12 Apr 2023
If you're looking for adventure on your next Oak Island visit, scuba diving is an exciting way to spend a beach vacation, especially if you have a gorgeous and cozy vacation rental to return to each night. Oak Island is perfect because it is close to many incredible scuba diving locations and reputable schools.
North Carolina has at least 55 shipwrecks off its coasts and is considered the Graveyard of the Atlantic! If you're new to scuba diving or a seasoned expert looking for ideas to explore the North Carolina coast, read on to learn about scuba diving near Oak Island!
Short History of Scuba Diving
Diving has been around for thousands of years. There are records of pearl divers in ancient Persia who used reeds as breathing tubes and sponge divers in Greece who used diving bells to explore the sea floor.
In the 1800s, the first breathing hose was developed, which allowed divers to go underwater at depth but were still tethered to the surface. At first, it was just a breathing hose that didn't use any special machines, but later they developed an air pump to help get oxygen down to the diver and allow them to spend more time underwater.
Scuba diving, as we know it now, began in the mid-20th century when Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Émile Gagnan created the Aqua-Lung, which allowed divers to carry their own air supply underwater for the first time in history and opened underwater exploration by freeing divers from being attached to the surface.
Scuba Diving Today
Since these developments, scuba diving has become increasingly popular for people who love adventure and exploration of the underwater world. And with North Carolina's rich maritime history and diverse marine life, it has become a popular scuba diving destination. It is one of the most sought-out areas because it is home to the "Graveyard of the Atlantic," which is a location off of the North Carolina coast where there are at least 55 shipwrecks, some of them having become popular scuba diving destination locations.
Another thing that makes scuba diving attractive is that it is a year-round activity in North Carolina, even during winter. It presents opportunities to see more diverse marine life as different species migrate through the area.
Learning How to Scuba Dive
Taking classes is paramount for those new to scuba diving to become a safe, successful, and a responsible diver. Learning the basics of how to dive, operate your equipment, stay safe as an individual diver, and stay safe on a team are all essential aspects of diving that ultimately help you become an experienced and knowledgeable diver. It allows you to learn and grow to have the most extraordinary underwater adventures.
Some great places to learn near Oak Island are Blackbeard Scuba and Aquatic Safaris. Both schools will offer a great range of courses and certifications where you can go from a basic to an advanced diver, and they provide rental equipment and guided dives. Taking classes from a reputable school is crucial for safe diving.
The Diving Community
If you're looking to get into a diving community in North Carolina where you can ask questions, get support, and share experiences, there are many places online you can check out, which can help facilitate offline meetups if you're looking to dive with other groups or attend any scuba diving events.
One forum you can check out is ScubaBoard, where you can connect with other divers about subjects in diving off the east coast. Or you can follow BFDC on Facebook, a page about North Carolina shipwreck diving. Or you can research other groups on Facebook, like Scuba Diving North Carolina, and look on other social media sites to find the right group for you.
Places to Scuba Dive Near Oak Island and Southport
As we already mentioned, the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" is one of the most popular places to scuba dive off the coast of North Carolina. It is a stretch of coastline with numerous shipwrecks going back hundreds of years.
One of the most famous shipwrecks is Queen Anne's Revenge, which ran aground in 1718 and whose captain was the infamous pirate Blackbeard. Since then, other wrecks that happened in the area are the USS Monitor, a warship that sank in 1862 during the American Civil War, the USS Huron, a warship that sank in 1877 during a hurricane, and the HMS Bedfordshire, which was a merchant ship that was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in 1942 during WWII. These sites and many others have become popular dive destinations for recreational and professional scuba divers.
There are other spots you can dive, like the artificial reefs created by The Long Bay Artificial Reef Association, where they've sunk boxcars, tugboats, and other large vessels to create artificial reefs off the coast of Oak Island. All of which make great places for beginners and experienced scuba divers alike. However, there are endless places to dive, and the more you immerse yourself in the North Carolina scuba diving community, the more you will learn about other great places to explore.
Scuba diving is a fantastic skill and sport to learn and enjoy near Oak Island. It will expose you to new people, communities, and an underwater world you never imagined could be so peaceful, beautiful, and exciting. It is the perfect beach vacation activity to learn and enjoy with your partner, family, or friends, and that will give you memories of a lifetime.
And if you need a great place to stay during your beach vacation, we have the perfect beach vacation rentals that offer plenty of space for you, your family, and all your diving equipment. We offer fully furnished beach vacation homes with fully equipped kitchens and other amenities to make you stay luxurious, comfortable, and practical for any size group. Check out our available properties and book your stay today to start creating the adventure of a lifetime!