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Where to dive near Raleigh?

Discussion in 'Bull City Divers' started by theskull, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. theskull

    theskull Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: St. Louis, MO
    1,478
    22
    38
    Hi Raleigh/Durham area divers,

    I will be travelling to your area in June of 2009 and would like to spend a couple days doing some cool dives, preferably wreck dives, but anything including lakes or quarries is game.

    Please make some suggestions for sites, including what shop or charter operator to contact to book the dives.

    Will be bringing own gear, looking for recreational profiles. Buddy will be coming, but we'd love to dive with anyone who would like to show the way.

    Thanks for any help you may offer,

    theskull
     
  2. battles2a5

    battles2a5 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
    1,252
    5
    0
    Well, Raleigh is landlocked, so you won't be doing any wreck diving there. You do have Fatasy Lake Scuba Park, which is a big lake/quarry. It's ok, but it's still a quarry. Lots of good folks out there though. If you want to go offshore, Wilmington is probably the closest. I would contact Aquatic Safaris. They are a great op. Morehead City is a little farther but there are some great wrecks off of there as well. Give Olympus a shout if you want to go there. If you want a private charter we have a guy on NCDivers.com that is now running a 6-pack (screenname is Tortuga). Just log on to NCDivers and let us know when you are coming and we'll let you know what's going on :)
     
  3. Diveral

    Diveral Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Alabama USA
    648
    0
    0
    We're going to be diving off of Beaufort/MHC in June. There are some great wrecks there.

    AL
     
  4. Lee Taylor

    Lee Taylor Crusty old diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charleston, South Carolina, United States
    1,678
    71
    48
  5. PCBCaptChris

    PCBCaptChris Captain

    166
    0
    0
  6. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    9,467
    2,022
    113
    We are 2 to 3 hrs from the coast. There are several ops in both Wilmington and Morehead City areas which can put you on wrecks and most likely some sand tiger sharks. Some ops require AOW for a lot of their sites so be sure to discuss your experience with the op to determine the best sites for you. Plan on several days of diving, not that you necessarily dive them but it is fairly common for dives to be canceled due to rough seas so it is possible (likely on some seasons) that you may not get to dive if you plan just one or 2 days.
    As for the Raleigh area we have 3 quarries within 1-2 hrs away. Nothing fancy but it's water and there are a few cool things to see. Some of us off the NC board are diving one or more of the these quarries most any weekend so be sure to let us know your in the area if you want to dive with some locals.
     
  7. theskull

    theskull Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: St. Louis, MO
    1,478
    22
    38
  8. theskull

    theskull Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: St. Louis, MO
    1,478
    22
    38
    Very helpful! Thanks much. 2-3 hr. drive is no problem, nor is required cert.
    Good to know about the quarries as a back-up plan if seas cancel the primary plan.

    Thanks to the rest of you for your suggestions as well--I have lots of time between now and then, and will research all suggestions.

    Any other suggestions of favorites?

    theskull
     
  9. RAD Diver

    RAD Diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
    1,092
    16
    0

    Maybe so, have you ever dove off the NC coast?
    I have never been to the Panama City area, but have been to the Keys & Lauderdale, & really enjoyed it, but would pick NC every time all things being equal.
     
  10. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kents Store, VA
    6,050
    3,155
    113
    If you come all the way to NC, and have your gear with you, I would be hard pressed to say, 'Dive our wonderful quarries.' when some really enjoyable wreck diving is just a few hours away. Several folks have mentioned Wilmington - easily accesible via I-40 from Raleigh (2 hrs). Suggest you contact Aquatic Safaris (http://www.aquaticsafaris.com) who run frequent charters to many very good wreck sites, and have a very fast newer boat. An equally appealing alternative is the Beaufort / Morehead City area (2.5 hrs from Raleigh), with two operations in particular that you may want to contact - Discovery Diving (http://www.discoverydiving.com) and Olympus (Olympus Dive Center). Both are excellent operations. There are other good operators on the coast, and I don't mean to slight anyone, but these three provide a starting point.

    Depending on how much time you have, wreck attractions include German U-boats (U-352 is probably the most accessible, but the U-701 and U-85 are very diveable as well), lots of WWII tanker / cargo ship wrecks (long list), and some artificial reefs (Hyde, Aeolus, Spar, etc.) that are simply enjoyable dives with regular shark sightings. You mention you are looking at recreational profiles, but if you decide to consider a deco dive or two, the USS Tarpon (foundered under tow) is worth a trip, as is the Yancey (reefed). Since you asked about specific sites, four of my personal favorites are the Naeco, the Normania, Esso Nashville and the Rosin Wreck. But, I suspect (and hope) 20 other locals will chime in with their list. It is truly a potpourri of outstanding wreck diving.

    The in-shore wrecks have the advantage of shorter boat rides, but are shallower and have generally poorer visibility, and they are not my favorite sites. For the off-shore, deeper (90-130'), better viz wrecks, count on a 2 hour boat ride each way, so a 2-3 tank trip is an all day affair. Well worth it, however. We are proud of our coastal diving, but there are good days and bad days, so there is never a guarantee. But, if you are in the area long enough and have something of a dive 'window' chances are you can get in some good diving. Keep the Board posted as your plans eveolve and I will bet you can link up with some locals for a coastal charter or two.
     

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