This Memorial Day Weekend was brought to us by the Social Distancing Practices of 2020. I know none of us are living under a rock these days, so we obviously know that social distancing practices are in play for most states. The question is, which state practices what exactly. That makes things difficult. Especially because for our open water diving we cross the state line into Arkansas.
I think everyone has been on the edge of their seats this spring trying to figure out what is happening, what will happen, and how exactly we handle each situation. It’s been challenging both in our daily lives as well in our professional lives. SCUBA diving is no exception. We just have to sit back and wait to see what happens next.
Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day Weekend tends to be the kick off to the SCUBA diving summer season in this part of the country. While we have divers who dive year-round, for the most part here in the midwest, we dive during the summer. We usually have a kick off to the New Year in diving on January 1st where some are brave enough to enter the waters. But Memorial Day Weekend is the kick-off not only to summer but our diving season.
This year things looked a little different. Not only in the fact that we were missing a certain individual… But in practices that had to be followed such as social distancing.
Toward the end of the year, a lot of us start looking at reserving our camping sites for Memorial Day Weekend as well as Safari Hunt. This year in late March or early April, we were informed that the campground would not be open on Memorial Day Weekend. Then about 2 weeks before that weekend, they opened up the camping sites. So we all quickly scrambled to try and get camping spaces.
Open Water classes look different as well. All spring there were to no more than 10 people in social gatherings if that at times. Businesses that weren’t essential were closed. Etc etc etc. Therefore, classes? Can we do classes? Will anyone sign up for classes? What to do? So much was up in the air.
Memorial Day Weekend tends to be our big Open Water Certification weekend. Why? Well, because a lot of people take their classroom and pool classes during March and April so they can finish up open water that 3 day weekend. Things didn’t quite look the same, that’s for sure.
There were no open water classes this spring. We didn’t have access to the pool at 5 Mile and Deb’s pool was way too cold. Like I said, this was quite an interesting year.
Diving Memorial Day Weekend
Diving on Memorial Day Weekend looked a lot different as well. The campsites we had were in the area where we do the Underwater Pumpkin Carving and the New Year’s Day Dive. We decided to just stay put and dive from this side of the lake. Social Distancing from the Swim beach area.
Only staff were allowed in the trailer to do minimal equipment handling. And most people were responsible for bringing their own equipment anyway.
There were still a few students who were able to participate and finish up certifications.
We made sure to do a dive briefing for all involved.
But our group this year was extremely small. The size of groups had been upped a little bit. And students and divers steered clear of each other.
Normally we have a huge shindig at the end of one of the nights with lots of food. Especially because Deb’s birthday tends to fall right around Memorial Day. So we usually throw a big “party.” Social Distancing prevented our 50+ people party. We didn’t have people sitting and conversing onshore. Things just looked Really different.
Don’t worry, Deb’s birthday happened this weekend and we still made her feel special. Yes, that would be silly string.
The kiddos playground equipment was off-limits. People tried to steer clear of the shower house (obviously that and the restroom can’t be avoided 100% but)…
Our sentiments exactly Squishy!
But the summer dive season is upon us. We now have classes starting up. If you or someone you know would like to join a class, contact the shop. We’ll get you signed up ASAP!