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Local Diving Wiki

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If you are reading this page, you may be thinking about getting started scuba diving in the New York City area. So, congratulations! You are lucky to have such close and frequent access to an incredibly diverse and thriving marine ecosystem, as well as hundreds of historically significant shipwrecks. And while many of our local dives require advanced technical training, there are plenty of sites that are easily within the reach of any single tank recreational diver that is willing to put in the time effort to get comfortable with the logistics, diving techniques and gear optimization that make these dives safe and comfortable.

As you can see from our image galleries of local marine lifelocal divers, and the sites dedicated to shipwrecks in our area, there is plenty to see just off the shores of New Jersey and Long Island. But let's first address the two things that often keep even passionate tropical scuba divers from considering diving in their own back yard - the water temperature and the visibility.
When you first start diving in this area, especially if you are used to the Caribbean, these may seem like deal breakers. But once you start diving, you realize that you don't need 100 feet of clear water to have a fantastic dive, and if you 
dress appropriately for the sport, you can be comfortable year round.
The most important thing is that if you live here and you love diving, you can dive here every weekend when the weather cooperates! You don’t have to wait for one or two weeks each year, No time off from work, no airfare, no hotels, no packing with weight limits. For someone who loves diving and who lives in our area, local diving is the way to go!
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This page was produced and maintained by the NYC Sea Gypsies, a dive club with over 300 members with a wide range of experience and training. We have everything from non-divers to new open water divers to technical instructors with thousands of dives in all types of environments. The club runs all sorts of events - monthly lectures by some of the most famous divers in the world, a local diving charter schedule in the summer and fall, club trips to dive destinations, underwater photography presentations and hands-on workshops, and a large number of social events where divers can just get together and socialize with fellow members of the tribe!
This club promotes the kind of mentoring that helps divers who are new to diving in our area get started. While there is no PADI course in "local diving", many of our members with significant local diving experience are happy to lend a hand and pay it forward, getting the next generation of local divers excited about the sport, and showing them how to do it safely. The Sea Gypsies run an annual 
"Introduction to Northeast Diving" program that pairs mentors and new divers both at the local quarry (Dutch Springs) and on a dive boat for ocean dives.
Unlike other dive destinations where most of the shipwrecks have been sunk as artificial reefs, most of our wrecks are “real”, with fascinating and tragic histories. Reading about them makes the dive much more meaningful. New York City has been a major shipping hub for 500 years, and there was a lot of German sub activity right off of ours shores during World War II. A number of our wrecks were U-boat victims, and there are two known submarine wrecks as well. Some of these ships are intact enough to have internal areas to explore (like the USS San Diego or the Stolt Dagali), but most of the older wrecks have been reduced to open piles of structure by the sea, storms, or 
wire dragging. Still, these are fascinating places where you can take photos, shoot video, collect artifacts, spearfish, and hunt for lobster, mussels or scallops.
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