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Diving sites near Orlando

Discussion in 'Florida Diving' started by jonnybigfoot, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. jonnybigfoot

    jonnybigfoot Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Essex
    How do,

    I am off to Florida in a couple of months time. I have dived Key largo a few times whilst staying in Miami and off to Orlando this time so the other half and kids can do the Disney stuff.

    I do not really want to drive back down to the Keys (anymore than I want to spend days queing in theme parks) and wondered if anyone had recommendations for the Orlando area. I have dug about on the internet and Crystal River seems ok but is a couple of hours drive. I will need to rent kit as airlines are being awkward with weight.

    I have done reef stuff in the Keys, Portugal and Western Australia and I am open water classified.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks - jonnybigfoot
  2. sabbath999

    sabbath999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Edina, MO
    Check out the Florida Conch Divers section of Scubaboard for the best ideas on diving in that area.
  3. syntaxerrorsix

    syntaxerrorsix ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    South Florida Dive Headquarters (Pompano) and Jupiter Dive Charters (Jupiter) and Logger Head Dive Charters (Boyton Beach) are all within reasonable driving distance. Jupiter may require an AOW for most dives if memory serves.

    South Florida Diving Headquarters


    Loggerhead Dive Charters of Boynton Beach, FL

    We use them regularly and they are reliable. If your looking for bugs you may consider a beach dive anywhere from Sebastian Inlet south to Fort Pierce, decent dives if your on a budget.

    There are several local springs and Crystal River is good for Manatee in the winter. Depends on what you want.
  4. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA

    ** MOD POST: **

    moved to FCD
  5. Johnoly

    Johnoly Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Depends what kind of diving you are looking for, but here are my recommendations. Others will have favorite boats and all of them are very good. In order of Closest to farthest from Orlando.

    Blue Springs/Orange City - 45 minutes North - Simple fresh water spring head, 60 feet to the sign, but can go deeper.

    New Smyrna/Daytona - 90 minutes north - Sea Dogs, usually a couple of wreck dives to about 16 miles out, can hunt, viz is tough for photogs.

    Jupiter - 2 hours south - Jupiter Dive Center or Scuba Works,,Big Big fish, lots of sharks, plenty of hunting. Definetely W/A for photogs, My personal favorite!

    West Palm Beach - 2hrs 15mins south - Too many OPs but I like Abernathy's,and Hypnautical,. Fantastic photography location, great viz, nice soft corals, hunting not typically encouraged. Nice wreck system also.

    Boynton/Lantana - 2hrs 30mins south - I like Dive Charters Inc and Starfish,,Great reef system for macro photogs, some very unusual finds on this reef section.

    Boca - 2hrs 45mins south - Diversity boat is my choice here, Capt Tony is just about the best on putting you on what you ask him to see.

    Pompano/FLL - 3 hrs south - Too many OPs and I'm not a frequent diver of these spots, but for hunting I like Capt Conrad on Miss Conduct(6pk), A mandatory/must stop visit has to be Fill Express to see what a fill station on steriods looks like.

    Key Largo - 5 or 6hrs depending on traffic - I won't even touch who to use, there's just too many, but that doesn't mean you can just walk on a boat. Make reservations for all the boats.

    Hope this helps.
  6. Chugwhump

    Chugwhump Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: SE Florida, the flattest part, I can see Mount Pom
    Johnoly nailed it for you!
    Nice work!

    (Addicted to smilies right now....)
  7. deek8525

    deek8525 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Scotland
    Will be across in Kissemmee on the 8th October, will probably be down the West Palm Beach area diving with Jim Abernethy between the 12th and 15th October, dived there in April and enjoyed our time with Jim Abernethy.
    We done Breakers, Bath and Tennis, The Trench and Flower Gardens.
    All excellent easy dives
  8. sportxlh

    sportxlh Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: formerly Palm Beach Gardens, FL: now Atlanta
    Jupiter only requires AOW (and Nitrox) for the 3 tank dive. 2 tank dives do not require AOW or Nitrox

    Johnybigfoot: I see that you are a newer diver: I found this outfit to be great when I got back into diving last year.... DM's on every dive, very safety oriented. When they know you are newer to diving, the DM's will keep an eye on you.

    Welcome to The Scuba Club, America's Only Country Club For Scuba Divers in West Palm Beach, FL

    I still go out with them once in a while since they are one of the few that seem to consistently run a friday afternoon two tank dive (not that I'd play hooky from work or anything).
  9. lottinala

    lottinala Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Hazel Green Alabama
    when are you going to be there cause im going to be in cocoa from oct3rd till the 10th and was trying to find some places to dive and some one to hook up. let me know.
  10. pocky

    pocky Guest

    I'm coming this area next Thursday and was researching my options when I found this post. I'm hoping some of you may have some ideas!

    The details: I'm flying into Tampa at 9:30am on Thursday June 3rd and staying with family in Longwood FL (about 30 mins north of Orlando) till I leave at 11am on Tuesday the 8th. Unfortunately the point of the trip for the wife is for her to go to Disney World, and I, like the original poster, would rather spend time driving to a nice dive than waiting in queue lines.

    I probably won't end up diving every day, but I'm trying to see what would be possible on any given day that I'm there...

    I'm coming a day earlier than her and staying a day later, and she's flying into MCO. I'd really like to dive in the Tampa area on my first day there, and there's a bunch of boats in Clearwater only a half-hour from TPA, according to greater-tampa-bay-area/157898-any-charters-tampa-clearwater-9-28-a.html . But this first trip at least would have to be an afternoon dive. It seems from diveclearwater that the Plunger does afternoons, so I emailed them and will call them. Do you know who else does and expects to have enough interest to run an afternoon boat?

    Friday I'll probably pick her up at the airport at 9:30am and spend the day with her at the theme parks rather than making her take a cab (though I'm tempted...) But if I could get her to the parks and then get myself to an afternoon dive, that would be better. This might be a good time to do Blue Springs/Orange City since I should be able to get her to the parks and still have plenty of time for an afternoon dive. Are the shops in the area likely to have enough interest to be able to buddy me with someone else who would want to dive this in the afternoon with no overhead (I've never done springs/caverns before), or might any of those shops do a guided spring dive in the afternoon?

    For Saturday and Sunday it's cheaper to rent TWO cars than stay on Disney property ($18 a day for all 5 days for me in TPA and $20 a day for the two days for her from a local rental in Longwood, including taxes!), so for Friday and Saturday, I should be able to do morning dives wherever, and this thread was helpful in localizing things closer to this area. Her plane leaves at 6:30 on Monday, so I should have plenty of time to get to a morning dive for Monday. So really, I should have the pick of anything in Johnoly's post for Monday, right? What would you recommend that's on the closer side rather than farther?

    What do you all think of this plan?

    Thanks for any suggestions you can provide!

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