Branson has arguably some of the most pristine lakes anywhere in this country. During the summer, thousands come from all parts to boat, or swim, in Table Rock Lake; one of many lakes in the White River watershed.
Table Rock Lake was formed with the building of the Table Rock Dam in the 1950s, and is now home to all sorts of marine life, plus hidden treasures scattered around the bottom. Is there any better way to explore a lake than scuba diving? Before the summer is gone, get to Branson and head out to Indian Point Dive Center. They will help you discover what Table Rock Lake is all about.
Never been scuba diving? Indian Point Dive Center is a great place to start. The shop, located at Indian Point Marina, offers classes and has the equipment you will need, including wetsuits and air tanks.
Instructors teach you step-by-step what is involved in scuba diving. They’ll go over how the equipment works and the proper ways to swim underwater. After a video, and a familiarization with the equipment, dive masters take you out into the water for your skills tests (there are two) and then a one-tank dive. Don’t get overwhelmed, your dive masters guide you through the entire process. Assuming you have enjoyed yourself (and we know you will), you can then move on to getting your own PADI certification, and possibly more technical training in diving, which would allow you to enjoy some of the types of diving, such as deep-water and cave diving, you commonly see on TV.
Now you might be wondering what PADI is and why you would want it. PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors. It’s a performance-based learning system that gives you the best in learning materials, instruction and the ability to learn at your own pace. Once the PADI certification is given, students have the opportunity to build on what they have already learned, possibly leading to becoming dive masters, too.
PADI certification is not just a piece of paper with a, “Congratulations!” on it, either. Once certified, you become a member of a community that is constantly looking for better approaches to diving, is very environmentally conscious, and enjoys a great deal of inter-community support with the help of instructional videos, blogs and social media. PADI diving does not stop with a certificate.
Now many of you may already be veteran divers, so what can Indian Point Dive Center do for you? Well, it just happens that Indian Point Dive Center is the largest 5-star TDI/SDI Dive Center in the Midwest! This year, night diving and full-moon dives are being offered. Depending on your skill level, you may even be tempted to explore areas at the bottom of Table Rock Lake that were flooded when Table Rock Dam was built, such as an old town and bridge, or check out some of the old shipwrecks at the bottom of the lake that most visitors know nothing about. Just ask Joseph, the owner of Indian Point Dive Center, who has been all over the bottom of Table Rock Lake and even helped raise a shipwreck! The dive center also has all the retail you need, air-tank refills, and a dive boat specially designed for diving.
Bringing this kids with you? Indian Point Dive Center offers courses for kids including scuba diving in a pool with less than 6 feet of water. For something more action-packed, the center offers a Seal Team course that introduces the kids to underwater photography, diving with flashlights, and environmental awareness.
Along with the training, Indian Point Dive Center offers Ozarks hospitality at its finest. Owners Joseph and his wife Sonya are super friendly and passionate about your diving experience. When in Branson, you can go watch shows, or ride go-karts, but there is no other way to gain a unique and fun experience in Branson than to see it from top to bottom. Call 417-338-6900 for more information, or go to IndianPointDiveCenter.com
Written by JC Thurman, post-grad intern for the Branson and Lake Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.