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Where do you look for pool diving opportunities? (specifically in VA/NC)

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Blue Sparkle, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Blue Sparkle

    Blue Sparkle Captain

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chesapeake Bay
    Hi folks,

    I wasn't sure whether to put this in an area-specific forum or this one, but put it here since people from other areas may have the same question.

    I'd like to spend some time "pool diving" to get used to gear, make tweaks, practice buoyancy, etc.

    When you want to go pool diving, how do you find one? Do you just go to any local pool that people use for swimming (obviously respecting lap swim schedules and the like)? Do you call LDS's to ask where they conduct certification confined water dives*? Or do you have to find a dive shop with a pool? A deep pool would be nice, of course.

    More specifically, I'm about 1.5 hours east of Richmond, and a friend who would also like to do some pool diving is in Raleigh, NC, so it would be nice to find someplace we could meet up that's in between. I'm more used to driving to get anywhere, so it would be fine with me if it were actually in the Raleigh area too.

    Neither of us have near enough neoprene to dive outside locally, this time of year.


    *Due to location, I don't have an LDS. In looking at the websites of a number of dive shops within a 4-hour driving radius, I don't see that any of them have pools, but maybe there is one?
  2. dharmon

    dharmon Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New York, NY
    You may want to contact dive shops and sign up for something inexpensive like a Discover Scuba course, with the understanding that you and your friend only want to work on skills. Even if they don't own their own pool, they must do their poolwork somewhere.

    Have any friends within driving distance with a pool?

    Unfortunately I am in the same situation, except I'm in NYC and we are trying to find somewhere to do poolwork for a DM course. Most places don't want to take on the liability, or want to charge us through the nose for it.

    The best we've found so far was a local dive shop with a pool. They are charging us the course fee minus the instructor costs.
  3. Drewski

    Drewski Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Virginia Beach, USA
    Hi B.:

    My buddies and I often use the pool at Dive Quarters Dive Shop in Virginia Beach which is nice and big, warm and deep. We are regular customers there but if you develop a relationship with them (sign up for trips, buy some gear, etc.), I'm sure they will let you try it out. If you take a class there, I'm pretty sure they always let you come after you complete it.

    Here's a video of a recent pool day:


  4. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    If you have a Y most will let you use scuba during the open swim times, especially the off hour periods. N
  5. MDJ1016

    MDJ1016 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Genesee County Michigan

    I would also suggest checking with your LDS. Where you are buying your equipment or getting air fills is the best place to start. If possible the LDS you became certified at would also be a good place to start. Any good instructor wants to see his/her students dive safe, have fun, and advance their skills. This said very possibly your LDS will allow you to use their in house pool or maybe use the pool they rent when they are doing a class.

    Worst case scenario, sign up for an additional certification. I frequent a few LDS that are SSI, and PADI based of which they all have on-going classes. Heck even if you are looking to upgrade equipment they may let you play in the pool to try it out.

    Your best thing next to a dive buddy is your LDS. The Scuba world has been hit by the recession I would gather, so it may not be free, but it maybe "free" if you make it a two way street.
  6. Blue Sparkle

    Blue Sparkle Captain

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chesapeake Bay
    Hi MDJ1016,

    I agree about the LDS, but sadly, I don't have one. The nearest shop to me is a four-hour round trip by car (and not in the area where I would actually go diving). Now that's not to say that I wouldn't drive four hours to go pool diving, or that I wouldn't buy anything there (and/or pay for pool time), because I would be happy to; but the distance doesn't really make having the typical "handy, neighborhood LDS" relationship practical.

    I was certified in Wisconsin, which is now about 1500 miles away; then I took further course work in Florida, 1100 miles away. So... not very practical for a local relationship now.

    But again, I'm happy to drive for pool time, and I don't expect it for free either. I just want to find some.

  7. L_A_S

    L_A_S Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oahu
    Down Under in Cary NC usually does a pool day at the very large triangle athletic center pool in April. 919-852-5333 they're very helpful
  8. rivers

    rivers PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Bristol, UK
    I also recommend checking with your LDS. My LDS uses a pool a few towns over for their classes and are letting me come try out my new equipment while they have pool sessions.
  9. Blue Sparkle

    Blue Sparkle Captain

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chesapeake Bay
    Hi rivers,

    I appreciate the input, but as I mentioned, I don't have an LDS. That's not because I don't want one, but because I live waaaay out in the sticks, hours from any dive shop.

  10. Scotttyd

    Scotttyd Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC
    Gypsy divers in Raleigh, NC has a good pool with a LDS attached.

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