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Florida Dive Recommendation

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

  1. tech108diver

    tech108diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Titusville, FL
    70
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    Alexander springs can be fun to. Maybe not up to the par of Ginnie but its a very easy shallow dive and great picnic BBQ facilties.
     
  2. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    6,175
    1,997
    113
    To be here and not dive the keys would be a shame. The reefs and wrecks are world class for a reason and the ops here will show you and your family a great time.

    If you come down here look up capt gary at conch republic divers( he also is a member of this forum) for safety and quality service.

    My 2cents
     
  3. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    6,175
    1,997
    113
    I am now a senior member, I feel olddddddddddd
     
  4. divekraz

    divekraz Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ft Lauderdale, Florida
    211
    18
    18
    Each choice has different benefits. Considering you have 5 divers of which 3 are new divers to supervise I would go to Key Largo. Unless you go out to deep water, If you stay in Pennekamp it's almost like diving a lake, your usually in less than 40fsw with little current and loads of wildlife. Diving anywhere from WPB to Ft. Lauderdale is my first choice but may not be a good choice depending on your young divers skill levels. All will be drift dives, generally without a guide and depth around 100fsw calling for a bit more stress on your divers and you trying to ride herd on 5 teenage divers. I've been to ginnie springs, did the cave and for me and the other 2 divers, it was cold and a bit boring. There weren't any manatee at Ginnie which probably would've made a big difference and Crystal may be more interesting. We drove 3 hours one way to Ginnie, did one dive and left.
     
  5. under water

    under water Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tampa
    1,638
    41
    48
    On top of that, you can't 'go to them'. It might be the law or just good practice, but you need to wait and have them come to you.
    It is a great experience though and combined with snorkeling in Hawaii, got me to take the 'plunge' into diving.
     
  6. kyleterry

    kyleterry Nassau Grouper

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    The level of difficulty, due to experience, is an issue. My sons only have about 35 dives each under their belt. One friend only has 7 dives, all with me this summer when we took him to Hawii with us. The other friend just got his c-card last month, so this will be his very first dive trip.

    Do you think Pennakamp would be better than WPB?
     
  7. cra2

    cra2 Photographer

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Central Florida
    396
    0
    0
    Nah. I don't think one would be better than the other.

    If you're certified, you're certainly qualified to do any of the easier dives around here.
    Right after getting our C cards, they took us down to Lantana or WPB or Jupiter and dropped us off a boat. It's exactly what you trained for - descend to 60', drift along effortlessly looking at fishies, watch your guages, then ascend as a group.
    No brainer.
    It's not like the Galapagos or cave penetration or anything.
    The dives you did in Hawaii may have been tougher.
    All depends on the conditions that day, luck, the dive op, your dive leader, and your judgement.

    We've dived from the springs to the Keys and the best Florida dive we've had so far was one in Lantana. We saw everything you could see that day - wrecks, reefs, sharks, rays, eels, lobsters, goliath grouper, you name it.
    The viz was great, the water was warm, and the dive boat was INCREDIBLY helpful.

    Talk to the dive op about doing an easier dive for the kids.
    They've got shallower sites and deeper sites in WPB, just like the Keys.
    Just like most destinations.
     
  8. Jupiter31

    Jupiter31 Loggerhead Turtle

    1,853
    23
    38
    Hello From Miami

    Short answer is yes and no - the Keys have that magic appeal, coupled with as mild or challanging a dive as you want; you really can't duplicate the coral reefs in the Keys in other places, even though coral does exist further north. I think the Keys have 3 fantastic wreck dives - Bibb, Dwayne, Spiegal Grove - but if your divers are real new you woun't dive them this trip.

    For my money some of the best diving in FL is in the West Palm Beach area and north; I like Jupiter.

    It can be more intense, especially vs snorkeling with manatees - check this, as previously mentioned I don't know if you can scuba dive w/ them; might have to snorkel only, but I think you can otherwise dive Cristal River.

    I thought Ginnie Springs was interesting and we may go up this winter for a weekend, but don't know if I'd want to do 2 days there - my opinion, YMMV

    Go to WPB or Jupiter (try Jupiter Dive Center or in WPB/Riviera Beach Jim Abernethy) - you stand a great chance of seeing something big. Just monitor the weather and sea conditions, and be aware its current diving (but not hard if you go with the flow; plus you can stay with the dive master if you want; good for newer divers)

    Good Luck and have a great trip.
     
  9. plagsage

    plagsage Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Dunedin, FL
    31
    0
    6
    Last year I dove at Crystal River with the Manatees. I am going again this year but diving with them is a waste of time, just snorkel with them.

    They seem to be used to bubbles from scuba, but they only go about 10-15 feet deep so why dive??? The depth of the spring where the manatees congrgate is only 30 ft.
     
  10. WPBdiver

    WPBdiver Solo Diver

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    In WPB/Riviera Beach try www.oceanquestscuba.com. The "Sandy Sunday" is an instructor owned and operated 12 pack Island Hopper. The smaller boat allows for more personal attention and she's fast so some of the more out of reach reefs (Juno Ledge to the north and Paul's Reef to south) are doable. Sandy caters to all skill levels and she is a blast to dive with. Just tell her when you book that you have some newbe teenage divers and she will plan the trip south of the inlet to the more shallow 40' to 60 ' reefs like "Tear Drop", "Flower Garden" or "Breakers".
     

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