diver training with one of the local dive shops.

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ElZorro
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Re: SCUBA diving, local?

Post by ElZorro » Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:20 pm

I've always wanted to dive Mount Storm in the morning and ski in the afternoon. :) The water is ice-free (but still cold) in the winter.
Jason "El Zorro" Fox
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