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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, August 17, 2007

Seabase Offers Ocean-Like Dive Experience in Utah

Naturally warm, naturally salty, a spring on the edge of the Great Salt Lake offers an unusual experience for scuba diving and snorkeling. This Salt Lake Tribune article profiles the place, which is called Bonneville Seabase. Here are excerpts:

While Utahns can snorkel or scuba dive in reservoirs with decently clear water such as Lake Powell, Flaming Gorge, Fish Lake, Blue Lake or Bear Lake, the Seabase offers a unique experience. It's designed to simulate ocean dives, complete with 68 species of fish, including a pair of nurse sharks that are close to 9 feet long. There are pompano, puffers, groupers, angel fish, grunts, jacks, tangs and rabbit fish at depths as deep as 60 feet. And all this at 4,293 feet in elevation.

Divers and snorkelers from all over the world flock to this remote outpost about 40 miles west of Salt Lake City.

"People in Australia and Fiji know about us, but a lot of people in Grantsville or Tooele don't," said George Sanders, who, with Linda Nelson, owns the Seabase and the Neptune Divers shop in Salt Lake City.

Nelson said the best conditions are early in the morning when lack of divers stirring up the clay sides and bottoms of the pools helps the water clarity.

Seabase offers three pools, one of which is covered to allow for a warmer experience during winter. There are also warmwater showers, dressing rooms, a diving shop and instructional area and a snack bar.

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