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Thread: drift diving, shore diving, boat diving... I'm so confused!

  1. #1
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    drift diving, shore diving, boat diving... I'm so confused!

    In the thread regarding 'greyness' and diving something was mentioned about shore diving less when one gets older.

    Again, pardon my newbieness, but can someone elaborate on the differences in different kind of diving that would relate to age?? Or, the differences - in general! What to expect on a boat dive? What exactly IS a drift dive (and how do you get back to the boat?) Why is shore diving harder - or is it? Don't you just go out and back in? I would almost think it would be easier.

    See - I'd love to gain a better understanding of the different types, and what I should expect as I do them - and HOW to do them. This is stuff just not covered in OW class. Thanks, guys!
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    Shore diving involves exactly what it says - diving from the shore as your entry and exit point. You gear up on the beach (or at the car if beach not available) and walk the gear to the water. The walks obviously vary depending on the site but a longer walk with heavy gear on could be rougher on the smaller or older I suppose. Once your int the water its not that mch different then any other dive. Shore diving does involve basic navigation skills and you need to be a fairly good swimmer to battle any currents when coming back in. But it is the "cheapest" diving.

    Drift diving is a unique type of diving done off a boat. The DM/Guide or each buddy team will carry a line with a float at the surface. You simply "drift" the dive site with the current and the boat will follow the float on the surface. These require very little work if you have your buoyancy under control, as you can just glide with little to no swimming. As long as you're with the guy with the float - you're never lost

    Of course all of my explanations are brief overviews and by no means complete or all you need to know before diving these styles.

    I think an older person could do either if they really wanted to. My 70 something instructor does both on a regular basis. It's all up to the individual. I would say a drift dive is prety much the easiest, but all are doable!
    Last edited by NitroWill; 08-23-2007 at 14:02.

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    Any of these dives can be done at any age... as long as you are healthy.

    Shore diving means:

    You gear up next to the shore, walk into the water with your fins in your hand. Don your fins and start diving. When you finish, take off your fins (make sure to keep your reg in your mouth at all entries/exits) and walk onto te shore.

    It's only hard when you have big waves crashing in or you have a ton of gear, it's 90F + outside and you have to walk through 1/4 mile of sand to get to the shore.

    Boat diving means:

    You get on a boat with all of your gear, arrive at the site, don your gear, gaint stride/back roll into the water, dive and then get back into the boat.

    Drift diving means:

    You get on a boat with all of your gear, arrive at the site, don your gear, giant stride/back roll into the water, dive in a current and the boat follows your bubbles/float until the DM/whomever shots a bag up and the boat waits till people pop up and starts getting everyone aboard.

    Michael
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    I could see shore diving as being too strenuos for the elderly. First you have to walk your gear accross soft sand. Then after an hour or more of diving (usually <30 fsw) you have to walk back up onto the beach without letting the waves knock you "a$$ over tea kettle". I consider myself to be in good shape. I have had my butt handed to me by the sea as I tried to get myself back through the surf zone. Of course, this was during winter months when the East winds kick up some rough seas. Just my 2 cents. YMMV
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    Quote Originally Posted by NitroWill View Post

    Drift diving is a unique type of diving done off a boat.

    Though this is right most of the time, you can drift dive from shore. You've just got to be a lot more carefull.

    It's pretyt common to "drift" dive from one end of a jetty/channel entrance to the other end on a dive. It just might require a walk back down the channel beach at the end.

    like I said though you just have to be a little more carefull so you don't don't drift "too far".

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Misses View Post
    I could see shore diving as being too strenuos for the elderly. First you have to walk your gear accross soft sand. Then after an hour or more of diving (usually <30 fsw) you have to walk back up onto the beach without letting the waves knock you "a$$ over tea kettle". I consider myself to be in good shape. I have had my butt handed to me by the sea as I tried to get myself back through the surf zone. Of course, this was during winter months when the East winds kick up some rough seas. Just my 2 cents. YMMV
    Elderly?? Who said anything about being elderly?? I'm middle aged!

    Seriously, tho - thanks. I knew the basics (but thanks for the refresher, michael! ) But didn't know many details about the difference.

    I guess shore diving wouldn't be so bad as long as you don't have to cart equipment a long way, or have big waves. Are there good places (caribbean) to do good shore diving?
    If you can dream it, you can do it.

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    there is much less effort diving from the boat as opposed to shore diving when you are confronted with possible difficult entry and/or exit, lots of rocks. also, long surface swim. when boat diving, especially drift diving, you make minumal effort. the current does the job and the boat captain to pick you up later.

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    considering boat dives really arnt that expensive when i start diving most of my dives will be done off boats. Locally i have sucken ships and great diving off the coast of catalina and mexico and a half day charter to catalina through my LDS is only about 90 bucks a person so in my book it is very much worth doing a boat dive as it is less effort and you can make more than one dive typically 2-3 dives perday.

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    I recently had a fun drift dive in St Thomas, strong current but good boat knew exactly where to be when our air was out.

  10. #10
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    I am in myh 50s and I shore dive, boat dive, drift dive, wreck dive. The reference to age may refer to the shape someone is in before making those types of dives. The older one gets, fitness plays a bigger roll. I can attest to this from personal experience.
    RonC.

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