Landlocked Scuba Diving in the United States
If you fantasize about learning to scuba dive but the coast is miles away, it doesn't mean you should give up on your dream. In fact, wherever we are in the world, there is usually a diving location much nearer than we think.
Recently, we caught up with a couple of passionate scuba divers who both learned to dive far from the ocean—although, of course, their efforts did ultimately land them exactly where they wanted to be in the end, exploring the deeps of the sea!
We were fascinated to find out that they'd learned to dive in Las Vegas and Fort Wayne. These are certainly not locations that most would associate with scuba diving! However, a little digging revealed that there are amazing resources available to those who want to take their first steps towards open water diving, even when landlocked.
Getting started in your local dive center is excellent preparation for a future spent traveling to amazing diving locations all around the globe. Scuba is also a relatively expensive hobby, making it useful to begin the process of learning close to home before starting to save up for adventure elsewhere!
To inspire you, today we're going to look at scuba diving Las Vegas and scuba diving Fort Wayne. From there, we encourage you to find your nearest diving school so that you can begin the journey toward discovering underwater worlds.
Scuba Diving Las Vegas
Everyone associates the city of Las Vegas with glitzy lights, gambling, and glamor, but few would imagine that it's a destination where PADI scuba diving qualifications can be obtained.
In fact, there are several dive schools within a stone's throw of the strip, with one even named Sin City Scuba, which couldn't be a cooler way to interpret scuba diving Las Vegas style. This particular dive center is worth placing on your bucket list as they're proud recipients of a PADI Green Star™ Dive Center Award.
What does this mean? Well, it recognizes their dedication to eco-friendly choices and conservation practices throughout their business operations.
If you are keen to get your Open Water Diver certification—a globally recognized dive license that will open the door to scuba diving adventures everywhere—you can do this in Las Vegas too.
Sin City Scuba and their fellow dive centers are able to offer this PADI course. That's because there is indeed a great location nearby where trainee divers can rack up the necessary open water diving experiences to qualify!
When leaving the confines of a swimming pool, groups are taken out to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which includes Lake Mead and Lake Mohave.
And if you imagine that diving in a freshwater lake couldn't be as exciting as diving in the ocean, think again. Divers can meet a diversity of different fish types here, experience drift diving near the Hoover Dam, and explore a range of submerged environments at different depths—both natural and man-made—that cater to novices and advanced divers alike.
However, there are even more thrilling things waiting beneath the waves for those who have reached an advanced enough level to check them out.
The thing that makes Lake Mead so famous within the scuba diving Las Vegas community is the presence of a crashed B-29 Superfortress airplane. Resting at around 115 feet depth, the sizable airplane was rediscovered in 2001, and in 2007 the National Park Service set up a buoy-mounted down line and crossover line that divers can follow to reach the airplane.
There are other interesting sites such as a flooded factory and even another airplane to locate in the lake's depths, too, so the possibilities are pretty diverse!
In terms of water temperature, Lake Mead swings widely over the year between 50.4°F (10.2°C) and 90.1°F (32.3°C), with temperatures peaking in August.
It's always wise to confirm water temperatures and speak to your diving instructor about the best thickness of wetsuit for scuba diving Las Vegas trips, or whether hiring a drysuit would be better.
Scuba Diving Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne in Indiana is another location that most would never associate with scuba diving. However, when some divers decided to convert a local former Navy testing facility into a dive center called Deep Blue Divers, it changed everything!
This fun location boasts two 25-foot-deep round pools, aka diving wells, that are maintained at 82 and 86 degrees—creating a fantastic artificial environment for learning to scuba dive.
This scuba diving Fort Wayne destination also stocks and services the full spectrum of dive gear, serving as an excellent resource for locally-based divers, wherever their next destined expedition may carry them.
The center offers PADI and SSI courses and certifications, as well as planning and providing dive trips to exciting locations around the world for a range of different budgets and skill sets.
Once again, one might well wonder where those learning scuba diving in Fort Wayne might go to get their open water experience. As luck would have it, the Great Lakes are only a car ride away, and they certainly have plenty to offer the underwater explorer.
Long ago, the Great Lakes served as America's busiest water-borne highway for ships filled with passengers, coal, lumber, and other precious cargo. These vast bodies of water are periodically subject to storms, and over the years many a ship sank beneath the waves. In fact, the deeps of the Great Lakes are the final resting place of thousands of lost vessels that are now safeguarded by the Michigan Underwater Preserve System—which ensures that not so much as a trinket is ever stolen from the wreck sites.
Shipwrecks in the Great Lakes serve as nature-claimed time capsules, granting investigating divers fascinating insight into the region's history. Some wrecks can be seen via glass-bottom boat tours and snorkeling expeditions, while others are the exclusive domain of the scuba diver.
For those heading out from Fort Wayne scuba diving centers, Lake Michigan and Lake Erie offer up a veritable treasure trove of interesting dive sites. With Great Lakes water temperatures varying between 35.6ºF (1.4ºC) in February and 72.6ºF (19.4ºC) in August, this is certainly a location where a 7mm wetsuit or drysuit will be needed.
Your Destiny Awaits in the Ocean!
As you can see, learning to scuba dive when landlocked is always a possibility.
The United States—as with other international locations—has its fair share of freshwater dive sites that make getting your diving certifications easy.
From there, journeys to any number of the world's most exciting scuba diving locations await. Wherever you plan to go in the long run, be sure to check the water temperature for free before you leave, and pack your gear accordingly!
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