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Gulf Shores/Pensacola in October?

Discussion in 'Deep Dixie Divers' started by jormar1990, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. jormar1990

    jormar1990 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Kansas
    27
    10
    3
    Hi everyone

    I’m sick of being stuck in Kansas so I am looking to escape towards the ocean for a short trip sometime in mid to late October. Can anyone recommend a charter op in the Gulf Shores or Pensacola area? I would like to build some offshore experience in the 80+ ft range which doesn’t seem like it will be a problem in this location. My usual dive buddy won’t be able to make it so I would need a charter where I stand a good chance of getting paired with an insta buddy. Thanks for any replies!
     
  2. Saniflush

    Saniflush ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I cannot speak to the Gulf Shores or Pensacola specifically but the Panama City Beach area has a number of really good dive operations if you are open to being somewhere different
     
    jormar1990 likes this.
  3. mcohen1021

    mcohen1021 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Texas
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    501
    93
    jormar1990 likes this.
  4. jormar1990

    jormar1990 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Kansas
    27
    10
    3
    I am open to it, although it is about two hours further for me than Pensacola. Any particular charters ops and dive sites you recommend? A quick Google search brings up Panama City Diving which looks like a professional outfit.

    Bad experience because of vis, jellyfish, weather, dive op?

    I see you are in Texas. Any Texas gulf coast recommendations?
     
  5. RyanT

    RyanT ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    1,861
    1,553
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    Sorry to hear you had bad experiences @mcohen1021. The Pensacola/Destin area is one of my favorite places to dive, especially in October. There are several good ops in the area. My personal choice would be Niuhi Dive charters as I don't care for big cattle boats.
     
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  6. Saniflush

    Saniflush ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I do not know of any that have a bad reputation but there are some differences.

    Panama City Dive Center - is going to be closer to what most people think of as the cattle boats in that there may be a larger number of divers on them. (They have three different boats) There are times when our LDS will use them simply because we have that many divers and need the space.

    Panama City Diving - has a smaller boat (36' Newton I think) and are ok with folks who want to shoot fish

    I have dove the most with these two outfits and have never had anything but good luck. They are both good folks.


    Dive Locker and Red Alert Diving both seem to be good outfits as well but I have only dove once with both of them so my sampling size may not be sufficient. I had zero problems with either one of them though. I will say that I don't think RAD allows people to spearfish on their normal day in day out outings. They may on some other outings though. Cannot speak to the Dive Locker's policy on that.

    See what they have going offshore first because not as many divers hit those sites and the fish life and vis is usually a little better.
     
  7. jormar1990

    jormar1990 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Kansas
    27
    10
    3
    Excellent information thanks! I have never been Spearfishing before but I think it would be fun to try. Do you think it is something I could reasonably try for a few dives?
     
  8. Saniflush

    Saniflush ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I have never done it in PCB. We have a couple of folks in our regular dive group that almost always do though. Just came back from Honduras a month ago and got to do some with a Hawaiian sling and I see how addicting it could become. If you want to try it I would speak to whoever you decide to go with beforehand and have that all worked out.
     
  9. mcohen1021

    mcohen1021 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Texas
    989
    501
    93
    Both bad vis and jellies. Vis was no better than a local mudhole (seriously). That is why I said spend the money to go further out, as it should clear up. The nettle jellies were so thick I was waving them off of me… I aborted the 2nd dive after 5 minutes.

    I liked Niuhi charters, good folks. Just did not enjoy the dives


    MV Fling from Freeport – 2 and 3 day live aboard – it is AWESOME… The vis and the reefs are amazing as is the crew. You need to pick several weekends to be available – lots of high seas cancellations.
     
  10. INQuarryDiver

    INQuarryDiver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Indiana
    60
    20
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    I have dove with Divers Den and Panama City Diving on in shore dives (5 mi from shore). I can recommend both. I haven't ran into problems with a huge amount of jelly fish.

    The visibility can be hit miss. Average viz I've seen is about 30 ft to 40 ft (September & November), it's not Cozumel but better than any Indiana quarry.

    Good luck.
     

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