Norfork Lake / Jordan Marina June 2013
Part of me wants to keep this Midwest Divers Paradise a secret, but that isn’t what we are all about. If you have been following us here on the MWMD forum you probably have read through several of our posts from our visits to Norfork Lake in Arkansas. I guess what keeps us coming back is the laid back feeling of the lake. The boat traffic on the lake is minimal and you rarely, if ever, get swamped by the waves of one of those ocean liners found on many of the lakes. The lake is located in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains where winding roads is the only way in. (Not the greatest attraction for pulling in the 40 foot Banana Boat) If you are in to diving (which is what we are all about) the lake provides over 30 dive attractions from fabulous boulder formations, various sunken treasures (i.e. sunken buses, boats, and cars), and homestead foundations that were once thriving communities prior to forming the lake. Simply put, the lake provides the resources for any type of diving you want to do without the hassle of the boat traffic and larger crowds.
Jordan Marina is one of the finest marinas that we have ever visited. The owners, Dan and Denise, are both divers and have set up one of the finest marinas with all the necessities a diver would need complete with a huge dive shop, instructional classes, and of course fast and friendly air fills. What makes Jordan Marina stand out to divers over others is that they have a fleet of actual dive boats for rent. These are not the typical party barge pontoon; but rather, large pontoons complete with tank benches and places to store all your gear. Dan and Denise rely on a very friendly and profession crew to help ensure that all their guests enjoy their stay and are provided with whatever service is needed. Believe me, walking into the Marina you are greeted with a smile and attitude that makes you feel like you are with friends.
Over the last several years we have been trying to hit the sweet spot for diving in the lake, which is typically in the spring with visibility well in the 40-foot range. We had been fighting with floods and extreme temperatures in previous years, but this year was nearly perfect. The weather could not have been any better with sunny skies and temps in the upper 80’s. Water temp was about 80 degrees with visibility 25-35’ depending where you were at. The upper layer was clear and warm with the thermocline hitting about 20’ and colder temps. Once you made it through the milky layer it was crystal clear below. We made several dives simply enjoying the upper layer playing with the fish. Perfect relaxing diving and we cannot wait to get back on the lake.
If you have not dove Norfork, you certainly are missing out. As I said earlier this is our Midwest Divers Paradise and highly recommend any and all to make the trip. If you do, stop in and say Hello to the crew at Jordan Marina and tell them the crew of MidwestMuckdiving say Hi!
Video located in Videos and Photos linked above.