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Best beginner dives

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by k374, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. k374

    k374 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Greater Los Angeles
    536
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    What are the best beginner dive sites worldwide? By beginner I mean suited for someone just graduated with a OW cert and wanting to start out no deeper than 30ft. By "best" I mean lots of varied marine life (I mean octopus, sharks, eels and stuff like that not ordinary fish). I have heard that you do not need to go very deep to have a good dive experience unless you want to see wrecks.
     
  2. Louie

    Louie Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Vancouver (yet again but not for long)
    870
    2
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    So if the world is your diving oyster (I imagine though in real life, things like distance and cost will be determining factor):

    My first big dive holiday after doing OW was on a Red Sea liveaboard (out of Hurghada for a week) - I ended up doing the advanced course on the trip and was very glad I did. But even with just the OW, the selection was fantastic - lots of fish, coral and sharks, and oh, the Thistlegorm wreck!! The only down side was that it set the bar really high and left me a bit spoiled :D

    Others off the top of my head - Australia/Great Barrier Reef; lots to see, usually easy conditions
    - Fiji; great variety of sites, if you travel out to the islands, corals are in good condition
    - Gulf of Thailand; not as exciting as the Andaman side but many beginner-suited dives (in fact, it's a diving factory where hoards of backpackers do their OW). It's cheap and lots of fun.
     
  3. Pete Ve

    Pete Ve Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Statesville NC
    25
    0
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    I too have recently received my OW certification and was wrestling with the same question. I have chosen to make a trip to Key Largo in Florida . Since I live in NC it is an easy drive and, from what I read, the diving is quite good and can easily be geared to a new diver.
    Most of the reef dives are 60ft or less and the marine life is quite diverse. It also is affordable this time of year. Just my thoughts!

    Pete
     
  4. carobinsoniv

    carobinsoniv Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Moultrie, Georgia
    531
    53
    28
    Key Largo and Islamorado have some great diving in the < 30 foot range.
     
  5. jnunn04

    jnunn04 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Alabama
    75
    7
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    If you are in the Keys, I would suggest Alligator Reef. It's shallow (30 ft) and I saw more wildlife on that dive that I can possibly name.
     
  6. adurso

    adurso Solo Diver

    23,200
    21,686
    113
  7. BonaireDan

    BonaireDan IDC Staff Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ohio, retiring to Bonaire within 5 years
    242
    0
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    Keys would be great to start. Consider the middle keys as well. Better reefs closer in that Key Largo. Forget Key West for now.

    Best in my opinion is Bonaire. Shore diving freedom, great vis and reef. Many folks rave about Bonaire as their first intro to OW diving and love it tremendously.

    Belize is also fantastic with varied opportunities for newbies.

    Bahamas can be great as well, particularly if you get away from Freeport and Nassau but those can be decent as well. Better reefs elsewhere.

    Utila in the Bay Islands of Honduras is wonderful, particulalry for Whale Sharks.

    Cayman's is good as well - might try Little Cayman or Cayman Brac even.

    Turks and Caicos is fantastic to start your diving career.

    Great Barrier Reef is only good (having been there) if you get out and away on a live aboard. But if you are going to the Pacific then French Polynesia, Thailand, Indonesia, Truk (Chukk), Palau, all are great diving. Many others too numerous to name. The Maldives is an option. The Red Sea is possible as well - great dive reports from there. Hawaii is good diving but not reef kind of stuff. Fantastic turtles in Hawaii and the chance to see Manta Rays.

    Whereever it is - have fun.
     
  8. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,362
    806
    113
    Where do you live?

    As a freshly certified diver I would encourage you to start logging some local dives to develop you skills. Then when you start visiting destinations you will be better equipped for the diving and to absorb the sights. Just today I made 2 dives on a local sight that I have been enjoying for over 4 years. Mother nature managed to present some some stuff that made it all new to me. Max. depth 25 feet.

    Of course if you are blessed with lot's of discretionary time and money follow the advice of the more seasoned travelers.

    BTW, if you add some meat to your profile folks can better target answers to your questions.

    Pete
     
  9. oldschool

    oldschool Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Temple TX
    439
    67
    28
    I would say Oahu, specifically Shark's Cove at the North Shore. It's named that because from the air, the shape of the cove resembles a shark's dorsal fin. This spot is great from March through October. December through February, The North Shore is not the place to dive but definitely the place to surf. Shark's Cove has an easy entry. Tons of marine life and plenty of swim throughs thirty feet or less.
     
  10. paddler3d

    paddler3d Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    1,022
    16
    0
    Molasses Reef (John Pennekamp State Park) is awesome. IMO it competed with anything I dove in the Exumas.
     

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