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Diving in Utah?


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#1 ce4jesus

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 07:54 PM

Well spring break arrived and my wife and I loaded up the car with the kids as they headed with me to my two appointments for the week. The first in Phoenix and the 2nd in Salt Lake City. Our starting point was Denver Colorado. I'm sure I'm not the only landlot diver going through withdrawel symptoms in March; but mine are particularly severe. The tease of spring is just warm enough to make me start looking for any place to tune my diving skills before our usual summer excursion.
Our first stop? Santa Rosa NM and the infamous Blue Hole...okay the little fresh water cousin of the more infamous one. This little artesian well is 60ft across and 80ft deep. The Viz is practically perfect before the open water schools begin and offers a great place to practice the essentials. Not to mention it cured my uncontrollable DT's from not having gone on a single dive since September. At 4500ft in altitude its the equivalent of a 100ft dive if you make the bottom. There are two dive platforms at different depths. While off-gassing on the surface you can jump off a 15 or 25ft ledge into the deep.
The next stop was an interesting little place call the Sea Base www.seabase.net . Its a geothermically heated saltwater spring just South of the Salt Lake and West of Salt Lake City by about 30 miles. Interestingly enough they've stocked several saltwater species inside the water including a couple of 8ft Nurse Sharks! The viz is usually fairly bad but if you take a little romaine lettuce the fish come right up to you.
While these places aren't worth a flight, they are worth your attention if you're within a days drive or just in the area. Or, if you're just as desperate as I was to get dunked and a trip to the ocean wasn't an option.
Later,
Gary
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#2 crcdiver

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 09:17 PM

Sounds like a fun trip Gary. I live in Denver too and have been to the Blue Hole many times but never to Sea Base. You should come to the local CUPS meetings sometime. CUPS

#3 Dive Rat

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 09:22 PM

Gary,

Iam originally from Utah but now live in Idaho 3 hours north of SLC. I've never made it to Sea Base, but have taken some classes at some hot springs up near the UT/ID border. Blue Lake south of Wendover Utah/Nevada is also a popular training/ recreation diving spot for us land-locked divers.

What was the water temp at Sea base, and how much do they charge to dive there? I might have to make a stop when down visiting realtives in Utah.

Hope you get to the ocean soon! I'm off to Coz in 3 weeks!! ;)

Take care,
Doug

#4 Kelpfish

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 04:46 AM

Another "inland area" I LOVE is the Bonne Terre mine out of St. Louis. That is a cold water dive (58 degrees) but has some good viz and a lot of history. I plan on going back to get the giant elevator shot.

Here is a shot of the surface. The mine is "room and pilar" so there are huge stone pillars supporting multiple levels. The mine is 17 miles of waterway, a 100 foot hike into the earth down a mule trail to the dive platform. The mine is around 600 feet deep. All dives are rigidly guided since it is easy to get lost, so you have to be fairly fast when you shoot. Very interesting diving.

Joe

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#5 ce4jesus

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 04:50 PM

Chuck, I had originally intended to go to CUPS in March but couldn't swing it. I think May might be my earliest available date to get over there...but its on my list of things I need to do. ..Gary.

Doug,
Its definitely worth the trip from Idaho. They have 4 sites to dive. The first is basically about 15ft deep, 72 degrees and its where most of the fish stay. The site is covered and its a big enough place where you can gear up inside if the weather is nasty. The first hole is connected via a tunnel to the 2nd which is a little cooler 68? and a little deeper. There is one site that goes to over 70ft. I believe the hot springs you're referring too are the Homestead Crater..another spot I plan to visit next winter. They charge $15 bucks a head plus 5 bucks a tank.
Gary
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#6 crcdiver

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 05:20 PM

Well I won't be there in May along with about 7 other members, we're off to Lembeh to practice this hobby!

#7 Dive Rat

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 09:02 PM

Gary,

Actually, I grew up 20 min away from the Homestead in Orem. I've been there, but never diving. The water temp in the crater is about 94 degrees.

The warm springs I was refering to were Belmont springs just off I-15 almost to the Idaho border. The main spring is 30-40 ft deep (after dredging) the water is 90+ degrees but the vis is about 2 ft or less. I did my navigation course there... go figure, but in the spring or fall there aren't many places to dive here in the mtns! :o

Come over to Idaho and I'll take you diving in the Fire Hole river inside Yellowstone Natnl Park...Deep holes and cave pockets and occasional trout swimming with you. It is actually a lot of fun! ;) Gotta do something to get wet when we're far from the ocean right?

Doug

BTW Joe, that Bonne Terra mine looks like a great dive!!

#8 ce4jesus

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 09:36 AM

Doug,
Fire hole River....I remember standing in that river fishing years ago. Ancient lava bed as I recall. The red, yellow, brown, green, blue, and aqua colored hot pools were cool too. It never crossed my mind that the river is deep enough to dive in. Sounds awesome.

Gary
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