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View Full Version : Aquarena Center - Diving for Science - Who's done it?



Defman
10-03-2007, 13:58
Signed up for the Oct. 13th class. What can I expect?

JipThePeople
10-06-2007, 01:19
I am interested as well. If you have done the Diving for Science gig, give us details!

tbuckalew
10-06-2007, 10:15
I sent info on this to my wife and daughter. Sounded pretty interesting since you had to go through their science orientation and training to dive there. Sounds like the vis is good, not alot of students, and something a bit different.

Defman
10-13-2007, 18:58
Signed up for the Oct. 13th class. What can I expect?


I'll answer my own post. This is just one person's opinion and is pretty much completely worthless.

It was boring, I just wasted $225 plus gas.. Sorry, I have a short attention span and you gotta keep me entertained. When I look back on all of the places I really have zero desire to go back to 6 outta 7 are fresh water, and I've only dove 6 fresh water locations. I never really realized why I didn't like them, mostly due to never thinking about it, but I think it was because they were boring.

So there you have it, salt water only for me from now on... check the gear for sale thread for a pair of tanks since I won't ever need them again!


EDIT 10-15-07
After some thought I realize that my post isn't of any help to someone wondering what the lake & program are like, sorry about that. What bores me is that in fresh water everything is some shade of brown or green. I'm not dogging the place, if you like fresh water diving, I'm sure you'll have a great time.

The lake is all they claim it to be, very clear and about 71 degrees. Lots of plants & fish.

The course is pretty simple really, it's not a big deal.
Saturday AM: Saturday starts off around 8:00 with classroom stuff for about 2 hours, maybe less. You learn about the Edwards Aquifer, how it happened, how it works, how it's pretty much at capacity. If you pay attention the test is a breeze, I didn't bother with taking notes and got all 20 questions right. Then you get on a glass bottom boat and go for a tour. You get a small history on the lake and lecture about the archeology of the lake, and the laws that pertain to it. We took the 2nd test on the boat, and again if you just pay attention you'll pass the test with ease. Last is a tour of the endangered species exhibit and you learn about the endangered species in the lake, what they look like, where they live, etc.. You take the third test and break for lunch.

Saturday PM: Come back from lunch and meet with the dive instructor to go over the dive briefing. Gather up your gear and get ready for the skill assessment dive in the training area. The skills dive is fairly easy and they really just seem to be making sure you're not an idiot. If you have good dive skills, you'll be fine. Basically you'll swim thru three rings of varying depth, doesn't have to be perfect. Then you'll hover over two concrete shells, again it doesn't have to be perfect. Then swim under a grate that is about 4 feet off the bottom. Last we used a lift bag to move an anchor around. All easy stuff and doesn't have to be perfect, they want to make sure you're not going to wreck the place!

At this point I left, so I don't know exactly what happened after that but as I understand it the Saturday late dive is a tour of the lake. It wasn't going to be dark when we did it, so it wouldn't be a "night dive". Not sure what was on deck for Sunday, I think a little more class stuff and another tour dive.

ScubaSteve
10-18-2007, 21:53
Signed up for the Oct. 13th class. What can I expect?


I'll answer my own post. This is just one person's opinion and is pretty much completely worthless.

It was boring, I just wasted $225 plus gas.. Sorry, I have a short attention span and you gotta keep me entertained. When I look back on all of the places I really have zero desire to go back to 6 outta 7 are fresh water, and I've only dove 6 fresh water locations. I never really realized why I didn't like them, mostly due to never thinking about it, but I think it was because they were boring.

So there you have it, salt water only for me from now on... check the gear for sale thread for a pair of tanks since I won't ever need them again!


EDIT 10-15-07
After some thought I realize that my post isn't of any help to someone wondering what the lake & program are like, sorry about that. What bores me is that in fresh water everything is some shade of brown or green. I'm not dogging the place, if you like fresh water diving, I'm sure you'll have a great time.

The lake is all they claim it to be, very clear and about 71 degrees. Lots of plants & fish.

The course is pretty simple really, it's not a big deal.
Saturday AM: Saturday starts off around 8:00 with classroom stuff for about 2 hours, maybe less. You learn about the Edwards Aquifer, how it happened, how it works, how it's pretty much at capacity. If you pay attention the test is a breeze, I didn't bother with taking notes and got all 20 questions right. Then you get on a glass bottom boat and go for a tour. You get a small history on the lake and lecture about the archeology of the lake, and the laws that pertain to it. We took the 2nd test on the boat, and again if you just pay attention you'll pass the test with ease. Last is a tour of the endangered species exhibit and you learn about the endangered species in the lake, what they look like, where they live, etc.. You take the third test and break for lunch.

Saturday PM: Come back from lunch and meet with the dive instructor to go over the dive briefing. Gather up your gear and get ready for the skill assessment dive in the training area. The skills dive is fairly easy and they really just seem to be making sure you're not an idiot. If you have good dive skills, you'll be fine. Basically you'll swim thru three rings of varying depth, doesn't have to be perfect. Then you'll hover over two concrete shells, again it doesn't have to be perfect. Then swim under a grate that is about 4 feet off the bottom. Last we used a lift bag to move an anchor around. All easy stuff and doesn't have to be perfect, they want to make sure you're not going to wreck the place!

At this point I left, so I don't know exactly what happened after that but as I understand it the Saturday late dive is a tour of the lake. It wasn't going to be dark when we did it, so it wouldn't be a "night dive". Not sure what was on deck for Sunday, I think a little more class stuff and another tour dive.


Gee, think I'll move back to TX. Sounds like I missed a good one...
Sounds like a good :hump9:

peteg
10-18-2007, 22:52
Defman...sorry you didn't get a lot out of it. I hope to check it out someday. I am pretty interested in science-related diving. Any other programs like this?

Foo2
10-19-2007, 10:15
I haven't taken the course but I want to really bad. My parents have both taken it and they love to go and dive there. As Texans, it's the closest thing we can get to blue water, short of a plane ride or a liveaboard. I did get to go on the glass bottom boat tour earlier this month. I'm surprised that the tour alone didn't make you want to explore around there. It's not a huge area that you actually get to dive in, but it is beautiful and I know that there is much more under there than what I could see from the boat. Just my 2 psi. :) Plus, once you take the course, you get to dive for free and use free air.

ReefHound
10-19-2007, 11:24
Steve, that's rather harsh. We can't all live in Florida and your local diving sure beats ours. I know, I make 3 or 4 trips per year to hit the Destin jetties or Navarre pier or the nearby springs.

But defman's "review" was more a reflection of his personal diving preferences and stimulation needs than of the quality of the course or diving at Aquarena. He basically completed the boring part and quit just before the fun part. All that was left was the Saturday evening fun dive and the Sunday morning "work" dive where they show you how to clear algae and stuff.

Aquarena is by far the clearest water in Texas and lots of interesting fish. Ever see a gar? And when the springs are bubbling strong it looks like boiling oatmeal. I guess some people might find it boring. Some might find swimming on a pile of rocks with lots of little fish boring, too. It's all in the eye of the individual diver.

cyclone
10-26-2007, 17:28
Sucks!!! No more reacreational dives?:smiley11:

Defman
10-26-2007, 19:19
Sucks!!! No more reacreational dives?:smiley11:

Like Reefhound said in the other post, the "work" is usually quick and painless from all I gathered. Just call ahead (it's all covered in the class) and they'll probably have something for you to do. Sometimes it might be cleaning algae off the bottom of the boat :smiley21:, or it might getting a water sample from a spring :smiley20:. It's the price you pay to dive for free :smiley2:.