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Travelnsj
08-03-2007, 20:19
I am thinking of going to Destin next July....I have heard the water temps can be in the mid 80's...on the Liberty Wreck and the Hydro-Foil I will see Bull Sharks and lots of life?...anyone dove there? Please share any info.

ScubaSteve
08-03-2007, 22:38
Hey there. I live in the area and diving here is... well I used to live in Dallas so I can say it's better than a Texas mud dive. Yeah, you can expect low 80s for surface temps in July. A bit cooler at depth as there's usually a mild thermocline around here. Maybe 5 degrees cooler at depth. Vis is typically 25 - 50 ft around the sites 1 - 5 miles out where most of the charters go. A bit better farther out on the deeper sites. Life on the wrecks varies. Sometimes they're covered up, sometimes they aren't. You'll see lots of jacks, mackerel, snapper, spades, yellowtails, grouper... that sort. The natural bottom here is like the beaches, mile and miles of really nice sand. You can also scare up the occasional octopus and lobster around the wrecks.

Take a spear with you, kill a few flounder in the sand around the wreck, slice them up a bit and stuff em in your BC and Mr. Bullshark might come visit. Otherwise, probably not. Me, I'll pass.

The liberty ship off Destin is a good site. I've enjoyed some good dives there. The Oriskany is the primo attraction around here now. Closest charters are out of Pensacola. Don't think any of the Destin guys run out there right now.

Sooo, the diving here is OK. Don't know that I'd make a trip just to dive here. When we used to make dive trips to FL, we'd stop here and do a dive on our way to south Florida.

Hope this helps?

mike_s
08-03-2007, 22:42
The diving in destin is pretty good.

Check out the local shore diving scene on Scubaboard in FL conch. lots of folks shore dive there at the Jetties.

Boat diving is done mostly through ScubaTech and Emerald Coast Scuba. Neither is a "hardcore dive operation" but good for a resort town.

water temps in July will be 82 to 85 on the surface and maybe a little cooler below. July is high tourist season there with the highest rates. You'll find better rates and less crowds in the months before and after.


If there are any spearfishermen on your boat trips, you'll most likely see sharks.

Travelnsj
08-03-2007, 23:10
Thanks for the heads up on the diving....I'm an Indo-Pacific diver and use to quite a bit of everything in the water....I'm really not into spearfishing....I'll do a bit more research...thanks for the honest opinion.

mcc2318
11-20-2007, 00:46
Its all around good place to dive, look up scuba tech for gear but there charters are usually limited to the jetties and the miss louis

Soonerwink
11-20-2007, 19:33
I was there 2 years ago in June and I felt comfortable diving in a 3mm. I dove a liberty ship, a small limestone formation and the bridge rubble. I saw more sealife around the bridge rubble than the other dives. I dove with emerald coast divers, and they did a wonderfull job. I would use them again given the oppurtunity. This is a big tourist destination so can be a bit pricey. But there is a ton of stuff to do topside. My kids and grandkids loved it. None of them dive.

Travelnsj
11-20-2007, 19:44
The research I have done both here and on Scubaboard has not convinced me that it is my type of diving...doing the Indo-Pacific region for the last few years....I'm spoiled.... the Carribbean just does not do it for me....I'm not into spearfishing nor want to be on a boat with Spearfisherman thus my chances to see Bulls is limited.....Raki Raki in Fiji probably be the spot I hear you can them.

DarinMartell
12-04-2007, 18:59
I was down in the beggining of November. Water temps where in the 70's and a f5mm was very comfortable. My other experience was in Lake MI in 44 degree water using a 7mm so I first thought a 5 was a bit much but the person at Emeral Coast told me to trust her. I am glad I did. As mentioned above it is not a "destination" dive area. But do to the topography of the Gulf it is the closest to deeper water then any other place in the area. It was my first salt water dive and the crew of the Aquanaut at Emerald Coast was top rate. They had me buddy up with a dive master since it was my first salt water dive and he was able to point out all the interesting things. Destin is a beutiful area with some really good beaches and resturants. I would not go there just for the diving, but if I am there anyway I would definitly take a charter again.

wheelman
12-04-2007, 19:21
Good stuff to know... The wife wants to plan a family vacation to Destin so I was curious about the diving as well. I'm the only diver in the family. Sounds like a few dives might be alright.

ReefHound
12-04-2007, 20:00
I think some of the assessments on Destin diving have been a little rough. Maybe not a dive destination that hardcore divers would fly to from far away but it's one I'll make a 8 hour drive to several times a year for extended weekends.

I consider the region from Gulf Shores to Panama City as one basic region. From Destin, in an hour you can be in PC or Pcola, and another 40 minutes puts you in GS. That's nothing for me. Here in Houston, I drive an hour to get to work, sometimes 90 minutes to get all the way across town.

Within that region you have over a dozen good charters, dozens of offshore sites, the world class Oriskany, 7 or 8 good shore dives, and several crystal clear freshwater springs. That's what makes the area a good diving destination. You have a wide variety of diving to sample and short of a hurricane it's unlikely to be blown out of all diving.

wheelman
12-04-2007, 20:07
I think some of the assessments on Destin diving have been a little rough. Maybe not a dive destination that hardcore divers would fly to from far away but it's one I'll make a 8 hour drive to several times a year for extended weekends.

I consider the region from Gulf Shores to Panama City as one basic region. From Destin, in an hour you can be in PC or Pcola, and another 40 minutes puts you in GS. That's nothing for me. Here in Houston, I drive an hour to get to work, sometimes 90 minutes to get all the way across town.

Within that region you have over a dozen good charters, dozens of offshore sites, the world class Oriskany, 7 or 8 good shore dives, and several crystal clear freshwater springs. That's what makes the area a good diving destination. You have a wide variety of diving to sample and short of a hurricane it's unlikely to be blown out of all diving.

Thanks for the post, good to get a non-local perspective.

mike_s
12-05-2007, 16:33
I think some of the assessments on Destin diving have been a little rough. Maybe not a dive destination that hardcore divers would fly to from far away but it's one I'll make a 8 hour drive to several times a year for extended weekends.

I consider the region from Gulf Shores to Panama City as one basic region. From Destin, in an hour you can be in PC or Pcola, and another 40 minutes puts you in GS. That's nothing for me. Here in Houston, I drive an hour to get to work, sometimes 90 minutes to get all the way across town.

Within that region you have over a dozen good charters, dozens of offshore sites, the world class Oriskany, 7 or 8 good shore dives, and several crystal clear freshwater springs. That's what makes the area a good diving destination. You have a wide variety of diving to sample and short of a hurricane it's unlikely to be blown out of all diving.


Good points.....

We goto Destin several times a year and I always dive when there.

The reason the assement of diving in Destin might be a little rough is that the shops there just don't like to go to anywhere but the same wrecks. One of the shops cancels charters often and the other hardly goes past the jetties with their boat. This is irratating as a paying customer that is only in town for a few days and can't dive every day.

Panama City is about an hour away and has some GREAT wrecks near it. However, several of the dive shops will only go to the same wrecks over and over again. Some of them are gettin better at it though. I don't prefer to stay in Panama City though as I just don't think it's as nice as destin and doesn't the feeling of Destin. Destin also has better places to eat. Panama City has been overun often in the past by the high-school/college MTV crowd (jeez... makes me sound old) and isn't as nice as Destin. It will be though as they are doing lots of rebuilding, but right now it looks like a war zone.

I don't favor Gulf Shores but that's because it's a longer drive and some really bad problems with traffic there in the past. That and Destin in my opinion has more to offer in shopping and eating out. With that said, Destin is more expensive to stay in that Gulf Shores is though. Also traffic is being helped with the toll bridge over (Foley Beach Express). Diving isn't fancy there, but they have a better wreck selection than Destin does.

CC1020
12-06-2007, 10:18
I was there in June, and did the Liberty Ship and Bridge Span. There were a TON of fish on the liberty ship, as well as on the bridge rubble. As far as sharks, two were seen by other divers on the first dive, and one on the second, although I didn't see any myself. I have dived with ScubaTech several times, and can recommend them wholeheartedly. As others have said, maybe not a place you would go to just dive, but certainly some good diving. Also, if you don't mind heading over to Panama City, there are some great wrecks over there...