Midwest Dive Report

My OW check out was in 25 feet of water and the second dive was to 55. At 55 feet the main attraction was a house that the Army Corps of Engineers covered up when the built Beaver Lake in Arkansas. Now, this was the first time I had been in a Arkansas lake and the vis was 30-40 feet. It is the only time I have been able to see clearly past the end of my arm in any of the Midwest lakes. Every time I have been back to the lakes in Missouri or Arkansas I have been doing solo/buddy, 'cause you can't find 'um unless you are holding hands when you enter the water, diving.

Wait! There is one exception it is a quarry in Missouri called Oronogo where the water is absolutely cold however, you can see something. A full wetsuit, including gloves, is required. We drove three hours to get there. The main attractions in this wonderful dive spot are a sunken airplane and jeep. The time I went it was 2,000 degrees outside (some exaggeration on the temperature) and then….we had to put on our wetsuits. Puttin' on the wetsuit was no easy chore because we were sweating to beat the band. In my opinion the only thing that is harder to do that put a wetsuit on while wet is math.

You should have been there it was too funny. I don't think either my dive buddy or I saw the humor that day but looking back…man what a riot. I'm trying to get this wetsuit on that belonged to my dad and it's too little, you see. My dive buddy was one of the instructors of the class who had come to this quarry, and he told me to peel the suit on. But, smarty that I am, knowing better I did not take this advice. Instead in my infinite wisdom, or lack thereof, I put one foot in the suit and tried to get that leg on, sort of like putting on panty hose with you and the hose wet because of all the sweat. This method of wetsuit application didn't work and bottom line was that my buddy ended up shaking me into the pants; splitting the butt and the waste band. Why this custom made for, my dad, farmer john wetsuit is has the bib cut off I will never know, since the dude died on me before I got a chance to ask. Nonetheless, I got into the suit.

To finish the diving story, we got into this freezing water, that was a wonderful relief, for about two whole seconds, until I started getting cold, because of the split out the butt in the wetsuit. I'm no fool and I wasn't riding that far and paying my $2.00, the price to get into the quarry, just to let a little split in my wetsuit stop me. I got to see one whole fish about an inch long and an airplane underwater. Why do they do that, sink old junk in places where it is totally out of context? Still, it was diving and it was wonderful.

Will I return to Oronogo? Let me think. No! Still, I thought you should know of this Midwest dive site in case you want to come here to dive. There is no food or motel in close proximity to the water and you have to work to use the port-a-potty.

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