Your Next Dive - Key Largo

Scuba Shack Radio


Last year my goal was to do a segment of your next dive where i featured key largo dive mecca here in the united states. I wanted to time this segment for just after we returned from key. Largo in april of two thousand and twenty. Well we all know how that turned out. We did not get there and again in two thousand and twenty one. We were not able to plan out an excursion as we would have hoped to. Two thousand and twenty two however is on the horizon. But i didn't wanna wait any longer to talk about key largo so here we go with your next dive where we travel to key largo florida. I think i've mentioned it before here on the podcast that my first is after getting a certification where with it's a dive located at the marriott hotel on the overland highway in key largo and it was fantastic. How about your first real dive being on a real historic wreck the city of washington a ship that was in havana harbor when the us main exploded and sank now. There are many reasons to choose key largo as your dive destination. Especially if you live in the eastern part of the united states first off. It's easy to get to. You can either fly into fort lauderdale. Which is my preferred airport. As i find it logistically navigate or miami which is a little closer to key Key largo you just hop in your rental car. That is if you can find one these days and head on down now. Let's talk a little bit about the dive. Operators in key largo as you can imagine being to dive. Mecca that it is. There are quite a number of operators to choose from it's a dive at the marriott is no longer operating but i will talk about two of the operators. I'm familiar with. They are horizon divers and rainbow reef now right after only a couple of months. After i did that first trip to key largo i returned and at that time. I drove with horizon divers back. Then they were located in marina at mile marker one hundred of the overseas highway and that was right next to the courtyard by marriott. Which at the time was a radison. It was very convenient to roll out of bed. Get a quick bite to eat and stroll over to the dive. Shot horizon has moved however and they are now located on the overseas highway at mile marker. One oh six. That's the dive shop in a retail store. Their boats are located about a half a mile up the road next to a place called shipwrecks oceanside now rainbow reef has taken over the old horizon diver facility at the mile marker one hundred marina additionally they also bought out ocean divers on the other side of the marina and have quite a large operation. Now the last time we were in key largo. We stayed at the courtyard and dove with horizon. We were going to go back to key. Largo in two thousand twenty and planned to die with rainbow reef. We didn't make it down there now. If you're looking to do more technical diving then. I think horizon divers maybe a better choice for the shallow reefs that i like rainbow reef might be a good option as they have those big forty six foot newton dive boats now. I have to admit that. I've never done the deeper wrecks down there like spiegel grove. Where the dwayne bid. But i love the shallow wrecks like the city of washington. The hanan bell. Also known as mike's wreck and especially the ben would. They are teeming with fish life and are great places to do fish identification and surveys. You can also experience of great dives on elbow reef molasses reef and french reef another great shallow dive through the book spurring grove. Karl is christ of the abyss. Dry rocks you can grit some great photo opportunities there. The water temperatures in key largo range from the mid seventies in the winter months to the mid eighties in the peak of the summer. When i dove in april of two thousand and nineteen. I was pretty comfortable on the shallow reefs with my three millimeter wetsuit. Only wanna do to morning dives. You can free up your afternoons for some topside adventures. A trip to reef headquarters Is interesting or you can take a tour of the coral restoration foundation and just down. The road is the history of diving museum in l. morada. I was really looking forward to getting to the museum last year and hope that i can make it down there next april. Talk about the dining. While if you're staying at the courtyard on the marina you don't have to get in your car and drive someplace you can just scroll stroll over skippers doc right on the marina. They have some great conch chowder. There and if you want a burger or some pub food than walk a little bit further down to dr sharpies shark bite grill. You'll probably run into some of the dive staff there hanging out now. Another great place to eat is the pilot house and that's located right near the coral restoration foundation very close by and and if you're in the mood for pizza then upper crust pizza at mile marker one zero one point six. Just make sure it's not. Wednesday is their closed. We made that mistake. So as i wrap up this segment. If you've been diving in key largo. I hope that you will agree that it is really a cool place to dive. And if you've never been there. I would encourage you to consider putting a trip there on your counter. I regret having taken fourteen years between visits. I'm not gonna make that mistake again.

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