PDA

View Full Version : Florida Keys Diving



TRACI
01-28-2008, 16:21
So how is diving in the Florida Keys? I live in Texas, and have only been diving in Cozumel, but I am open to other dive locations.

I would like to try to find another dive spot that is in the same budget as Cozumel, I keep going back because it is so cheap to vacation there ;)

comet24
01-28-2008, 16:49
I like diving the Keys and have gone every winter for the last 4 years. Will be there again in a few weeks. But then I have family on the SW coast so I visit them for a few days and then drive over and hit the keys for some diving. Normally I dive in Key Largo which is easy to get to and has some great diving. I have spent a week in Key West when I was younger and ended up doing more partying then diving.

If your looking for some wreck diving Key Largo is good. Everyone dives the Spiegel Grove. Which you should do but also get a dive in on the Daune which I think is a better wreck.

Kokomo
01-28-2008, 21:15
Florida Keys are great! It's Caribbean diving at home. The reefs aren't in quite as good of shape as some of the islands but for being in our country...you can't beat it. We've been to Key Largo twice. We'll be in Key West in a couple weeks and then back to Key Largo in July. Good wrecks...lots of fish...we even saw a hammerhead in Key largo.

BuzzGA
01-28-2008, 21:27
The diving in the Keys is great. I grew up diving the area and hit the water there over Christmas for the first time in about 10 years and while the reefs were a little more beat up than I remember, over all they were in pretty good shape. One of the nice things is you can dive pretty shallow if you aren't looking to hit wrecks. We did some reefs when we were there and had to dig a hole to get to 40'...so bottom time really is not something you have to worry about. Lots of dive operators on nearly every corner who can set you up with what ever you want...reef, wreck, both. Have fun!

ReefHound
01-28-2008, 22:16
Well, the bottom time limitation is most charters want you back on the boat after 60 minutes which sucks. When I shore dive off Pensacola or Navarre I can sometimes get over two hours on a tank.

UCFKnightDiver
01-28-2008, 23:01
sorry to hijack the post but whats to see shore diving off of pensacola (is this the jetties or something?)

jeepbrew
01-29-2008, 22:18
Key Largo & Islamorada are the best of the Keys to dive from in my opinion. Key Largo is #1 (Grove, Duane, & Bibb) and the Eagle (Islamorada) is a great wreck dive.

jeepbrew
01-29-2008, 22:22
sorry to hijack the post but whats to see shore diving off of pensacola (is this the jetties or something?)

Someone else can chime in for this one, but the USS Massachusetts is also about a mile off the coast. It is a cool wreck in about 25 ft of water (ship actually sticks out of the water). Any kind of boat should be able to get you there. I dove it off of one of my waverunners.

Diver Kat
01-29-2008, 22:44
We've done several trips to the Keys, usually staying at a time share in Marathon or booking a dive package in Key Largo - love the wrecks as well as the shallow reefs. Did the Spiegel Grove last trip, and it was really amazing!

I think we get away with our vacations to Coz being a bit cheaper - just because the diving & the food is so inexpensive there, but the Keys are great as well, and it's nice to check out different dive spots.

UCFKnightDiver
01-29-2008, 23:24
sorry to hijack the post but whats to see shore diving off of pensacola (is this the jetties or something?)

Someone else can chime in for this one, but the USS Massachusetts is also about a mile off the coast. It is a cool wreck in about 25 ft of water (ship actually sticks out of the water). Any kind of boat should be able to get you there. I dove it off of one of my waverunners.


now this sounds pretty awesome i also have a pair of wave runners I may have to travel over there at some point

TommyB
01-30-2008, 10:17
Largo is a great place to stage all the dive trips from
Duane / Bib / Spegal Grove + other wrecks
Then there's the John Pennecamp state park
+ the 30 or 40 reefs that the charters will drop you on.

ScubaJW
01-30-2008, 10:36
Key Largo is, indeed, a great place to dive!! I dove Spiegel Grove, it was awesome and I am going to dive it again!

French Reef is pretty cool - you can swim through things. I saw my first shark there, about 5-6 foot in length.

Molasses Reef is an easy reef dive. Usually snorkelers will be there.

I love Key Largo!

texarkandy
01-30-2008, 20:29
sorry to hijack the post but whats to see shore diving off of pensacola (is this the jetties or something?)

Someone else can chime in for this one, but the USS Massachusetts is also about a mile off the coast. It is a cool wreck in about 25 ft of water (ship actually sticks out of the water). Any kind of boat should be able to get you there. I dove it off of one of my waverunners.

Wow - how is the vis usually on that? Currents?

Suther2136
02-08-2008, 20:41
sorry to hijack the post but whats to see shore diving off of pensacola (is this the jetties or something?)

The jetties and a nice big aircraft carrier!

Black-Gorrilla
02-08-2008, 23:19
Key Largo is, indeed, a great place to dive!! I dove Spiegel Grove, it was awesome and I am going to dive it again!

French Reef is pretty cool - you can swim through things. I saw my first shark there, about 5-6 foot in length.

Molasses Reef is an easy reef dive. Usually snorkelers will be there.

I love Key Largo!

french reef is nice, and molasses is my fav. reef (that i've been to) just cause of the size of it. what is it? 30-35 mooring buoys? it's just such a large place, that you will often have 3 or 4 big charters (20-30 divers) and you can just be there, with about 100 people in the water within 50 feet per charter... and never run into anyone else. lots of life!!!

and like you, i too love key largo

UCFKnightDiver
02-08-2008, 23:41
sorry to hijack the post but whats to see shore diving off of pensacola (is this the jetties or something?)

The jetties and a nice big aircraft carrier!


the air craft carrier is not quite a shore dive lol

ReefHound
02-09-2008, 08:13
There are jetties at Ft Pickens but they are only accessible by boat. The park road was washed out in hurricane Ivan and never rebuilt. It's supposed to be but it has turned into a political football.

Next to the pier on Pensacola beach, about a hundred yards east, lies some of the rubble of the old pier. It's a shallow 15 to 20 feet with lots of life. I've seen octopus, flounder, puffer, turtles, the usual reef fish. Haven't seen anything large. It's a really easy dive with ample parking close by and a building with restrooms and showers right where you enter and exit.

A half hour further east is the Navarre Beach pier. You can dive under this pier because it's permanently closed and condemned. Same depths and marine life. Close by parking and a shower head.

Going another half hour east is Destin where you have the east jetties. This is a sweet dive reaching 55 feet. I like this dive site best but it's the most work. Parking is very limited and it's a long walk through soft sand. You gear up at your car and carry your fins. Most people arrive at the entry point a little tired and take a little break before entering.

Another hour east are the Panama City jetties but now we are getting pretty far from Pensacola. Less than an hour west of Pcola are the Alabama Point jetties and the Whiskey Wreck shore dive.

terrillja
02-09-2008, 21:40
Are there any good shore dives from key largo?

Buoyant1
02-21-2008, 11:24
Are there any good shore dives from key largo?


There aren't any really good shore dives in any of the Keys. Maybe around some of the bridges there may be some life, or if there is somethng that sunk closer to shore, (that isn't really publicized) but not much else.

Most of the good stuff is out 5-7 miles at the reef line.

I've snorkeled at Ft. Zachary Taylor in Key West, and it's decent..but not like being out at the reef.

I stayed in Marathon this past November and dove a few nice reefs, Flagler's barge, and the Thunderbolt. Key Largo is the best diving in the Keys though! (and Key West will soon have the Vandenberg!)

Great places to go!

FyVe
02-21-2008, 15:30
Are there any good shore dives from key largo?


There aren't any really good shore dives in any of the Keys. Maybe around some of the bridges there may be some life, or if there is somethng that sunk closer to shore, (that isn't really publicized) but not much else.

Most of the good stuff is out 5-7 miles at the reef line.

I've snorkeled at Ft. Zachary Taylor in Key West, and it's decent..but not like being out at the reef.



yeah, if you go to the keys, you have to take a boat out to the reefs.

Trey9123
03-07-2008, 21:04
What is the shore diving like at John Pennekamp State Park?

BuzzGA
03-07-2008, 21:13
From what I've seen there is no shore diving at Pennekamp. If I remember correctly, they have one "beach" and off the beach is a "wreck" made up of old canons etc...but it is in about 3 feet of water. I've ducked under the rope marking the end of the swimming area and snorkled along the mangroves which can be interesting for a bit but again the depths are measured in single digits

Trey9123
03-07-2008, 21:30
Bummer, I'm always looking for shore dives since I don't really have any money. Me and my gf are planing a grand tour of Fl this summer. We are going to camp and dive our way down one coast and back up the other. We are going to do as much shore diving as possible and spring for a few boat dives along the way. The only places we've dove in FL so far are Devils Den and Crystal River with the manatees. What are the other not to miss dives in FL (especially any halfway decent shore dives)? Being in college really sucks......life is to short not to have the money to enjoy it.

Crewseer
03-20-2008, 17:37
Sounds nice whats the average vis?