Does it surprise you that the largest consumer scuba and dive travel show is located not in Florida or Hawaii –but in Secaucus, NJ? I attended in 2010, in dreary March, and it is a delightful coral island in the concrete ocean that feeds NYC. I have not actually dived in NJ, but I included a photo to show the type of gear you need to retain body heat in the cold water.
Staying warm, dry and topside, you can easily spend a weekend at Beneath the Sea, between shopping for gear and destination travel and attending the presentations. You can travel vicariously to Palau, Socorro, Raja Ampat, Belize … in the space of four booths. You can admire award winning photography (my attempts usually blur the tail of a fleeing fish that had been doing something amazing right before the shutter snapped), and you can hear first-hand about expeditions to dive with hammerheads or beneath the Antarctic ice shelf.
There is something special and egalitarian about the dive community. To a large extent, love of diving is the only price for platinum membership. The people who have done the most are often right there on the floor, staffing booths and fielding questions from new Open Water divers.
New Jersey, despite its northern latitude, has made significant contributions to the dive community. When I first became excited about diving, I began filling up my bookshelf on the subject and found some great reads about diving on the Andrea Doria and the mysterious U-869. Also check out an incredible story about commercial diving beneath Manhattan: on 9/11.
What I did not know is that NJ also offers fresh water diving in the Delaware River. If you have a double life as a diver and furniture maker, this is the place for you: the cold water has preserved submerged timber that now has salvage value and is ideal for musical instruments and beautiful furniture. During the lumber boom over a century ago, many of the logs sunk during transport and are now the only source of old growth hardwood. Plus underwater train wrecks.
On my travel list: the Jersey shore. No, I do not want to exchange fisticuffs with Snoopi and J-Ello. I would like to visit Cape May. Anyone been? Check out the photo on this page: much more Pensacola than Paterson. And yes, of course you can dive Cape May. There is even a wreck of a concrete ship. Built during WWI when metal was scarce, the Atlantus actually floated and actually crossed the Atlantic. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
Next state … either Delaware or Arkansas. I can’t decide. Delaware makes sense for geographic progression, but I will be in Arkansas this week, so I can include more pictures. Either way, I have made it through about 28% of our beautiful and heterogeneous states! Thank you for reading.
Corey is not quite an international woman of mystery, but is hard at work becoming a regional person of interest. Previously both a Classics Major and an Army Major, she is currently travelling where the road will take her and leaving digital footprints at http://www.greensunla.wordpress.com. Upcoming reports may include improving trails in Muir Woods, diving from a liveaboard in the Bahamas, flying military Space-A across the Pacific Ocean, and taking a month long cruise to Antarctica on a refitted Russian research ship. You may also check out some older writing at https://coreyschultz.contently.com/ or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.