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Florida Keys - Shore Diving Spots??

Discussion in 'General Travel and Vacation Discussions' started by JDostal, Nov 1, 2003.

  1. JDostal

    JDostal Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Wisconsin
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    I'm going to be taking a trip down to Florida end of December to do some cheap diving. We want to focus on mainly shore diving to keep the cost down if at all possible - what are some good shore diving spots?? Our itinerary is pretty much wide open - although we are planning to spend our last couple of days at Ginnie Springs to do some freshwater diving to clean the salt out of our gear...

    Just a few hints, maybe some good spots to hit up or a cheap charter or two. Toss me a few ideas :)

    Thanks!
     
  2. Wendy

    Wendy Divemaster

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    I have always been told that there is little to no shore diving in the keys. I think you pretty much need to go n a dive boat to hit the reefs.

    Most of my friends do their shore diving in the Ft.Lauderdale area (Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Dania, Hollywood).
     
  3. Padipro

    Padipro Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
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    I'd have to agree with Wendy. I've never heard of any shore diving in the Keys. I could be wrong but I know it's very shallow near shore so you'd need to take a boat to get into any water worth diving.

    Any beach along Ft. Lauderdale down to Miami is diveable from shore. The first reef isn't very far off shore and if you're in good shape and don't mind a little swim the second reef is only about 800 yards off shore. It's about 25 feet deep with lots of marine life to see.

    Have fun.

    Scott
     
  4. Bob3

    Bob3 Dive Shop

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    You're going to have a rough time for shore diving in the Keys.
    I always liked to hit the bridges, but you really need to watch the tides or you'll wind up trying to hitchike back to shore.
    The bridges by Bahia Honda are OK (though shallow), and if you turn south (left, by the Fish Camp) on the first road you get to on Big Pine, there are some diveable coral heads that you can get at.
    Be sure to bring your snorkel in case you wind up needing to do a couple miles of surface swim..
    Look for charters out of Big Pine & Little Torch going to Looe Key, it's worth the $$.
     
  5. JDostal

    JDostal Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Wisconsin
    1,237
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    Huh...well thanks for the tips - good to know before we went down there. Are charter prices reasonable?
     
  6. DennisS

    DennisS Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sebastian, FL
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  7. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster Staff Member

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    I was there during DEMA and we did several days worth of diving. A two tank recreational charter ran about $65.
     
  8. Bob3

    Bob3 Dive Shop

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    As you pull into the area you will see a sign that says: "Caution, High Crime Area".
    Be SURE to lock all your goodies in the trunk whenever you're in the Keys, even when hitting the little grocery stores, etc.
     
  9. JDostal

    JDostal Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Wisconsin
    1,237
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    Hm. Cool little article. From the sound of it though, there isn't a whole heck of a lot for shorediving though. Looks like the charter boats it is...hrmm...
     
  10. CAPT HOOK

    CAPT HOOK Manta Ray

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    are able to handle a boat safely (not all who think they can - can)
    you might consider what we have started doing. Rent a 20 footer for a day or 2 and dive on your own. Don't know how many in your party but with 2 couples it costs less, even with gas, than 4 tanks each. Plus, you get a lot of freedom to dive where and when you want.
     

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