View Full Version : Trip to Floridas West Coast

08-26-2007, 19:06
I know there are plenty of divers on here from Florida. I am doing a 4 day trip to the west coast of florida - Fort Myers area - and want to get in a few dives. I have done it once before and drove to the keys, is that something I should do again or are their other places to go on the west coast. I loved the keys diving - hopefully there is something like that on the west coast.

08-26-2007, 19:35
Ive done several dives out of Bradeton, it is pretty nice diving. Saw a large variety of sealife there..Pretty good night dives. I also know of a lot of people who go out in Sarasota area. Someone on the west coast might also have some other advice..

08-27-2007, 11:09
What was your vis like on the west coast?

08-27-2007, 12:38
It can, of course, always range..my last dive there a month or two ago the vis was about 50ft - I would say thats pretty average..but ive also been there when vis has been 20ft and when its been 100ft+ it really depends on the location and conditions, as always

08-28-2007, 08:47
Wow that is more than I thought, I had heard 5 - 20 feet.

08-28-2007, 08:50
The worst Ive had is 15 feet and that was only once or twice, generally the vis is well over 20-25feet

08-28-2007, 09:10
What areas are you diving on the west coast? I have heard of a shark tooth dive, that might be interesting...

08-28-2007, 10:04
I usually go out of Bradeton, havent really dove much more south..

Might want to PM divergirl4u as I think she knows something about the shark tooth dive..

08-28-2007, 10:10
Will do - and I will report back whatever I may find.

08-28-2007, 15:36
Did I hear my name ?? ;) hi guys ... West coast Gulf diving is nothing like the Keys .... now that said :)
On the 1st we have a meet and greet going on at Venice plenty of experienced divers here to buddy up with and learn how to find sharks teeth... it is potluck so bring food ;) and join our conversation here:
If you are looking for shore dives.
We have a couple here is some information on the sites ;)
Kim P
Spanish rocks,
]I-75 south from Tampa to the Bradenton/ State road 64 exit( there is an A and B so take the A exit it will head you toward the beach). You are going to take the exit toward the right. Stay on that road for about 8 miles or so until you get to Gulf Dr.( you will hit Gulf Dr. after you cross the intercostal waterway)You make a left on Gulf Dr. and take it down about 1/2 mile. Just before the curve to the left there is a beach access and parking. That is where you want to be. It is a small sand lot between some houses and apartments. Just pull in there and park. Gear up walk down the beach to the left about 50 yards (6 houses) enter the water swim out about 50 yards and dive max depths 22ft.
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&z=16&ll=27.490808,-82.710227&spn=0.014105,0.025921&om=1&msid=113891634991865426876.00000111d8ab109f7f281&msa=0 (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&z=16&ll=27.490808,-82.710227&spn=0.014105,0.025921&om=1&msid=113891634991865426876.00000111d8ab109f7f281&msa=0)
Dive Spot: Bradenton Beach, FL
Type of diving: Shore dive

I-75 exit 220 - SR-64 West to Bradenton. SR-64 becomes Manatee Avenue.
Continue West on Manatee Avenue/SR-64 all the way through Bradenton toward Anna Maria Island/Holmes Beach. Once you've gotten onto Anna Maria Island (you will pass Kingfish Boat Ramp located on the North side of Manatee Avenue), turn LEFT onto East Bay Drive, heading South approximately 2 miles.[/font]

Look for the Gulf Drive Cafe on the West side of Gulf Drive - there is a white buoy off the beach just south of the restaurant marking the main section of the wreck
What to expect at the dive site: Sand ;)The partially buried remains of Regina sit in about 20 feet of water. The wreckage is situated approximately 75 yards off Bradenton Beach at coordinates 27 28.135' N latitude and 82 42.129' W longitude. The bow of Regina is pointed north and the wreck lies roughly on a north/south axis parallel with the shoreline. On my last dive there, I saw lots of baitfish, some Stone Crabs, and a couple Grouper & Cobia. Jew Fish have been spotted by previous divers. DON'T FORGET YOUR DIVE FLAG!!! Also, lots of small stingrays in the shallows, so make sure you shuffle your feet when entering the water

Where to park: If you want to grab something to eat before you dive, you can park in the Gulf Drive Cafe parking lot, but make sure you let them know you're going to dive when you finish eating, as they will tow. Otherwise, park across the street at Seatrek Divers (http://www.seatrekdivers.com/) Dive Shop - 105 7th Street North; Bradenton Beach, FL 34217; (941) 779-1506

Amenities: Typical dive shop - rental gear & air fills, No Nitrox (which isn't necessary for the dive.)

Pros and Cons: Great dive for newbs, as depths are no greater than 20'. Easy swim from beach to site - little, if any current. Visibility is rarely better than 15', but the price is right.
And Venice Beach

From the south:
Head to Venice on I 75. Take exit 193 and head SW (coming from the south that’s a left turn) on Jacaranda. Turn right on Venice Ave. Stay on Venice Ave until after you’ve crossed the bridge to the downtown area. Turn left at the second light after the bridge (Harbor - name not well marked). Turn right at the 5th street (Alhambra).

From the north:

Head to Venice on I 75. Take exit 200 (SR681) and follow it to US 41 where you'll turn left (south). Take US 41 to Business US 41 (Tamiami Trail) where you turn right. After you cross the bridge, you'll turn right on Venice Ave. Turn left at the first light (Harbor - name not marked). Turn right at the 5th street (Alhambra).

Park on the street as close to the dead end as possible. Be careful not to block the driveway to the condo. Keep your dive between the culverts to the south and the three pine trees to the north.

What to expect at the dive site:
Typical sharks teeth found are from the folloing: Dusky and Blacktip family, Sand Shark (current and prehistoric), Bull Shark, and Lemon Shark. More rare but also found are Maco, Great White, Snaggle Tooth and Megalodon. Other fossils that can be found include dolphin, manatee, and whale bones, stingray stingers and crusher platelettes and tail vertabrae, porupine fish platelettes, mammoth and mastadon teeth/tusk/vertabrae, sloth claws, alligator scales, and sabertooth teeth. Best times for hunting are a few days after a storm when the water has settled down. Depths are 16-18 feet, unless you swim a long way out then you may hit 20

08-28-2007, 17:28
if you make your way to tampa try narcosis scuba in tarpon springs. they have their boat right across the street from the shop, plently of parking and the rates are good and the humor is better.

08-28-2007, 18:29
Divergirl4u - you beat me to it, I was just logging on to PM you. Thanks for the info!!! Believe it or not that generated another ? from me. What is the vis like at the shark tooth dive? Do you usually get sharks teeth?