Looking for Keys Info...

Discussion in 'Florida Diving' started by Rixx, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. Rixx

    Rixx Angel Fish

    Have a trip coming up, (Sept. 15th) looking for info on the best dives. Have a week there, will go anywhere. I did a search, looks like the best diving is the upper Keys?? Also heard a little about Looe Key? Worth checking out??

    I prefer lots of fish and corals, vs. wrecks, and deep dives. Also would like to eliminate LONG boat rides. Any suggestions on where to go? WHO to go with?

    I appreciate any and all info!!!!

  2. HarleyDiver

    HarleyDiver Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Madison FL
    Key Largo has the most options with short boat rides.
    Looe Key is spectacular, but one day covers it all.

    Try these guys http://www.bluewaterdiver.net/ or PM keylargobrent for Key Largo.
    PM CaptJimWyatt for a Looe key trip.
    Most any good dive shop in the keys will have a deal set up with local hotels, and can get you good rates.

    Enjoy your trip. We might be there that week as well.
  3. Rixx

    Rixx Angel Fish

    I have been to Largo once before. Rented a boat, and did our own thing at Molasses Reef. That was it though, short trip.

    My buddy going along, has enough 'points' at Holiday Inn, for us to stay free. Coupled with 39.00 flights to Ft. Lauderdale, we have plenty of $$$ for diving. Staying at Key West 1 night, Marathon 2 nights, and Largo 2 nights. Wondering if we should spend more time in Largo?

    I'll check the links out!!

    Appreciate the help!!
  4. wstein

    wstein Orca

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    There is also some decent reef dives down in Key West. I used to go down there every year, and would always hit a couple dives while there.

  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike Angel Fish

    SILENT WORLD has a 5 TRIP (ten dives) package for $179 plus tax. Includes tanks & weights. They have 2 boats (30 ft Island Hoppers) and limit to 12 (I think) which is about all you can stand on those boats anyway.

    We dove with them in May 2004 & had a great time. Janet is a good DM.

  6. saltwater taffy

    saltwater taffy Barracuda

    The last time I checked, the reefs look horrible in Key West. Too many cruise ships coming in.

    My advice, stay in the upper to middle keys.

  7. Rixx

    Rixx Angel Fish


    Looking like I might have to push the trip further ahead by a week. Due to scheduling conflicts....

    Silent World question... How far away are the Reefs from S.W.? Looking for SHORT boat rides!! I'm thinking S,W, is close, just don't remember for sure.

  8. Scubadubes

    Scubadubes Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Southwest Florida
    .. we have been there twice and really enjoyed the diving. We liked both Paradise Charters and Horizon Divers. Paradise is the only outfit in the upper keys that puts a divemaster in the water with you on every dive. It does make it nice b/c you don't have to worry about navigation at all!!! Very stress-free. Also the dive briefings were excellent and the customer service was first-rate. Horizon was just as good; although no DM. They both have lockers to store your gear in overnight so you don't have to schlepp it to your hotel. I would recommend either outfit.
  9. KeyLargoBrent

    KeyLargoBrent Manta Ray

    Looe Key is definitely worth a visit, as is Key Largo. It's a short boat ride from Silent World's dock (mm 106 os) to Dry Rocks and The Elbow Reef (about half an hour).

    For diving the Benwood, French, Molasses, Pickles, and Snapper Ledge... the operators (including ours) at mile marker 100 oceanside (next to the Holiday Inn) are closer to the action (about half an hour).

    In Key Largo, Molasses Reef probably offers the best of what you're looking for. Snapper Ledge is also highly recommended, as it's almost always LOADED with fishes, along with more than a few nurse sharks and moray eels.

    Conch Reef and Alligator Reef, in Tavernier and Islamorada respectively, are also very nice.
  10. flounderboy

    flounderboy Nassau Grouper

    I live in Tampa and have about 40 key dives under my belt
    Silent world is Ok but the best is Divers City
    I will only use them from now on

    two great things about them is
    drift diving the Grove and night dives on the Duane
    most boats just hook up to a ball and you have to go down
    and fight your way back

    It would take you 5 to 8 dives on a normal boat
    to see what you get in one drift dive

    Now i do have friends that cant do that kind of drop
    mainly because they cant clear fast and might not hit the right spot
    they use silent world

    hope that helps

    Dive Safe

    Mark s
  11. fun2chase

    fun2chase Nassau Grouper

    Just got back from Key Largo on Thursday. Did 5 dives down there. 2 were deep (Speigel Grove and Duane). Used Atlantis (older boat, but awesome people) for the first 2 dives. The Benwood was a shallow wreck that had tons of fish, a nurse shark, lots of coral, etc. Definitely a must! After that we did a night dive and 2 more dives with the Conch Republic about 15 minutes South on the right. Faster boat, awesome folks, too. If you get the chance, a night dive is incredible in the Keys!!! Conch Republic does partial pressure mixing for Nitrox if you need it (the others do not use hyperfiltered air). I can't wait for my next trip down, down, down, down....
  12. Scubaguy62

    Scubaguy62 Son of Yemaya

    # of Dives:
    Location: Boca Raton, FL.
    I can certainly vouch for that! I dove this reef shortly after being discovered (it didn't even have a mooring ball yet), and was treated to a nice aquatic ballet performance by 5 yellowhead jaw fish who were doing some synchronized dancing about 1 foot from their borroughs. If I hadn't seen anything else on that dive (impossible), that would have been more than enough!!! This reef is, IMHO, second only to Molasses!!

    As far as dive operators, I recommende Island Ventures. www.islandventure.com
  13. uberspeed

    uberspeed Nassau Grouper

    My next trip down I'm looking at Key Largo dives, since I was told the vis is great there. I just got back from getting SSI and I did it with Dive Key West, great shop and people. Highly recommended, but they're in the Lower Keys.
    We dove Cannonbal Cut, Sand Key, Rock Key and Haystacks that I can recall, and all were decent reefs with depths of 20-35ft and a lot of marine-life including Moray Eels and the very colorful Parrotfish amongst many more; my only complaint was vis as it was around 15ft for every dive across a 3 day span. Take that with a grain of salt, we're spoiled down here in SoFla when it comes to vis, marine-life and water temps ;)
  14. TerryC

    TerryC Master Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: St Kitts, West Indies
    Just to follow on from Rixx.
    I am from England and in Key West for a week from 19th September - Any advice for Key West?? Good Operators? Best boats for recreational diving?
    Can only do half days so annot travel too far to be fair to my wife who does not dive.
    Rixx do you need a buddy? email me if so.
  15. Rixx

    Rixx Angel Fish

    For all the help!

    An ol' buddy is coming down from Lakeland to meet me. Haven't seen him in 15 yrs. I'd like to take him (non divers)and his wife snorkeling somewhere around Key Largo, what would be my best bet?

    Brent, and everyone else....THANKS!

    This is an awesome board, it's just amazing how much help you can get..that QUICK!

    Rixx ;)

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