Segment 1 - California - various dates

Northern California - Where I was certified after years of abalone free-diving. Monterey, Sonoma, and Mendocino cold water diving was my intro.

Southern California - The Channel Islands provided live-aboard experience and best of all - lobster diving. Further south, I found blue shark diving - at night.

Segment 2 - Florida - various dates
Key Largo, South Florida - The Keys are the place to go for the easiest tropical diving in the US. Clear water, great reefs, and great wrecks - the Duane and the Bibb. Northern Florida - Florida can't be left without mention of the great cavern and cave diving in the Florida Springs. We dived Ginnie, Paradise, Devil's Den, Peacock, Blue Grotto, and others in a great dive safari. Also swam with manatees in Crystal River. Got certifications at Ginnie Springs.
Segment 3 - Hawaii - various dates
Hawaii - Kona - After diving Maui, Kona became my favorite spot on these islands. Swim throughs, whales, sea turtles, clear water and best of all - night manta dives!
Segment 4 - DEMA in Vegas - January 17 - 21
Nevada - Lake Mead/ Hoover Dam - The business of DEMA was nicely broken with a 90' dive to the concrete plant that help build Hoover Dam. "Hills" around the plant are now sunken islands with sunken bushes - very strange indeed. Warm jackets and soup provided by Drew.
Arizona - Colorado River - Very cool run up the Colorado River from Willow Beach, Arizona. Then, you drift dive the rapids back - underwater! Lots of fish to barge in on and I managed to retrieve a bowling ball in a hole 30' deep - in the middle of the Arizona desert! Was a Vegas mobster once attached to it?
Segment 5 -The Kentucky Loop - April 19 - 26
Arkansas, Norfork Lake - Pretty lake dammed and flooded in 1945, ten years after the government built a big new bridge that is now a 60' deep dive site! Radio seek-button brought me six Christian/ Baptist stations in a row. 45 mph winds blew all day. In fact, they were so strong, I decided to become a Baptist.
Missouri, Bonne Terre Mines - Great dive site. Huge underground flooded caverns and mining tunnels, mostly all lit. 100' visibility too. Nothing like riding the rails in an old mine shaft without any wheels!
Illinois, Mermet Springs - Thermocline hit 46 - best test of drysuit so far inside a sunken 727 plane! (The one used in "US Marshals") Stayed in Metropolis, Superman's hometown - they even have a huge statue of him in the town square. Every town should have a hero. The underwater Superman phone booth is a nice photo op.
Kentucky, Cerulean Spring - Nice Easter dive. Found another bowling ball (first in the Colorado River). Pretty good vis in this scenic Kentucky quarry.
Tennessee , Dale Hollow Lake - Pouring rain before and after dive. Very remote lake in "Deliverance" country - didn't here any squealing pigs. Getting tired of country music.
Segment 6 - The Gulf - April 27-May 3
Mississippi, Oil Rigs, Gulf of Mexico - Excellent second dive on a rig 72 miles out. 100' visibility, lots of barracuda, tropicals and incredible visuals. Very nice dive operation too.
Louisiana, Oil Rigs, Gulf of Mexico - Took three hours to get out to these rigs but still couldn't escape the mighty Mississippi River on this day. 2' vis on three rigs, but managed to salvage an almost new fishing pole and spinning reel that was hooked to a piling twenty feet down. New Orleans great fun.
Alabama, Wrecks, etc. Gulf of Mexico - Almost didn't get out here since winds picked up with big seas. Dived two wrecks and salvaged a nice anchor at 98'. Nice diving off Alabama because you1re so far from the Mississippi River.
Segment 7 - South/ Central Atlantic - May 22 - June 6
Georgia - Offshore wreck - Mother Nature almost canceled this dive, but we persevered for a warm water, decent vis dive eight miles off the coast. Still early in the season here, but must be really nice in summer on the better wrecks.
South Carolina - Cooper River - They call it black water diving and I loved it. 12" vis, 28' depth, dark as night and plenty of 7 million year old shark teeth to grab at the bottom. A very distinctive and rewarding dive indeed.
North Carolina - Wrecks and Sand Tigers - Outstanding warm water wreck diving off Morehead City. 3mm suit and 75' vis made this is a spectacular place to dive. Thank you Gulf Stream!
Virginia - More great wrecks, different current - This is cold water diving but still spectacular. Great dive shop, great operation and lots of fun divers on this trip. The wrecks were pretty cool too.
West Virginia - Mt. Storm Lake - Since this reservoir is the cooling source for a major power plant, the water is quite warm and enjoyable to dive. I must have been "glowing" somewhat because a huge entourage of catfish escorted me everywhere I went. And then there were those mystery trees...
Maryland - Deep Creek Lake - People dive here for arrowheads from an ancient Indian mound 25' underwater. I found some old tools, a bicycle, and various other bits of treasure. Very pretty place to dive.
Pennsylvania - Dutch Springs - Premier diving location in PA. Great spot, top notch operation, and facility. Features a suspended helicopter, a school bus, a plane, boats, and other items to explore.
New Jersey - Inlet bridge dive, sunset - You have to dive these things at the right tide... or else. It was getting dark, but we saw lots of flounder, horseshoe crabs, stripers, and my dive buddie got a 29" weak fish. Forty minutes later he was still flapping as he hit the frying pan. Very tasty.
Delaware - More wrecks! Had to come back to this state, but well worth it. Excellent operation and people. I got skunked lobster diving, but a few made out quite well. The Washingtonian is a vast wreck that deserves frequent visits.
Segment 8 - New England - June 24 - July 6
Massachusetts - Beverly/ Cape Ann - Very nice site called Half-Way Rock. DUI diving on anemone-carpeted ledges and walls. Cod-in-a-cave, flounder, lobster everywhere in very nice vis.
Maine - York Beach/ Nubble Lighthouse - Excellent, easy shore dive in ocean cove with 45' visibility. Smooth as a lake. There's ample evidence why this is the lobster capital of the world.
New Hampshire - Portsmouth/ Ft. Stark - The activities around several lobster cages proved to be the most entertainment I've had in a long time underwater. Great places to just sit and watch!
Vermont - Lake Champlain - Wreck of the O.J. Walker (1895). Fascinating fresh water wreck for several reasons - mostly to see the folly of how this vessel was loaded - all the bricks and tiles were on the decks rather than in the hold! The debris field wasn't bad either.
New York - Lake George - Radeaux and Bateaux - French names for warships built in 1758 (as in the French and Indian War). The radeau Land Tortoise is designated by the Smithsonian Institution to be "the oldest intact war vessel in North America." This was our first dive site...
Connecticut - Out of New London - First, a warplane wreck off Groton, Conn. 50 caliber ammo found! Then, a much older ship wreck off Fisher's Island (N.Y.) not far from DuPont's castle. Both dives very enjoyable - the plane had a resident blackfish and a huge flounder on the wing...
Rhode Island - Out of Narragansett to Block Island waters - First, the fascinating U-853 sub wreck @ 120' - very cool dive. Then, the imposing pinnacles south of Mohegan Bluffs and a close-to-shore wreck dive.
Design by copyright (c) 2000-2003 Charles Ballinger
September 2003