- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 11, 2002

Washington has an abundance of diving sites, clubs and shops. Here is a brief guide to resources:

Quarry diving
Bainbridge Quarry, Bainbridge, Pa. This quarry has a maximum depth of 120 feet and offers a sunken tanker truck, a step van and other vehicles. www.divebsc.com, 717/426-2114.
Dutch Springs, near Bethlehem, Pa. A 47-acre site that calls itself "the amusement park for divers." Divers can swim through and around a firetruck, school bus, helicopter, crane, airplane and other submerged vehicles; www.dutchsprings.com, 610/759-2270.
Millbrook Quarry, near Haymarket, Va. A privately owned quarry open Saturday and Sunday only, with access controlled by the Dive Shop. Tickets required. Contact the Dive Shop at 703/698-7220, www.thediveshop-va.com.
Willow Springs, Richland, Pa. Nearly two dozen underwater features, such as an outhouse, a school bus, an airplane and several trucks. www.willowspringspark.com, 717/866-5801.


Offshore diving

The best area for diving is off the coast of Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City. More than two dozen shipwrecks rest on the ocean floor. The wrecks form natural reefs and are home to a wide variety of sea life: turtles, lobsters, sea robins, starfish, stingrays, sea bass and sharks.
Amateur archaeologists can search for buried treasure on several of these wrecks. Divers regularly find pieces of English ironstone china on the China Wreck, a wooden schooner that went down in the late 1800s carrying a load of English china. "Bringing up something from the bottom that your can put on your mantel acts as a constant reminder of a journey deep into the past," says Mike Eversmier, owner of the Aqua Ventures dive shop in Cockeysville. For more information, contact one of the following dive charters:
Surface Interval: 302/422-3483, www.ce.net/surf/
Miss Ene III: 302/656-9311
Fiesta: 302/845-5870, www.ce.net/users/DiverReb/fiesta.html
Stephanie Anne: 302/945-1586
OC Diver/Tidewater Aquatics: 410/742-1992, www.md-scuba.com


Clubs
Maryland Hydronauts, P.O. Box 13412, Baltimore. 410/847-1450; www.cpcug.org/user/klarman/hydronauts.html
Atlantis Rangers Skin & Scuba Diving Club, Inc., P.O. Box 210, College Park. 301/977-3884; www.fred.net/tbrady/rangers/
Patowmack Divers, Alexandria and Washington, D.C. 301/498-6212; www.dcdiver.com


Shops

Dozens of qualified dive shops in the Washington area offer instruction and certification. Look in the Yellow Pages under Diving Instruction. Here is a sample:
American Water Sports of Virginia, 6182-A Arlington Blvd., Falls Church. 703/534-3636; www.awsva.com.
Annapolis SCUBA Center, 150-G Jennifer Road, Annapolis. 410/266-8327; www.annapolisscuba.com.
Aqua Ventures, 9731 York Road, Cockeysville, Md. 410/66-OCEAN; www.aquaventuresonline.com/index.html.
Atlantic Edge, 213 Muddy Branch Road, Gaithersburg. 301/990-0223; www.atlanticedge.com.
The Dive Shop, 3013 Nutley St. (Pan Am shopping center), Fairfax. 703/698-7220; www.thediveshop-va.com.

Matthew Graham


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