You're the boat captain and divemaster when shore diving. You make the schedule and plan the underwater route. But beach entries and exits can be a bit tricky. Here's five diving tips for making effortless entries and exits from shore.
5 Diving Tips for Beach Entries and Exits
1. Evaluate the site. Get as much information about the dive site as you can. Consult guidebooks, maps and charts, and try to get tips and a dive site briefing from local divers.
2. Avoid dangerous areas. Be aware of underwater debris, rocks or other objects as you navigate through the surf zone. Due to the movement of the water and the limited visibility, these areas should be avoided.
3. Gear Up. Wearing everything but your fins, simply wade out into the water--watching that you don't step on anything sharp--until you're about chest deep. With your BC inflated and your mask and reg in place, put on your fins.
4. Note a Visual Reference Point. Look back to shore; you'll want a reliable visual reference to help guide you back to your entry point when you surface.
5. Make the Exit. Except in cases of extremely heavy surf, most divers will find it easiest to make their return trip through the surf zone underwater. Get negatively buoyant, swim toward the beach with the waves. If you can, swim underwater all the way to the edge of the beach. Sometimes, the most effective method for exiting the water is on your hands and knees. Crawl onto the beach and take your fins off on dry land before standing up and heading for the showers to wash off all that sand.
For diving tips on making more difficult entries and exits, go to Beach Diving Made Easy.