Diving in a Quarry

A story about unpaid bills, the end of a love affair, and a car being pushed into the water to drown unwanted memories seems like it should end badly. Not necessarily, at least not where one of Poland’s best venues for people who love to dive is concerned. Grodek, a dolomite quarry in Jaworzno-Szczakowa, faced daunting financial woes in the mid-1990s.

The quarry’s energy provider cut off the electricity and all water lift-pumps stopped. Subsequently, the quarry was flooded and turned into a wonderful place for lovers of scuba diving, reported Gazeta Wyborcza. Many interesting things await “discovery” under the water at the former quarry. The water, which is transparent, enables scuba divers to admire two huge excavators that could not be removed from the flooded quarry works.

At the bottom one can also find barracks that were used as a shelter for workers during explosions in the stone-pit. Pikes and big perch add to the natural scenery as they swim among the underwater relics. As the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported, the most common entry point to the water contains two floating cars: a black BMW and “Polonez.” The first of them is at the center of an interesting story.It was sunk by a well-known scuba diver. The car was supposed to be a present for his girlfriend, but she gave it back when they broke up. He didn’t want the car around to remind him of her.

So he cleaned the BMW of all liquids, lubricating oils and gasoline, and pushed the car into the water. “Out of sight, out of heart, ” said Miroslaw Kierepka, the owner of the “Orka” diving center in Bielsko-Biala, regarding the heartbroken diver. Visibility in the water is about 5 to 12 meters and the water temperature is about 16 degrees. The “Orka” diving center that rents the Grodek quarry has paid attention to all the details.”We have organized camping places, toilets, bar with drinks and barbecue place,” Kierepka said. So it is a great place for the whole family, not just scuba divers, to visit. One can dive in Grodek year round.

However, it’s not a sport for everybody. People who suffer from epilepsy, lung disease or claustrophobia are likely to fail the medical examination required before participation in diving courses. The week-long course costs about 1,000 zloty. Those who pass receive a certificate that enables them to dive on their own. Some divers use venues/sites in Silesia but the quality of the facilities and their availability undeniably make Grodek the best in the eyes of most fans of this sport.

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