See what it’s like to line dive in Dutch Springs lake in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in this short video clip!
Cold deep thermoclines made for quite the challenge for freediver, Renee Blundon, “At 15 meters (49 feet), it felt like I was diving through a bucket of ice-water!” she stated afterward.
“And from the second I arrived in the thermocline to the moment I left it, I’d get a massive migraine, like the one you get from drinking a milkshake too fast! It definitely takes some getting used to!”
“The breathe-up is also proved to be a lot more challenging than usual, because you can’t get as big of a breath with all the layers wetsuits constricting your rib cage. It’s definitely great for freedive training! Heck, if you can dive here, you can dive anywhere!”
“But what’s really great about Dutch Springs is the excellent visibility. I didn’t expect such great visibility, for a lake!”
Dutch Springs lake spans 50-acres and is spring-fed from an underground aquifer which filters through limestone to provide excellent visibility.
A massive amount of zebra mussels, a non-native species which have invaded the lake, also contribute to the pristine visibility by filter feeding, removing suspended particles such as algae and bacteria from the water column. The zebra mussels, although they make for excellent diving conditions, are jeopardizing many populations of native mussel species. Of the near 300 species of freshwater mussels found in the United States, more than a third have already vanished or are in danger of extinction, and over 75% are listed as Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern on a state level.
Interestingly, Dutch Springs, probably the north east’s most popular diving site, was originally a site used for mining limestone and manufacturing cement. In around 1933 the area began to fill with water and for the remainder of the quarry’s operational life, water had to be continuously pumped out. When the cement company shut down in 1970, the pumps shut down as well and the now 50-acre quarry filled with water.
Find out more about Dutch Springs at www.dutchsprings.com and at http://seaunseen.com/tag/dutch-springs/
This video features the music; “I dunno” by Grapes, http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/grapes/16626, available under a Creative Commons Attribution license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Big thanks to underwater cameraman and video editor: Dean McCormick!