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Sanibel Island Diving Late November

Discussion in 'Florida' started by EevelMonkee, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. EevelMonkee

    EevelMonkee Instructor, Scuba

    110
    13
    I know Sanibel has been discussed before and from what I can find, there isn't much to speak of as far as diving there goes. Since I will be on Sanibel at the end of November I thought I would give it another shot anyway.
    So...Any diving worth checking out in the Sanibel / Ft. Myers area in late November? I will be the only diver in my group so I would need to find a buddy, DM from a shop or otherwise. Thanks.

    -EM
     
  2. sportxlh

    sportxlh Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: formerly Palm Beach Gardens, FL: now Atlanta
    2,599
    1,374
  3. matts1w

    matts1w Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Jakarta, Indonesia & Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
    1,586
    673
    The best shop in Fort Myers is Dean's Dive Center (Dean's Dive Center). Brent, the owner, has been open for 17+ years for a reason. Give them a call and he will tell you the honest positives (there are many) and challenges (there are many) of diving off Sanibel/Fort Myers.

    Best,
    Matt
     
  4. EevelMonkee

    EevelMonkee Instructor, Scuba

    110
    13
    Thanks for the responses and good info. I really appreciate the help.

    -EM
     
  5. Jupiter31

    Jupiter31 Contributor

    1,853
    23
    Matt lived and worked in the area for years, so I would put a premium on his info - you made mention in your original post of not much being written about diving in the area; kind of an indication, right? - although there are many places to dive in the gulf off Ft Myers - its just chilly, and the boat rides tend to be long - plus you are "out of season" so not sure how often the charters run.

    Sanibel and Captiva are 2 of the most beautiful places in FL - but the diving.......

    Another option is to go cross the state to Jupiter or Boynton, 2 fantastic places to dive. Or just bag it and enjoy Sanibel - beautiful anytime, but especially so that time of year.
     
  6. Glock Diver

    Glock Diver Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: SW Florida
    361
    9
    If you spearfish, there's plenty of diving. I live nearby, and was at the boat ramp yesterday (the ramp just before the Sanibel bridge), and there was a boat coming in right after me with about 5 divers aboard. Judging by their catch, I'd say they had a good day!

    Also ran into Brent from Deans Dive Center at the ramp, but he wasn't diving with them. Give him a call though, he has a good knowledge of the area.

    What dates are you in town?

    Water temp was 69 yesterday.
     
  7. EevelMonkee

    EevelMonkee Instructor, Scuba

    110
    13
    I'll just be around the 28th - 30th. I'm there visiting family so not even sure I would have time to get away on my own. Water does sound decent though.
     
  8. ScubaJoy65

    ScubaJoy65 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Charleston, South Carolina, United States
    320
    0
    I'll be in the area around the same time and was thinking it would be great to do some shallow shore diving to look for shells. I will give Dean a call. I'm hoping he says "shell diving" works well there. Mom and dad live across the street from Bowman's Beach. So this would be ideal.
     
  9. EevelMonkee

    EevelMonkee Instructor, Scuba

    110
    13
    Sent you a PM Joy.

    Does anybody else know if shore diving is anything but sand off sanibel. Even a few fish, shells, or rock clusters? I would have to rent tanks but then I'm good.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  10. matts1w

    matts1w Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Jakarta, Indonesia & Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
    1,586
    673
    Ok- I posted this in 2008. Mind you I left Fort Myers a year later, so I am not sure what is up with the charter situation anymore other than most of the diving is done from private boats and scuba friendly deep sea charters.... I have no idea which charter companies are in business anymore.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT ALTHOUGH BRENT AND THE STAFF AT DDC ARE SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS, I NO LONGER SPEAK FOR DDC AS IMPLIED IN THIS TWO-YEAR-OLD POST. I live in Indonesia, so take what I say about 2010 diving off Sanibel with a grain of salt. There may be an amazing charter company running now. I hope there is. Last I heard was the newest fishing regulations and the current economic situation in SW Florida were killing the far off-shore charters. No matter, if anyone is running quality Gulf scuba trips, it is Brent. That is the bottom line.

    "We get a lot of emails at the shop with this question. Here is my stock answer...

    The diving off Fort Myers Beach and Naples will blow you mind...but it aint easy and it aint for new divers. If you want pretty colors, blue water, and easy boat rides then the east coast is for you. A good day of vis in the Gulf is in the 20-30 foot range, and winter temps run in the low 60s. However, if you head three hours out of Fort Myers I can show you giant animals: sharks, grouper the size of cars, schools of fish so thick you cannot even see the wreck they inhabit. Massive turtles are common, and at times some of the giant sharks make an appearance. Maybe you would like to see a wreck brought down by a German Sub? It all off the coast of SW Florida.

    Dont get me wrong, I dive more on the east coast and the Keys than the west side as the Gulf trips are expensive and often foiled by windy weather weather, but the MOST amazing dives I have done in Florida include the Pentrel, Baja California, Fantastico and some unnamed ledges in 100 feet off Boca Grande. They were simply some of the most beauitful and heart pumping dives ever.

    By the way, the spearfishing is world class.

    Maybe this is the best way to say it: "When I dive the east coast or Keys I pretty much know what I am gonna experience. When I dive the Gulf it is an adventure."

    As for dive trips/boats...There is really no such thing, but there are fishing charters that are dive friendly. We run a trip with such once a month...mostly for spearfishing in the 70-90 foot range. Three tanks dive cost $150 as the sites are about 25 miles off shore. The wrecks are much further so the costs go up to $200. These are advanced trips as the boat rides can be miserable, the vis not so great, and help is very far away if things were to go wrong. Weather and wind often shuts the trips down- especially in the winter. In the same amount of time it takes to travel to wrecks such as the Fantastico and Stony Point, you can be in Key Largo. This is not meant as a downer, just a fact. Also note that every charter we offer into the Gulf sells out in 2-3 days despite the travel time and price. The diving/spearfishing is that good."

    As for shore diving- there is none off Sanibel. If you walk 200-300 yards off shore you may find five feet of water and some sand dollars. The best shelling will be at an early morning low tide. Best time is still dark as there will be people with flashlights getting the best stuff. You will need to learn the Sanibel stoop. Diving for shells is not worth it. 99% of what you find will still be alive, and taking live shells in Lee County is way against the law. On Sanibel the locals will bust you as snow birds and their love of legal shelling as morning exercise pays the bills.

    Anyway, Sanibel/Captiva and the islands up to Manasota Key are paradise. Enjoy them for what they are. I will be back visiting family in December. I cannot wait to fish Boca Grande pass, walk miles of perfect beach, and watch a west coast Florida sunset while sipping good tequila. Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

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