Jill M. Rohrbach
The annual Underwater Treasure Hunt on Aug. 21 in Jordan is a unique event to participate in or to watch. Certified scuba divers search underwater (no deeper than 40 ft.) for tokens and return them for prizes. The event takes place at Sand Island on Norfork Lake, and is a benefit for the American Cancer Society. This southern part of the lake — the Jordan area — has natural, white, sandy beaches. So, a sandcastle contest and scavenger hunt for those who don’t dive is also part of the fun.
The event is put on by Dan and Denise Weber, the fabulous owners of Jordan Marina. They are great dive instructors too. Admission is $30 for scuba divers, but free for spectators. Call 870-499-7348 or visit Jordanmarina.com for more information.
A lot of dive clubs and dive shop groups from Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma are drawn to Norfork Lake. These waters are a unique draw because it’s really hard to find good diving without going to the ocean. Good recreational diving can be found at 20 feet to 40 feet on Lake Norfork, which has 31 marked dive sites. Some of the marked sites are as deep as 70 feet with a couple wall dives down to 150 feet below the surface. Diving on this lake is best from April to October with greatest visibility between 40 feet and 60 feet in the spring. The closer you get to the dam the clearer the water.
Other reasons to dive Norfork Lake: it’s refreshing to dive in a clean, clear lake; and, it costs more money to get to the ocean.