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Thread: Florida Road Trip--Suggestions?

  1. #1

    Florida Road Trip--Suggestions?

    We were planning to take our annual two-week camping/dive vacation in Panama City Beach/St. Andrews SP, starting in a couple of weeks.

    Two things have changed: 1) I spoke with Mike at PCDC and he tells me the diving is iffy now. Diver Locker is one of the few running trips and there is no guarantee they'll be at it much more. PCDC is booked with BP, but he says the water is now showing some sheen and murk. Is this correct?

    2) I now have more than 2 weeks for the trip. As my bad luck would have it, I work in the offshore. As the result of the open-ended moratorium on drilling(kill them all theory), I am now an unemployed geophysicist. My guess is that I'll be leaving the US soon, but for now, I'm looking at it as a (hopefully short and not so expensive) diving opportunity.

    The family has asked for a "road trip with diving for some and stuff to do for the others". This precludes us dragging the camper as we do for our regular trip, but opens up a lot of possibilities.

    Our end goal is the Keys. My son is a wreck diving fanatic, so there are some obvious targets down there. How about up the coast? I haven't been to West Palm in 30yrs. Is is still good? Any new wrecks? I think Orlando is in order, with another dive in the tank there. The kid did it when he was 15 or 16 and enjoyed it.

    Any other suggestions for divesites, both onshore and off? I used to drift dive the rivers there and might want to hit some spring sites. We have two non-divers, so snorkling and river drifts would be okay. Intermediate level dives are best, but my teen has about 70 dives now, some deep in current and heavy seas, so a well-run advanced dive is doable.

    I'd appreciate any help ya'll can offer. We'll be heading east from Texas, south to the Keys, then maybe up the east coast to explore. We still hope to stop in PCB, but that is optional.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Rockhound,

    To be honest, the diving in the PCB area is good for now, but who knows what it will be like in a few weeks. I think a good bet would be to haul a$$ down to the Keys while that's still an option. On your way, please consider giving Dive Locker a call - they'll give you the straight gouge on the local diving conditions. It was good last week with a weekend storm blowing the oil back west.
    Chilly

  3. #3
    My favorite place to dive in Fl is Boynton Beach which is the West Palm area. If not the best place to dive in Fl it is probably tied for it. I use Kevin at Underwater Explorers and he gives discounts to Scubaboard members I believe. You can even charter the entire 6 pack for $300 I believe.

    While there you can also do Blue Herron which is a very nice shore dive that is a half hour north of BB. Supposed to be a pretty good night dive from what I hear. People talk about Jupiter with the same reverence but I haven't gotten bored of BB yet to try it.

    If you are looking for a good hotel and you have 4 or 5 people along, the BB Martiott Courtyard has two bedroom suites that can sleep 5 comfortably. They come with a fully working kitchen and the pool area is very nice with a big jacuzzi right next to the pool.

  4. #4
    Guppy
    Join Date
    05/27/2010
    Location
    Sanford, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straegen View Post
    My favorite place to dive in Fl is Boynton Beach which is the West Palm area. If not the best place to dive in Fl it is probably tied for it. I use Kevin at Underwater Explorers and he gives discounts to Scubaboard members I believe. You can even charter the entire 6 pack for $300 I believe.

    While there you can also do Blue Herron which is a very nice shore dive that is a half hour north of BB. Supposed to be a pretty good night dive from what I hear. People talk about Jupiter with the same reverence but I haven't gotten bored of BB yet to try it.

    If you are looking for a good hotel and you have 4 or 5 people along, the BB Martiott Courtyard has two bedroom suites that can sleep 5 comfortably. They come with a fully working kitchen and the pool area is very nice with a big jacuzzi right next to the pool.
    Be wary of the Blue Heron bridge right now. The bridge is being replaced and with all of the construction they are not allowing diving within 50' of the bridge in some areas.
    . . : : S c u b a S t e v o : : . .

  5. #5
    THE Supreme Master Spammer Founding Member
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    07/09/2007
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    Only the east span is affected by the construction.

    Blue Heron Bridge Construction Updates
    Tim "The Star and Crescent shall not be worn by every man, but only by him who is worthy to wear it. He must be a gentleman... a man of honor and courage... a man of zeal, yet humble... an intelligent man...a man of truth... one who tempers action with wisdom and, above all else, one who walks in the light of God."

  6. #6
    Shark
    Join Date
    03/23/2009
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    Boynton Beach
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    why not start at key west & work your way back up to key largo-lots of great diving in between, then spend some time between ft laud & jupiter, again, great diving there also

  7. #7
    Guppy
    Join Date
    11/17/2007
    Location
    Kansas City - Florida
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    As I am sure you know, the ONLY place in Florida with oil is in the panhandle. Everything from Key West up the east coast is open for diving. I was in West Palm two weeks ago and it was great. I am headed back this Friday and Saturday.
    Larry

  8. #8
    Grouper
    Join Date
    11/23/2007
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    Has anyone dived the Pan Handle recently?

    Is oil still a problem/does it impede diving there?


    Quote Originally Posted by Lineman Larry View Post
    As I am sure you know, the ONLY place in Florida with oil is in the panhandle. Everything from Key West up the east coast is open for diving. I was in West Palm two weeks ago and it was great. I am headed back this Friday and Saturday.

  9. #9
    Guppy
    Join Date
    11/13/2007
    Location
    McConnelsville, Ohio
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    Just dove the Ft. Lauderdale area over MLK weekend. Weather wasn't the greatest but the diving was good. Check out Dixie Divers. Pavan, the owner, shows a complete list of the area wrecks with a little of the history for each one. Captain Dan is my favorite wreck dive anywhere but they have a nice selection. Your second dive is usually a drift over one of the reefs, generally a slight northbound current. Nice shop that they just added onto. Friendly staff. Nitrox. Tech. Spearfishing. What's your pleasure? IM me for any other info.
    Adjunct Staff at The Captain Morgan Rum Research Facility and Taste Testing Lab.

  10. #10
    I don't have the wreck diving experience of most but I can say the Castor is AMAZING. We saw a couple bull sharks, a half dozen goliath groupers and some amazing sun coral all over the wreck this past weekend. It is on my short list of best dives I have done. I also love Black Condo for its diversity.

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