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FishFood
08-11-2007, 14:51
Alright, everyone rants and raves, now it's my turn. Our plans are for the second week in October. And, itll will be done CHEAP!

Cheap, Im talking no hotels, we are staying in tents and eating sandwhiches the whole week.

Ive got some questions. This will be our first vacation dive. In fact, we've never even done a boat dive...

1) Tanks - Take my own or rent? Ill be driving 800 miles each way, so Im thinking with gas at $2.50 or so, itll be best to just rent?

2) Place to Stay - Before I google this, can anyone recomend a cheap, and good place to stay with tents?

3) Attractions - Like I said, never done a boat dive. So, should I reserve some dives now or wait till i get down there?

Hmm, think that's about it for now. Will probably have more questions later.

ReefHound
08-11-2007, 17:16
1. Unless you plan to stop along the way where there is shore diving, rent the tanks, the difference between tank rental and air fill is only a few bucks, the $20 or $30 you save by hauling your own isn't worth the cargo space or daily handling.

2. Even the campgrounds are not cheap in the keys, expect to pay $30 to $40 per night. Might be a bit less in the state parks. There's Pennekamp SP in Key Largo, and Bahia Honda SP closer to Marathon. I camped at Bahia Honda and it's kinda nice, also camped at Kings Kamp in Key Largo. October should be a good time but everybody else will have the same idea. You need to make campground reservations now.

3. Plenty of boat charters, no need to reserve now. Cheapest will be to find somebody that offers multi-dive discounts and buy a 10 dive card. It can work out to about $50 per dive that way, although there is often a surcharge on the premium wrecks.

BusDiver
08-13-2007, 18:29
I agree with reefhound, try to book a 10 dive ticket. Check out the big operators for deals. I do not like diving the big boys because there are just too many folks in the water. However you will spend less money. Horizon divers is a nice operator. You could get a dive/lodging deal through Amy Slate. I have posted before about a woman I know down there that rents 2 bedroom condos for $125 a night. It does not sound like you want to spend that much. I prefer quality for the diving. I would rather spend nothing or little on sleeping (i.e. tent) and spend more on the diving (i.e smaller operator, more choice in diving). Almost all diver operators include tanks and weights. Also, there is not a lot of shore diving in the Keys.

FishFood
08-14-2007, 21:52
Thanks Guys!

Ive got a week booked at Long Key St Park for $31/night.

Ill probably be diving with Captian Hooks in Marathon. A short drive, and their 10 dive "ticket" lowers the cost to $25/dive, tanks and weight included.

Black-Gorrilla
08-14-2007, 22:33
Thanks Guys!

Ive got a week booked at Long Key St Park for $31/night.

Ill probably be diving with Captian Hooks in Marathon. A short drive, and their 10 dive "ticket" lowers the cost to $25/dive, tanks and weight included.


holly crap. 25 bux? thats a hell of a deal!

FishFood
08-14-2007, 22:35
Thanks Guys!

Ive got a week booked at Long Key St Park for $31/night.

Ill probably be diving with Captian Hooks in Marathon. A short drive, and their 10 dive "ticket" lowers the cost to $25/dive, tanks and weight included.


holly crap. 25 bux? thats a hell of a deal!

Two dives per trip though, just so there's no confusion. Still a good deal? (thats an actual question, I have no real idea of what these things usually go for)

BusDiver
08-15-2007, 07:24
So that equals $50 a boat ride. Right?

How big is the boat? I have never done a dive out of the middle keys. If you can, try to arrange a dive up in Key Largo and dive on Molasses Reef. It is one of my all time favorite, most mellow, wow dive around. I have dove it numerous times and each dive was magical. Let's put it this way, to get thorough moments of stress or anxiety I focus on the beauty of molasses.

WV Diver
08-15-2007, 07:40
I think you will find prices ranging from $45 to $65 dollars for a two tank boat dive pretty common in the Largo area depending on the muti-dive/day packages.

I like Cristal Clear Charters and for new divers who don't mind a bunch of snorkelers and really shallow stuff Amy Slate's has fair prices. I have heard and read a lot of good things about Horizon Divers as well but not used them.

I have never heard of Captain Hooks but then there are alot of dive ops there and I haven't heard anything super bad about any of them.

letsgodiving
08-15-2007, 07:56
Thanks Guys!
Ill probably be diving with Captian Hooks in Marathon. A short drive, and their 10 dive "ticket" lowers the cost to $25/dive, tanks and weight included.


I haven't been diving in Marathon mainly because others have told me to stick to the upper Keys. I would ask others for opinions on Marathon because its a long way to come for sub-par diving.

ReefHound
08-15-2007, 09:02
Thanks Guys!
Ill probably be diving with Captian Hooks in Marathon. A short drive, and their 10 dive "ticket" lowers the cost to $25/dive, tanks and weight included.


I haven't been diving in Marathon mainly because others have told me to stick to the upper Keys. I would ask others for opinions on Marathon because its a long way to come for sub-par diving.

The diving in Marathon is great. I've been there several times. Sombrero Reef is popular and for a reason. You also have deeper wrecks like Thunderbolt. Topside the area is pretty quiet, everything closes down after dark except for a few bars connected to resorts. Not as much variety in daytime either but it's not desolate. The island is narrower and you can see the water from the highway in more places. It's a good central Keys location that makes a day trip to Key West more feasible. A bit south is Looe Key which is a protected reef with tons of life on it.

The $50/trip is a good competitive price if it includes tanks, especially in Marathon which seems to run a few bucks higher on things in my opinion.
If tanks are another $10 each then $70/trip is not a major rip but nothing to throw a party over, either.

BusDiver
08-15-2007, 10:42
I have been told by many who dive that area that Looe Key is off the hook and does not have the traffic that the upper keys experiences. However it would be a shame to go all that way and not dive on Molasses once.

Black-Gorrilla
08-15-2007, 12:42
that is a good price. 25 p/ dive (2 dives per trip...) and tanks included... i just paid 75 this past weekend... same deal as you... so yes 50 p/trip is good.
i looked up that operation u mentioned, and they do 3 dive trips as well.. i might have to go there some weekend.

porsche060
08-15-2007, 13:31
Wow... Great deal on the dive. What is long key st park? Did you priceline it?


Thanks Guys!

Ive got a week booked at Long Key St Park for $31/night.

Ill probably be diving with Captian Hooks in Marathon. A short drive, and their 10 dive "ticket" lowers the cost to $25/dive, tanks and weight included.

ReefHound
08-15-2007, 14:47
Long Key STATE PARK.