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  • Writer's pictureGreg Kreger

Midwest Dive Season

With the 1st day of spring behind us now, we are moving forward towards summer and Haigh Quarry. As we complete the confined portion of the certification in the pool, we start thinking about the sandy shores of Kankakee's Haigh Quarry. The local pros know the early part and the latter part (October) tend to be a bit more chilly as the air is cooler and the water is warmer then the air.

We talk colder water and 7mm wetsuits compared to the tropics but we rarely see temps lower then 65 degrees in the shallows during certification. We actually see water in the 70's at high summer which gives relief for most not having to wear hoods or gloves that can make the class a bit less dexterous. If the students want a chill then we can take them to the south part of the quarry for a quick viewing of one of the many vehicles sunk for diver viewing. There you will need your hood at the least.

Those of us that teach locally like to discuss the advantages of certification near home. As a no brainer, get the class done and save your money for the fun dives rather then paying for a class.

For those of you that don't dive you may not understand neutral buoyancy. When we teach in the pools our depth and the pressure on our bodies and gear is very limited. Once in the open water students get a feel for the need and practice of becoming neutral that will keep us from dragging our fins on a reef or keeping us in one place when diving in blue water water with no visible bottom.

Shore diving forces the students to manage their own gear with their buddies so there is no reliance on a divemaster or deckhand. Instructors and divemasters are readily available to assist on the beach but it forces the students to learn and be reliant on their buddies.

Being a diver born and taught in the chilly Midwest waters I will always recommend learning in the colder waters with lower visibility. That is how to toughen up a diver and teach them to flourish in all environments.

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