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Florida Dive Recommendation

Discussion in 'Florida' started by kyleterry, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. kyleterry

    kyleterry Nassau Grouper

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    Hello All-

    I will be taking two of my sons, along with three of their friends, on a dive trip this winter to Florida. The friends are newer divers and all are teenagers. What woulod be some good recommendations?

    They are asking to go to Crystal Springs to do some diving and then snorkle with the manatee.

    If you were going to pick one trip (probably 4-5 days), would that be a good choice for newer divers?

    Any comments and suggestions on locations an dive ops would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

    Kyle
     
  2. Capt Gary

    Capt Gary Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Tavernier, Florida Keys
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    Hey Kyle,

    You'll love snorkeling or diving with the manatees in Crystal River. I'd suggest seeing our friends at Birds Dive Center. They'll treat you right and it will be a great vacation. You might even be able to take a trip down to the Florida Keys in that time frame as well. So how about swiming with the manatees one day and then driving down to the Florida Keys for another day of diving/snorkeling on some beautiful reefs. It's about a 6 hour drive from Crystal River to the Keys, but worth the trip.

    Hope you guys have a great vacation and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to call or email.

    Good Diving,
     
  3. cra2

    cra2 Photographer

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Central Florida
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    hrmmm... how new are the divers?

    Assuming you're going to have long and adventurous diving careers spanning the globe, then I'd suggest hitting the springs while you're here. I know it doesn't sound as exciting as wrestling bull sharks and riding sea turtles but you can do that stuff anywhere from the Caribbean to Hawaii and on.
    But Florida is one of the few places where you can go into many, many crystal clear springs and caverns.. without even needing cave certification.
    With only 4 days on your hands, you could camp at Ginnie Springs, for example, and do river dives, cavern dives, night dives, and you could do Blue Grotto and Devil's Den while you're in that area. And, on your surface intervals, you could explore the woods and build campfires and do all the guy stuff you can't do if you stay in some hotel off a highway.
    That'd be my suggestion. Especially if they're new and still gaining skills and confidence. These are pretty safe (as long as you follow the rules) and controlled conditions.
    And, unlike some reef dive (which they'll do THOUSANDS of), this is a fairly unique experience that they'll remember.
     
  4. del_mo

    del_mo Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: South Carolina
    805
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    Look into Rainbow River. Nice leisurely drift dive. Great viz, neat things to see.
     
  5. thedaddy

    thedaddy Solo Diver

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    I have to second the snorkeling with the manatees trip - It is a very cool experience. You're not diving, but at least you're not hauling gear! Might as well take advantage of the coincidence of being here when the manatees are inland for the warmer water.

    Also, with the 'new' divers there is the issue of risk - you have a bunch of youngsters to track, and the manatee trip is pretty low risk with a high payoff from the entertainment factor perspective.

    We went to Crystal River and had a great time. I have also heard a lot of good about dealing with Birds Underwater
     
  6. moneysavr

    moneysavr Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location:
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    Hi,
    As said Crystal river can be fun dive and its not a deep dive,Manatees and operators that run a good trip Eco in mind trip our choice would be Birds underwater dive shop do a google,check em out they are on the water unlike several cattle boat opps that bus you in,

    Second as said Devils Den would be a great dive on a weekday early,later on it gets all stirred up as most springs so GO EARLY!! weekends =YUCK!
    Then if dive skills are tuned try a quick trip east and south if you can get a Atlantic drift dive like out of WPB to Lauderdale it would be priceless and great memories to be had as I am not bashing the Gulf for a shark tooth dive but vis is on the Atlantic side and reef life is a major plus .
     
  7. kyleterry

    kyleterry Nassau Grouper

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    Tyhank you for the great suggestions. I think the boys would love to include a day for an ocean dive. Is it worth a trip all the way top Key Largo, or is there a closer place you would recommend?
     
  8. cra2

    cra2 Photographer

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Central Florida
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    I don't think there's anything down in the Keys you can't see up at West Palm, Jupiter, Lantana, etc. Maybe one of the more experienced divers will correct me.

    Oh, and you said "diving or snorkeling" with the manatees.
    FYI - I don't think you can dive with them. From what I recall, the bubbles will just spook them. And they're just sitting there, bobbing on the surface like corks. You don't need dive gear to get to them.
     
  9. moneysavr

    moneysavr Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location:
    1,452
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    Kyle,
    I am sure more will chime in, But from West Palm Beach south diving is GREAT! WPB offers a mess of good dive boats, one good choice and there are more is JA scuba adventures,http://www.scuba-adventures.com/palmbeach.shtml
    and when you book book in advance or try to as spots fill quick! Let them know you will have some newer divers that way you will for sure get on some dives all well with in skill levels and I know fun will be had by all !
    Key Largo would cut into a whole day as by the time you got down you would likely miss the afternoon trip as West Palm Beach is a drive but if you left early a.m.you could make the afternoon charter (approx 5 hr trip) as I have did it in the past.
    Good luck and let us know how it was,if you have time sign up for some free copy's of Florida's scuba news, www.scubanews.com go sign up and they will mail you some free copy's! also Florida has some great travel info & lodging,www.visitflorida.com
    I am down in two DAYS!! for one of my several trips a year to Florida's pristine waters and a great group of folks to dive with!
    Dive safe,
    Brad
     
  10. kyleterry

    kyleterry Nassau Grouper

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    Great advice.

    Looks like we will do a day snorkle with the manatee, probably with Birds Dive Center, and then a couple of days a Ginnie Springs. Then we might hit West Palm Beach. Sound like a good plan for the boys?
     

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