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Dive destinations

By Dennis Graver

One of the great pleasures of scuba diving is visiting different regions of the country and the world. Fantastic dive sites can be found nationally and internationally. The following areas are popular dive destinations that you might want to visit. The pictures throughout this book were taken at these destinations.


Dense kelp beds that form surface canopies make diving in California an unforgettable experience. The kelp provides shelter for many forms of life. Rock formations provide anchorage for the buoyant kelp and support additional life-forms, such as abalone, lobster, and moray eels. An expedition on a live-aboard dive boat to one or more of California’s offshore islands during the summer months is an extremely worthwhile scuba experience. Shore diving in California can be difficult because of surf and low visibility. An area orientation is essential before attempting to dive through surf.


Puget Sound, which was carved into the landscape by glaciers, forms a gigantic body of ocean water that is much more protected than the coastal waters. The Sound contains many shipwrecks and artificial reefs, which are havens for many life-forms. Puget Sound is the home of the world’s largest octopus as well as giant lingcod, monkey-faced eels, and beautiful orange and white anemones called metridians. The water is cold, but the visibility is 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6.1 m) most of the time. Dry suits are recommended.


Florida features some of the best and most diverse diving in the United States. From crystal clear springs and rivers to the Keys, there are many spectacular dive sites. Cavern and cave diving are popular, but training for these specialties is mandatory. The Florida coast has abundant shipwrecks. The Keys boast coral reefs and colorful fish. All scuba divers should definitely have a dive excursion to Florida included in their dive log.

New England

The cold waters of the New England area offer a great variety of diving opportunities. Wrecks, reefs, kelp, and creatures captivate your attention. Lobsters with claws and other interesting life-forms are great attractions. If you are able to schedule some time to dive when you travel to this part of the country, you should try to include the adventure in your itinerary.

Great Lakes

These great bodies of freshwater boast the most well-preserved shipwrecks in the United States. Many of these wrecks are in deep water, so you must have specialty training to explore them. Divers who are unfamiliar with the Great Lakes should use the services of a divemaster. If you like wreck diving, this is one of the places to include on your must-see list.


Hawaii offers exciting diving that includes good visibility, spectacular underwater formations, beautiful reef fish, large turtles, and giant marine mammals. Hawaii is a popular diving destination that you should visit if you get the chance. Aloha!


The Caribbean is one of the world’s most popular places to dive, and for good reason. The area includes reefs, wrecks, drop-offs, and life-forms that are unique and breathtaking. Visibility is usually excellent. Many dive resorts in the area offer trips to phenomenal locations. Nearly every experienced diver talks about Caribbean diving experiences.


This is an excerpt from Scuba Diving, Fourth Edition.

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