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Shore diving basically means diving from the shore rather than from a boat.  Some people consider shore diving to be a lower form of diving, but this is highly unfair. Some fantastic dive sites can be found just off the shores and there really is no need to take a boat if you have some fantastic diving opportunities right on your doorstep. 

Furthermore, shore diving can sometimes be very strenuous and challenging, so it is not as most people think just something for beginners to the diving world to take part in.

shore diving
Shore diving in Bonair

Things to Consider When Shore Diving

If you are thinking of going shore diving and have been misled into thinking it is a lower form of diving, think about the following points for a minute:

  • Your equipment may be slightly different, as it is highly likely that you will need to snorkel quite a distance before reaching the dive site.  Do make sure that you are a good snorkeler and that your snorkel is attached correctly (mask not knife strap).  You will also need to take a compass with you so you should know how to read it and how to use it to find your way back.
  • You need to be in good physical condition, as you will need to walk with your equipment to the shore, rather than just having it placed on the boat for you and diving in from there.  Again, because it is likely that you will have to snorkel for some distance before submerging, you will need to be fit and healthy.
  • You also need to think about cover, as you don’t have a boat to get back to.
  • You have to be very careful about where you enter and exit the water.  The surf on the beach can be treacherous and it is not uncommon for accidents to happen.
  • You need to be very aware of shore conditions, particularly tides and currents, as well as fishing nets.
  • Lastly, you need to be able to tow your buddy all the way back to shore in the event of an accident.
Clearly, not for the faint of heart then!

Shore Diving The Benefits

There are many benefits to shore diving, particularly for those who suffer from seasickness of course.  Also, there are simply some amazing sites out there for anybody interested in shore diving and they are located all over the world: from South Devon to the Caribbean.  There are also many shore dive locations that offer fantastic night diving opportunities.  On the other hand, visibility is often quite poor for shore dives but this really depends on when and where you dive.

Some Great Places for Shore Diving

Breakwater Beach in Brixham, South Devon is a great shore dive site.  It is safe and easy to dive, with the exception of occurrences when the wind is North, North East or East.  This is a great place for beginners at all other times though. 

Most people who have learned to dive in the United Kingdom will have been to Breakwater Beach.  There is little current, making it an easy and comfortable dive, and there are quite a number of things to see, such as scallops, pipefish, soles and crabs.  The car park facilities also make this an ideal site, as they are right next to the shore.

Of course, if you are interested in diving, you are most likely to want to see beautiful colors and fantastic displays of nature.  The Caribbean and particularly the Netherlands Antilles are great places for these types of shore dives. Curaçao, the largest of the Netherlands Antilles islands, is an awesome shore diving location. 

In fact, with the exception of diving on the East Point (which is private land) every dive will be a shore dive.  The waters are fantastic, the marine life is amazing and you don’t need to sail any distance for it.  Whether you are interested in muck diving, depth diving, wreck diving, reef diving or just a simple dive for pleasure, it is all available through any of the 52 beaches on Curaçao, all of them being shore dives.  Night dives in this area are just as amazing and are, once again, shore dives.

As you can see, shore diving is by no means a lower form of diving as it has some great possibilities for experienced and amateur divers alike, whether for training purposes or enjoyment.  And, quite simply put, it is a fantastic way for those who suffer from seasickness to finally be able to dive, rather than trying over and over again and continuously having to utilise the lessons they have learned about throwing up under water…

What are your thoughts about Shore Diving? Let us know in the comments below

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Blog written by: Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.

Photos courtesy of Neil M Cameron Chika

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