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Aurora Beach Day 2017

By OceanFirst on 8/4/17

On July 22nd, Ocean First had its first Annual Beach Day event down at the Aurora Reservoir. Conditions were perfect above the surface with blue skies, 80 degree weather, and a cohort of enthusiastic local divers. Below the surface was a bit of a different story, with temperatures in the 60s and an algae bloom that reduced the visibility to 3 ft at best to 0 ft at worst.

When you mention to someone that you are diving at a local reservoir, reactions range from curiosity to disgust. We will be the first to admit that the water is nowhere near tropical, the reservoir serves a neat purpose and is an incredible resource for landlocked divers. Instead of driving 8 hours or paying for flights to the coast, divers can use the reservoir as a chance to complete certifications, get comfortable with new gear, refresh their skills, and become better divers for when they do reach the ocean.img_0016_35966634002_o.jpg

During our new annual beach day event, we had several divers using the time to complete their open water checkout dives, as well as a group who were training in their drysuits in preparation for an upcoming Ocean First trip to Iceland (where ironically, they will be diving in some of the clearest waters in the world), and others who were diving for the sake of checking out the local scene. As one participant said: “diving in Aurora is like drinking a really hoppy IPA: I’m glad I tried it, but I don’t want to drink it very often. It made me appreciate everywhere else I have dived and I am looking forward to another trip elsewhere.”

Despite their reasons for diving, everyone was there for the community that surrounds the diving culture. It was a joy to watch new and old friends laughing about the conditions together and bonding over burgers and badminton after their dives. We also had a special guest, Alexandra Myers from local news station Aurora TV, who filmed a news segment about the day. We want to give a shout out to Cathy Christopher for manning the burger station and keeping everyone full and happy! And thank you to our wonderful staff of instructors who worked hard in and out of the water. And to everyone who attended, thank you for making our dive community what it is, we literally can’t do it without you and we hope to see you all again soon!

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