All summer long, three out of four weekends of each month
(and sometime every weekend), the Crew at Calypso heads out to do some open
water diving at one of our local bodies of water. We are very lucky to have several places from
which to choose, especially considering that the drive times vary from only 45
minutes to 3 hours for the longest distance.
There is plentiful marine life to see once you get there and nice Ozarks
scenery on the way there, making for a delightful day!
Our local dive destinations include a local, retired
limestone quarry that was initially stocked with fish about 30 years ago. It is spring-fed, but not to the degree that
the water temperature is a problem. The
constant, gentle influx of fresh water helps to keep the water clear and
healthy, and makes for a perfect environment for plentiful fishes. The crappies, bass, channel catfish, and
long-ear sunfish are unafraid and you’ll think you’re diving in an aquarium
instead of a rock quarry! The site is
close enough that we can do three dives in the morning or the afternoon, making
open water evaluations easy and convenient to accomplish.
Beaver Lake in Arkansas is a remarkable dive destination
created by the Corps of Engineers when the spring-fed White River was dammed up. There are many sites with a terrific variety
of underwater terrains that are attainable by shore, and even more if you have
or rent a boat. Some artificial sites
have been installed and include a school bus, boats, a helicopter, and
more. There is a cliff face that extends
down to 100+ feet that gives many divers their first-time wall diving
experience. Being just over an hour away
makes Beaver Lake another one of our favorite places to play.
Also less than 2 hours away is Table Rock Lake, the next
Corps of Engineers project on the north fork of the White River. The lake is primarily in Missouri but also
extends south into Arkansas. The city of
Branson is “next door to” the lake, and that means that there is a vast array
of things to do when you’re not diving, and for non-diving family members to do
while we’re playing underwater. There
are music shows, amusement parks, theme parks, shopping, restaurants and hotels
galore. Some of the sites are only
reachable only by boat yet there is so much shoreline that there’s plenty of
places to hop in and enjoy the local waters.
Bull Shoals Lake is yet another body of water created on the
same river, but is farther away and further downstream (after Lake Taneycomo). Huge and remote, it is a mecca for fishing
and diving, with less boat traffic than most of the other lakes and pristine
waters. We do an annual trip to Bull
Shoals for a couple of days of spear fishing, and it is definitely worth the 3
hour drive required to get there. Sometimes
you just have to get away from it all to find it all!
Stockton Lake is a handy 1½ hours away and is much smaller
than the other lakes. It is such a nice
place to go that several of our clients keep their boats there permanently. There’s no spear fishing allowed, but there’s
plenty of fish-watching to be had!