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View Full Version : Going to Key West



Seth Grigsby
04-30-2008, 09:01 PM
Me and my wife are planing a trip to the Key West and was wondering if anyone had some recommendations for dive locations and charters to use down there. thanks Seth

acelockco
05-01-2008, 12:01 AM
My wife and I recently went to Key West and did some diving there. I hate to be the one to give bad news, but the diving there is not too good. Now I have been told by others that there are some good places to dive there, so don't be too discouraged, but from what I saw, I would not go back to dive again.

The upper keys are where the Keys diving is at. If you can get away from Key West to dive, I would suggest that.

Anyway if you are staying in Key West and diving is not the only thing you are going to do, I have to tell you STAY AWAY FROM Subtropic Dive Center. They are located right on the road going into Key West, so many divers get lured into their shop. BEWARE, they will bring you to the closest dive spots to save gas, but they are the WORST dive sites I have ever seen.

Just an example, they brought us to a location called "The Cable", which consisted of a rock pile (not a reef) with a coil of thick aircraft cable strewn around. What a waste of time, money and a dive. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

thalassamania
05-01-2008, 06:29 AM
Dive the Upper or Middle Keys, Sombrero light is easy and fun and the wreck of the Thunderbolt is one of the best dives in the area.

shinek
05-01-2008, 04:16 PM
Last time we were down there we did wrecks as a first dive and then, typically, one of the shallow reefs as a second. Watch out for boats that are just doing the reefs and taking snorkellers as well, they will obviously stay shallow and just sit over one patch of reef. If that's OK with you, fine, but you don't want it to be a surprise. Just ask the questions of the dive operation, I'll try to dig out the names of the ones we used as they were very helpful and willing to call other shops to get us the sort of diving we were looking for. If you're willing to drive a little, you will get a lot more choice of dive operation and dive sites. The Speigel Grove is worth a visit as are many of the other wrecks down there. As for the reefs, there's a little pot luck involved, some are in better shape than others, we were fortunate enough to watch 6 or 8 Eagle Rays just cruising around the reef during one of our dives, found Goliath Groupers on others, so you just never know. The reefs themselves are nothing like you will see in some parts of the Caribbean, but the worst day's diving is still better than the best day in the office, right?

acelockco
05-01-2008, 04:57 PM
BUT, if you want to see nice reefs, save your money and dive off the Ft. Lauderdale area. The triple reef system is in great condition, there are plenty of large fish and other animals and the water is nice and warm as this is the area where the warm Gulf Stream comes closest to the US.

shinek
05-01-2008, 05:29 PM
OK, had to go to my backup memory and she is much better than me when it comes to remembering details ;) but got some of the answers.

We used Ocean Divers (Key Largo) on one trip, they were recommended to us and were the guys who really helped us out. While we were out on one dive with them, they called other dive shops on our behalf to get us the kind of diving we were looking for. We also used Florida Scuba Diving (Key West) also but the shop was up for sale at the time, so I'm not sure where they stand right now, they were also good when we used them.

As I said, Speigel Grove was excellent, Cayman Salvager was another good wreck, as was the Adolphus Busch. You might take a look at http://www.divespots.com/scuba/home.page
as that site seems to give a lot of useful info about sites in the area.
Enjoy your trip.

lars2923
05-01-2008, 09:27 PM
To Dive or a mix of site seeing, history, diving, things like that?
If the latter, your doing fine where you are going. If you enjoy
diving the reefs and keep your face buried in the reefs, you'll
enjoy your diving.

Have fun in Key Largo.

lars2923
05-01-2008, 09:35 PM
OK, had to go to my backup memory and she is much better than me when it comes to remembering details ;) but got some of the answers.

We used Ocean Divers (Key Largo) on one trip, they were recommended to us and were the guys who really helped us out. While we were out on one dive with them, they called other dive shops on our behalf to get us the kind of diving we were looking for. We also used Florida Scuba Diving (Key West) also but the shop was up for sale at the time, so I'm not sure where they stand right now, they were also good when we used them.

As I said, Spiegel Grove was excellent, Cayman Salvager was another good wreck, as was the Adolphus Busch. You might take a look at http://www.divespots.com/scuba/home.page
as that site seems to give a lot of useful info about sites in the area.
Enjoy your trip.

Here are three establishments I used in Key Largo, in no particular order they are:
Amy Slates, Ocean Divers and Sea Dwellers.
Amy I used on a night wreck dive. Ocean Divers and Sea Dweller I used on the Spiegel and various
other sites.

I've used Ocean Divers more than the others combined. Stayed at the Holiday Inn, but other lower
cost sleeping arrangements are near by.

Caio,

acelockco
05-01-2008, 10:02 PM
To Dive or a mix of site seeing, history, diving, things like that?
If the latter, your doing fine where you are going. If you enjoy
diving the reefs and keep your face buried in the reefs, you'll
enjoy your diving.

Have fun in Key Largo.


Um...that is the issue, they are NOT going to KEY LARGO, they are going to KEY WEST, where the reefs are DEAD.

lars2923
05-02-2008, 02:39 AM
I meant to write Key West....

acelockco
05-02-2008, 06:24 PM
I meant to write Key West....

No you didn't, all of the places you listed are in KEY LARGO

Key Largo is a GREAT place to dive, but NOT KEY WEST!

lars2923
05-02-2008, 08:29 PM
You should have been in my state of mental mind at the time...
:-)

acelockco
05-03-2008, 03:17 PM
You should have been in my state of mental mind at the time...
:-)

Maybe I wish I was! If it is an altered state, then I am there.

Papa Bear
05-18-2008, 02:42 AM
ACE! Happy Birthday!!!! The 25th! I will be in the Bahamas so I will say it here and now! Happy happy happy birthday to you! Now your too old to dive!:p :D :eek:

acelockco
05-18-2008, 03:07 PM
THANKS!!! I just noticed the other post.