When you are going diving there are really only two ways to go. Shore or boat. Actually I can’t think of any other way to do it. If there is a third way please let me know. (I am willing to bet that a certain friend will mention helicopter – but he’s just being pedantic and he knows it.)
I really like shore diving. When I was in Malta it was one of the main ways to go diving. There are lots of shore dives there. My favourite ones being the Um El- Faroud and the the Blue Hole on Gozo.
However there aren’t that many shore dives on New Providence and this has been a little frustrating for me because it means that to do any diving I require a boat. Something i do not own and it’s an expense that I wouldn’t have if I was shore diving. It also means that I cannot be truly independent as an instructor as I have to use a dive shop that has a boat.
So what do I like about shore diving?
Normally there is the a lot of space to organise yourself before going on a dive. If you are setting up your kit on a boat it can be quite a challenge especially if there are lots of people on the boat or if it is a small boat. This means it is easy for your kit to get mixed in with someone else’s, so having more space is definitely a bonus.
The ground is solid and it doesn’t move. On a boat it is constantly moving. This can make people sea sick, it can make it hard to move around and items of kit don’t always stay in the same place. If you have a bothersome piece of kit that needs to be repaired, you repair efforts are not hampered by the motion of the ocean.
Certain weather conditions make boat diving perilous. Having a shore based location to dive from means that you don’t need to head out into the bad weather – as long as the entry points are safe to use. It also leads on from the previous attribute – surface intervals can be spent without feeling sea sick.
I mentioned this briefly before. If you are shore diving you don’t need to have a captain, you don’t need to worry about a boat, you don’t need crew. You can just get in your car, drive to the site and then hop in. However, you may wish to have surface cover.
There is very little chance that when you return to shore that it has gone. A boat can sink, engines can fail and that means that you are stuck in the open without a means of returning to shore. This is another risk factor involved when diving from a boat. Boat dives can also take you a long way from civilisation making it more risky if a life threatening situation was to arise more so than if you were in shore (of course some shore dives are in hard to reach places too).
What don’t I like about shore diving?
Location of entry
Some sites require a long walk, with kit that can be difficult. Some divers cannot manage it in one go and that means several walks from when you have parked to where you enter. On a boat it puts you right at the site and you can just drop right down. It might also entail a long surface swim.
Choice of dive sites
Your choice of dive sites can be limited if you shore dive. In Malta there are plenty. In Nassau, not so many. In fact there is only really one.
Leaving your car parked with all your valuable personal belongings in it is an open invitation. Though taking them on a boat does risk them getting wet. Dive operators in Malta would routinely state that no valuable should be left in their vehicles because of the petty crime that takes place. Definitely good advice.