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How far in advance to reserve for Key Largo diving (January)

Discussion in 'Florida' started by ktkt, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. ktkt

    ktkt Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Oakland, CA
    I headed to the Keys for some diving this January. I'll have 3-4 days on my own, during which I'll either be insta-buddying or paying for a guide, and I'll want to dive the wrecks and also do as much night diving as possible. Then I'll have a day off and my OW-only friend will join me for six more days. She's essentially brand new, so we'll stick to the <60ft dives for that time (actually, probably more like <40ft).

    Question: how far in advance to I need to make reservations? I would prefer one (or more) of the more small/medium-sounding ops, like Conch Republic or Ocean Divers or Silent World (open to suggestions here, btw). Should I have taken care of this, oh, yesterday? Can I scout out several shops in my first four days there and then commit to one for the second week, or will it already be too late? Can we just tell them we want to do 2 trips basically every day the ocean cooperates, and will it be a non-issue if we decide one day that we should take the afternoon off? I am assuming this is a fairly busy season for diving, so I want to make sure we don't find ourselves stuck on shore when we don't want to be. All of my previous long trips have been all-inclusives or liveaboards, so it's easy to just take each day as it comes.

    Also, anybody want to be my dive buddy January 11-13, and maybe the afternoon of the 10th? :wink:
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  2. RichmondKYdiver

    RichmondKYdiver Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Richmond KY
    Don't know about the lead time but dove with Horizon Divers and Silent world this past summer. Horizon Divers are closer to the Speigel and Duane wrecks, Silent World is closer to the more shallow reefs on the north side. Headed back that way myself at the end of Jan for some Tec work after Cavern at Peacock, Orange Grove Ear and Eye the first week of January. Silent World worked with us to take us out to the City of Washington during the evening, we did a dusk dive, coming back up in the dark, then donned a second tank for a repeat night dive, lots of lobster, squid, turtles after dark!!
  3. wedged

    wedged Garibaldi

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: SW Florida
    If you know you are going and as a single diver, book the dives about 2 weeks ahead. That way you will not have problems if they book a large group on the boat. You can also let them know what you want to do. Ops with several boats can split people up onto the boat that is doing the activity they desire. My first choice would be Horizon, very nice people.
  4. Chris Brown Tech

    Chris Brown Tech Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: London, UK
    Hi ktkt, you can book a week in advance. That gives an idea of current and predicted weather, scheduled trips, destinations etc, etc. It is the down season so everyone will be quieter than usual, so you should get exactly what you want :)

    Ocean Divers and Conch are large businesses and have big 46' boats, although Conch has a small Island Hopper too.

    I have an Island Hopper, max 12 people. All of us offer the diving you have mentioned. Let me know if I can help!

    Many thanks
  5. idive2

    idive2 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Palm Beach County
    I believe a wreck called the Eagle is a bit farther south and in closer proximity to Conch Republic
    Divers. It is an interesting wreck and if my memory serves me correctly not as deep as the Duane,
    the Bibb, or the Spiegel Grove. As far as winter being a busier diving season I have heard different things
    from different charters. There are quite a few local divers that slow down a bit with their diving when things
    get a little cooler.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  6. ktkt

    ktkt Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Oakland, CA
    Thanks everyone. I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row this week, and I appreciate the responses.
  7. DiveRadar

    DiveRadar Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Florida
    Hey Ktkt,
    Here are a few websites that might help you with looking for a dive shop and booking your dives.

    1. DiveRadar.com - This site gives you the current dive schedules for the shops and more listed below, as well as, the dive conditions reported by shops on past dives they have done.
    2. Here are the shops and links directly to their calendars so you can see what's scheduled. These are real-time schedules and not a static calendar like some other dive shops. With all of them you can book right on line or give them a call one or two days out.
      1. Key Largo Dive Center - Key Largo
      2. Horizon Dive Center - Key Largo
      3. Conch Republic Divers - Tavernier
      4. Islamorada Dive Center - Islamorada
      5. SEAductions Dive Center - Key West - In case you want to dive the Vandenburg

    Hope this helps and enjoy your trip to the Florida Keys.
  8. voyager77

    voyager77 Angel Fish

    Stay away from Counch Republic - dangerous operaton
  9. Mitchell Teeters

    Mitchell Teeters ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cookeville, TN, (AKA God's Country)
    I hope this is tongue and cheek. That is a major open statement. I don't care either way, just saying.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  10. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    I fully disagree with this statement. I ride on Conch Republic boats all the time. They are among the safest in Florida as well as the cleanest and stablest here in the Keys. I love taking students on his boats because of that. Mind you, I dive with most of the dive ops here and pretty much love them all. The only unsafe operation is now out of business (boat sunk) and the rest are great.
    Zen Diving Inc. likes this.

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