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I am a very inexperience driver who is seeking a new dive buddy. I have been certified for 8 years, but until recently have not had the chance to dive since certification. My dad and I dove off of Marathon Key in Florida in January. I had a BLAST and totally caught the bug again. Unfortunately he did not have the same experience. He struggled a lot and had a very hard time with his ears. After the first dive, he scrapped the second dive (which was waaaay better then the first) and has since said he would probably not dive again.
I would like to dive at least a couple of times a year here in the midwest, but I would love to have someone or a few someones who I would be comfortable going with!
Depending on where you're thinking of going, you may want to check out the Great Lakes Wrecking Crew for dives. As TheScubaBob said, if you're interested in Haigh Quarry, you'll certainly be able to find some buddies to go with you.
The only way to gain experience...go diving. There are very active divers that would have you along as a buddy. Keep checking the board. There is a new dive site opening up not far from Litchfield, IL by the name "Bredina Springs." As previously mentioned Haigh is a nice place to dive, as is Mermet Springs. Keep in mind this is not Sombrero reef off of Marathon, Florida Keys and the viz can be limited and the temps could range from 45-80 depending on depth and the time of year.
Here is a link to a very active fun diving group out of St. Louis. Y-Kiki has the most active local fun diving group around. They have divers of all skill levels from Open Water through instructor to technical/cave divers. A genuine good group of divers that are competent and fun to be around....you'll learn some things too! It's free, no strings attached and if you sign up you'll receive frequent emails about upcoming local trips and trip reports as well. I have created a facebook group named DIVE STL, which has 69 members. It's a good place to find buddies and diving events and share all things scuba related.
I saw the new place and thats only 1.5 hours from me I think so I will be adding that to my list. I was all set up to take a dry suit class at Mermet about 5 years ago and found out I was pregnant the week before! I was taking the class so I could dive on a cruise I was going on.....so I didnt get to do that one either. I really would like to plan to attend one of the DUI days somewhere. Are those dates set up this early?
Im in Peoria and we dive pretty regularly in Canton, Chillicothe and Kankakee. We also do a couple House boat trips a year to Bull Shoals Arkansas. Deep Blue Adventure puts them together and they usually run around $200-250. We are actually going april 29th-may 2nd if you are interested. But Shoot me an email and ill give you my contact info. My wife dives as well!
I am in central Indiana and I drive to IL, Ohio, and all over here in Indiana to meet up with other divers. There are a lot of people on here that are willing to take newbies in their groups but sometimes you have to drive to meet up with them.
I try to post on my facebook page or on the Great Lakes Wrecking Crew page (the midwest forum doesn't seem to have as much 'chatter') when I plan to go diving.
Good luck and watch for post and anytime you want to drive to Indiana let me know.