Baffin Island Dive Safari - Types of Dives
Floe Edge Diving
Dive off the edge of the floe edge – the "Line of Life". The floe edge is where many of your first dives will begin. This dive will be similar to a shore dive, yet we are on a crust of 8 foot thick ice over the Arctic Ocean. We travel by snowmobile and qamutik to the floe edge and set up dive operations to dive under the ice or in open water if no ice is present.
Experience your first Arctic dive by dropping off the edge and seeing far under the ice. With visibility anywhere from 100 to 300 feet horizontal, this will be a memorable first dive. From luminescent organisms to lion mane jellyfish, the macro life at the floe edge is extremely diverse. Make sure to bring your underwater camera.
Pack Ice Diving
Every day, the floe edge is different. Pack ice, bits of floating ice anywhere from the size of a football to the size of a football field, come and go against the floe edge with the currents and with the shifting winds. One day the floe edge can be completely open water, mirror smooth reflecting the wispy clouds and mountains all around. On another day, the currents will bring in the ice. This allows for incredible ice diving opportunities where divers will find a dynamic play of light and shadow amongst the cathedral-like spires of ice that have been pushed up against one another in an incredible result of force that must have occurred in a former Arctic storm. See Mother Nature's greatest works of art from under the ice. Surreal. Sublime. Amazing to photograph. And breathtakingly beautiful.
The sea ice, even though stable, will have cracks that form at stress points along the land. These cracks are typically very stable once they have formed. They do not close up and we will only dive in a crack that is drifted over with snow (which indicates that it has remained open for quite some time). Diving through a crack allows us opportunities to access walls, the sea floor, and other interesting dive sites. The play of light through a long crack from below as we dive amongst pillows of shore ice is an incredible experience. These dives are considered an overhead environment and as such, we will ensure you are attached to the surface with a line with all signals between diver and line tender practiced in advanced. A pony (back-up) bottle is always provided. To dive through 8 feet of ice on either side of you, and then open up to a whole world below illuminated by a long beam of bright sunlight will feel incredible.
Arctic Kingdom has pioneered diving on grounded, frozen icebergs, and is the only dive operator to have done so. Diving on an iceberg can only be done safely in the Arctic on a grounded iceberg. These icebergs have calved from a glacier from nearby Sirmilik National Park, or perhaps even from a glacier in Greenland that has drifted here by the currents. In any event, they have grounded themselves in anywhere from 100 to 500 feet of water. The sea ice has frozen around the icebergs and in some cases, we are able to find either melt-water pools that we can dive through or a crack that has formed to allow us to dive through.
Diving on a grounded iceberg is sure to prove one of the best dives of your life. Even our most seasoned Arctic divers have stated that diving on an iceberg was the most incredible dive they'd ever experienced. Looking at an iceberg from above you may see it towering overhead by a hundred feet. You'll have to remember that this is literally just the "tip of the iceberg". Down below, the icebergs drop hundreds of more feet.
Diving through a crack, we remain only at the top 90 feet, but these will be the best 90 feet of diving you'll ever experience. The golf-ball dimpled icebergs will dwarf all divers and seem impossibly large. From underneath the sea ice, the plays of thinner ice, to melt-water pools to a spider web of cracks that emanate from the iceberg will make you feel like you have entered an alien world. Your senses will find it hard to believe that this is actually real - until you look at your pictures afterwards.