QUARRY DIVING

WHAT IS A DIVING QUARRY?

A small reminder...

A quarry is a stretch of open water, often a former slate, granite or gravel quarry that has been submerged. They have different depths, generally starting out at 15 metres and can go as deep as 60 metres. Quarry diving is very similar to diving in a lake. In most cases, diving quarries are run by clubs and associations, sometimes by commercial structures and one of them is a federal base: La Graule quarry.
Quarries are being increasingly developed and give divers (scuba divers, free divers, eco-divers or target shooters) safety, interest and pleasure when diving.

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THE POINT OF DIVING IN A QUARRY

An environment to be discovered.

A "land" diver trains a lot in a swimming pool and therefore needs a place where they can test their equipment (suit, weights, jacket, etc.) safely (no waves, no currents) and for more experienced divers, this allows them to re-test their equipment before future sea dives. Quarries also allow you to pass diving certificates, from level 1 to level 4 depending on the quarry depths. In some of them, you can find platforms at different depths to work according to your level; you can also find counterweights for free-diving. To make diving more attractive, the quarries are "filled" with wrecks (cars, boats, buses and even planes (a Fouga Magister)) and also fauna (carps, sturgeon, pike, crayfish and freshwater jellyfish in certain seasons).

It is for all these different reasons that we are developing freshwater eco-diving there and we also carry out diving routes to reveal the beauty of the sea bed to beginners.

conseil plongée sous marine carrière subea la gombe

THE HAZARDS OF QUARRY DIVING

Quarry diving is not the same as diving in a swimming pool or a diving tank.

Visibility can be poor due to suspended particles or the light, depending on the depth. The thermocline (the temperature difference depending on the depth) can be very significant; it might be 18º on the surface and 8º if you are 20 metres down.
In the winter, the temperature drops faster and can go below 4º. It is therefore important to take it easy and not start with a 40 m dive in the cold and dark if you haven't been diving in a while.

In summary, a quarry diver develops skills to manage stress, cold and lack of visibility. Quarry diving is not a means to an end, the best divers develop their experience in different sites. So why not have a go at quarry diving and form your own opinion? It's a way of discovering another side to France (there are quarries all over France) and get used to diving before you dive at sea.

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                  ARTICLE CO-WRITTEN WITH

                  Benoît, vendeur au Décathlon du Mans Subea
                  Benoît, salesperson at Decathlon in Le Mans

                  I am 39 years old. I have been diving for 23 years. I began diving with my family thanks to my uncle who first took me out, and I just never stopped. I have mainly dived in France (Mediterranean, Atlantic, pools, tanks, etc.) but also abroad, particularly in Egypt. Today I am a FFESSM level 5 diver and also a level 2 instructor.

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