Dive club «THREE DIMENSIONS-BAIKAL» (http://dive-baikal.ru/english/) invites divers of all levels and laymen to experience diving in Lake Baikal. We are the only dive club in Irkutsk that has a heated building on the Baikal shore, where divers can select all necessary equipment for rental, change, have a cup of tea after the dive.
Lake Baikal is a unique water reservoir. On the one hand, it is a fresh water lake; on the other hand – by depth and water transparency it is comparable to a sea. The volume of the Baikal waters influences climate of the neighbourhood territories.
The greater part of the year the water temperature in the lake is rather low: +1 - + 4°С, only in July-September does it get warmer – up to +16 – +18°С. Water transparency is in direct dependence of the season and temperatures: in July-September is it about 5-10 meters, in May after the ice has melted – 10-15, the rest of the time – up to 40-60 meters.
Taking into account these conditions, we choose our equipment. We dive in dry suits, make use of regulators especially designed for cold water.
What can you see underwater? Various landscapes – at some places there is a drop off (vertical wall) very close to the shoreline; there are many canyons. The most spectacular one starts about 10 meters from the shore; the height of its walls is 30-40 meters, width – enough for 1 person to move comfortably, depth – unknown (we dived to 70 meters and could not see its bottom from there). There are huge underwater mountain ranges, when viewing them one feels as if s/he is so tiny compared to the massive rocks! Right opposite our dive-centre in Listvyanka there is a very interesting place: in terms of landscape it is just a 45° slope, but this is a place where graylings feed and breed. It is fun to observe a big flock of fish (several thousand specimen). There are also some caves.
We think the list can be continued, as there are so many unexplored nooks in the lake. This year (2008) we discovered a 100-year-old ship in very good condition, we also went on expeditions in search of an old steamboat and an icebreaker that sank in the lake. One of the lake endemics – the Baikal seal deserves a separate article. In the summer 2008 we dived with Azimuth rebreathers in Ushkanyi Islands so as to make a video of these animals, but, unfortunately, poor weather conditions did not allow us to realize this plan to the full.
German, English, Australian, French and Polish divers come to dive with us regularly.