Scuba Diving in the USA: Where to Go, What to See, What to Wear

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Scuba diving

Experience the thrill of diving in the USA.

Scuba diving is a fantastic way to see the world underwater. It’s also a lot of fun. However, scuba diving requires a certain level of fitness and preparation. If you’re new to scuba diving, there are several things you should consider before heading out into the water.

What is Scuba Diving?

The word “scuba” comes from two words; self-contained breathing apparatus. Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus s were first introduced on World War II aircraft carriers with 40 or 50 men aboard.

The SCBAs allowed these sailors to breathe while submerged undersea for long periods without resurfacing. This was a big step forward since they had no air tanks to worry about and could dive more profound than anyone else at that time. In the 1950s, recreational divers started using them by attaching rebreathers to their gear when surfacing after dives. These early devices did not allow enough oxygen so that they would surface too soon, but they paved the way for modern-day open circuit equipment like those used today.

Where To Dive In America?

There are many great places To explore around the United States.

The Caribbean has some beautiful islands, such as Puerto Rico and Jamaica. Many people choose this area because it offers warm waters and crystal clear blue seas. Most of the island nations have good visibility. Some of the best reefs can be found here. You’ll nd coral gardens, shipwrecks, caves, tunnels, caverns, and more. The Bahamas offer similar conditions. They are located just south of Florida and Cuba. Their waters are very calm, making them perfect for beginners who want to learn how to swim.

California offers incredible opportunities for both beginning and experienced divers. San Diego provides excellent visibility year-round due to its location along the Pacific Ocean. Its coastal mountains protect from storms during the winter months. Southern California is home to Catalina Island, which attracts thousands of visitors each year. It boasts one of the largest collections of marine life anywhere in the world.

Florida is another popular place to visit. Clearwater Beach is known worldwide as being one of the top spots for snorkeling. Other areas include Key West, St Petersburg, Tampa Bay, and others. All of these locations boast gorgeous beaches, clean waters, and plenty of sh.

Divers will enjoy exploring Alaska. Anchorage is considered to be the gateway to the state. Here you’ll find lots of activities including shing, hiking, sightseeing and much more. Outside of town, you’ll discover glaciers, fjords, mountain ranges, and wildlife galore!

If you’d rather stay closer to home, then look up your local charter boat company. There are hundreds of boats available throughout North America. Chartering allows you to go where other tourists cannot.

For example, if you don’t feel comfortable swimming alone offshore, a charter boat might take you right next door.

How Much Does A Diver Need To Know Before Going On Vacation?

You need to know what type of diver you are before going on vacation. Beginners usually start with Open Circuit Equipment. OCE uses only ambient pressure to keep you alive. As you gain experience, you may move onto Closed Circuits Systems which use compressed gas instead of air. CCS systems require training and certification. Once certified, most divers prefer to travel with CCS. Experienced divers often carry Nitrox mixes which add extra oxygen to the mix.

When planning a trip, make sure you research all safety regulations. Each country has different rules regarding diving. Make sure you understand any restrictions before traveling. Also, check weather reports before leaving. Don’t plan a trip during hurricane season unless you live near a coastline. And always remember to tell someone where you’re headed. That person can call emergency services if something happens to you.

In addition to knowing basic safety precautions, you must also prepare yourself physically. Your body needs to be t and healthy to perform tasks below sea level safely. Proper nutrition helps maintain muscle mass which makes you stronger.

Scuba diving
Scuba diving on the “City of Washington” shipwreck, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

What are the types of dives? Site Seen in Scuba Diving?

There are two main categories of dive sites – shallow water and deep water. Shallow water includes depths between 10-50 feet, while deep water extends past 50 feet. The deeper, the better because it’s warmer at depth. Many people choose to explore wrecks or shipwrecks. These sunken vessels offer an abundance of aquatic creatures such as eels, octopi, and lobsters. They also contain beautiful coral reefs and colorful underwater landscapes.

Deep Water Sites

The best places to see marine life are found along continental shelves. These areas extend from 200meters to over 4000 meters undersea. Most of this area lies beyond the range of commercial ships, so they provide excellent opportunities for exploration. Marine animals like sharks, rays, turtles, dolphins, whales and many reef fish thrive here.

Shark Encounters

One activity that attracts thousands of visitors each year is shark encounters. This involves getting into small groups and being taken out by trained scuba instructors who have been specially trained to handle these dangerous predators. If you want to get close enough to touch one, you should wear full protective gear. You could even hold them. But please do not feed them. Sharks eat their kind when hungry. Providing them encourages aggressive behavior.

Reefs & Coral Reefs

Coral reefs cover less than 1% of our planet’s surface. Yet, scientists estimate there are about 30million square miles of living coral reefs around the world.

Coral reefs grow slowly but steadily due to the symbiotic relationship between corals and algae called zooxanthellae. Corals produce calcium carbonate skeletons that form reefs. In return, the algae photosynthesize food for the coral polyps. When conditions become too warm, overcrowded, polluted, or acidic, the coral dies off and leaves bare rock.

If you visit a coral reef, look closely at the rocks. Some will appear smooth, others jagged. These differences indicate how old the reef is. A reef grows up quickly after volcanic eruptions; however, older reefs take longer to develop. For example, some volcanoes erupt every few thousand years.

If you nd a dead coral on your travels, don’t worry! It doesn’t mean the entire reef is dying. There maybe a single colony affected. As long as other territories remain nearby, the whole ecosystem remains stable.

Underwater Landscapes

Some of the most spectacular scenery occurs beneath the waves. Underwater landscapes include caves, tunnels, arches, pinnacles, caverns, chimneys, valleys, ridges, cliffs, plateaus, and mountains.

Pinnacle Islands

These islands protrude above the ocean floor. Pinnacles often rise vertically from the seabed. Their steep sides create unique environments with diverse ecosystems.

Ridges

A ridge forms where sediments build up on top of existing structures. Over time, layers of sediment harden until they resemble hills. Ridges can reach heights of hundreds of feet. However, only rarely does land meet sea level. Instead, the tops of the peaks oat freely above the sea floor.

Valleys

When large amounts of sand accumulate near shorelines, it creates a valley. Valleys usually occur in coastal regions. Sand gets naturally during storms and then drifts away once the wind stops blowing.

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