Looking for some primo shore diving along the Oregon Coast? Check out Passages of the Deep at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, located in the town of Newport on the edge of Yaquina Bay. Thanks to their new Guest Diving Program, visitors can now immerse themselves in an unforgettable adventure, diving with sharks, bat rays, halibut, schools of Pacific mackerel and hundreds of other fish. The half-day itinerary includes a pre-dive safety and fish identification session in the tunnels of Passages of the Deep, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Passages dive platform, and two guided dives. The program is $139 for members ($149 non-members) and includes cylinders, weights and aquarium admission following the program.
The dives include a guided tour of the aquarium’s 26 feet deep Halibut Flats exhibit inhabited by big rockfish, halibut, sturgeon and ling cod; and then a dive on the 10 feet deep observation ledge of the Open Sea exhibit with hundreds of sharks, mackerel, schooling fish and bat rays swimming past. The stars of this show are always the majestic Broadnose sevengill sharks.
Regular Guest Diving Programs are for certified divers age 12 and older and are scheduled monthly, but it’s possible to schedule private and semi-private programs and special sessions such as underwater photography or scuba refresher
experiences. These “deluxe” programs provide a more intimate experience and additional opportunities such as observing or
participating in feeding fish in Halibut Flats, or descending past the observation ledge to the bottom of Open Sea and circumnavigating the exhibit with the sharks.
Not a certified diver yet? Don’t worry, you can still get wet. Ask about scheduling a swim experience. No prior training is necessary. Certified guides will showyou the way. Glide over the surface at the top of Halibut Flats for a remarkable view of the shipwreck, the tunnel and of course the fish. Wave to friends and family in the tunnel and commune with hundreds of fish swimming below you.
To book a dive, go to www.divetheaquarium.org. For more information or to enquire about pricing on swim or deluxe programs, email Diana.email@example.com or contact the program’s booking agent at Eugene Skin Divers Supply (541) 342-2351.