Updated: Jul 8
What is Shore Diving?
Shore diving does not require a boat and shore dive sites are accessed from land. A shore dive site may be entered using a natural shoreline, a manmade dock or jetty, or purpose-built dive infrastructure such as stairs or a dive platform. is any scuba dive in which a diver uses a natural shoreline or man-made stationary platform for entering and exiting the water.
Is Shore Diving Worthwhile?
Depending on where you are and who you ask, the term “shore diving” can have different connotations. Popular misconceptions (and our rebuttals) about shore diving include:
· “It’s only for beginners.” Not true! Even technical divers and professional photographers explore shore dive sites.
· “It isn’t as good as boat diving.” False! Some of the best dive sites in the world are reachable from the shore.
· “There’s nothing to see.” Only if you have your eyes closed! Some of the best macro diving in the world is done from shore, and there are plenty of reefs and wide-angle photo opportunities at shore dive sites.
· “It’s only good for night dives.” Not so! Indeed, night dives are popularly done from shore, partly because of the logistics involved with boat diving at night. However, most of the popular shore dive sites for night dives have plenty to see during the day.
What are the Advantages of Shore Diving?
Why should you consider adding the best shore diving destinations in the world to your scuba diving bucket list? The top advantages of shore diving are:
1. Freedom and Flexibility
Shore diving enables you to dive on your schedule during your holiday. There’s no need to get up early to make a boat departure or worry about scheduling your other activities around the dive schedule. You get to decide when and where you dive, and how many dives in a day you’d like to do. Shore diving enables you to decide your bottom times (staying within safe diving limits, of course) and how much time you want to spend trying to get the perfect photograph of that tiny nudibranch!
Shore diving is a budget-friendly way to make the most of your dive holiday. Free of boat and fuel expenses, shore diving simply requires certified scuba divers to rent or fill scuba cylinders and rent any additional equipment required. This keeps costs to a minimum and makes shore diving the most cost-effective way to enjoy the sport. Keep in mind that some locations have regulations in place that require divers to dive with a local guide, and some dive sites may be unsuitable for divers unfamiliar with the area, so always get a local orientation before scuba diving in a new area.
3. Improve your Dive Skills
Shore diving is a great opportunity to practice and improve your dive skills. Both compass and natural navigation methods are critical for shore diving without a guide and are important skills for all divers to improve. Shore diving also requires divers to be better prepared for unexpected situations, as many shore dive sites are in remote locations and require appropriate planning. Make sure you have an emergency plan for all shore dives including important phone numbers and procedures for handling diving emergencies.
4. Shore Diving is Adventurous
Scuba divers are natural adventurers and shore diving enables divers to explore the underwater world on their terms. Grab a compass, your gear, and your emergency plan, and discover what lies beneath the surface. As more dive sites worldwide are discovered and popularized, the appeal of exploration diving is growing, especially among seasoned divers looking for a new thrill.
5. Avoid Seasickness
Scuba diving and seasickness go together for some divers. For some divers, seasickness may take the option of liveaboard diving off the table, and other divers might just suffer through seasickness for the joy of diving. Whether it’s a minor discomfort or a dealbreaker, the best way to avoid seasickness when scuba diving is to avoid diving from a boat. Shore diving enables divers who suffer from seasickness to enjoy diving more comfortably.
6. Spot Bucket List Critters
Shallow shore dive sites are home to a plethora of macro photography subjects. The elusive mandarinfish is found among shallow reefs in the Indo-Pacific, the weedy sea dragon is found at shore dive sites around Adelaide, Australia, and numerous species of seahorses, nudibranchs, and other macro creatures are found primarily in shallow muck sites.
How to Plan a Shore Diving Trip
Shore diving has many benefits and is a great way to explore dive sites on a more flexible schedule. In most dive destinations there are incredible dive sites only reachable by boat, so it’s a good idea to include a balance of both in your itinerary.
Not every destination will allow divers to rent tanks and dive independently, so it’s important to understand local regulations before you go. Even if you are required to dive with a guide, there are many advantages to shore diving.
Now that you understand the many advantages of shore diving, contact the experts at Bluewater Travel to help you plan your next shore diving holiday.
Read the Underwater Photography Guide's Best Dive Destinations for destination inspiration.
Learn about Bonaire, the shore diving capital of the world.
Read about Bonaire's best dive sites.
Explore Malta, another amazing shore diving location.