Scuba Diving: A Florida Adventure
Many people consider Florida a divers dream come true. This is because Florida is composed of over 1,700 islands and the Keys that stretch over 150 miles there are many different places to go diving. The waters are calm, clear, and full with beautiful and unique sea life and colorful coral. You can visit some of the over 5,000 ship wrecks in these waters, or the only barrier reef in the continent. In addition to sea diving, Florida also offers some of the finest spring diving sites you will encounter.
One of the places that should be on the top of your list to dive is John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the nation’s first underwater preserve. Located near Key Largo, the visibility here is almost perfect, making it a favorite dive destination for beginner and advanced divers alike. Another place that comes highly recommended is Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. This sanctuary starts in Key Largo and then stretches the entire length of the islands, offering some of the most sought after diving in the world.
Statue of Christ of the Abyss is an eerily magnificent site to dive. Located 25 feet beneath the surface, the statue is prominent and distinct. Divers also love this site because it features canyons and trenches to be explored, and a large variety of eagle rays and sea turtles.
Then there is the Pillar Patch, an enchanted place where you will find beautifully colored coral rising up from the floor, almost like cactus on the desert floor. For shipwrecks, we suggest you make time to visit the Elbow, also in the Upper Keys area. The penetration is outstanding and the overall experience unbelievable. All of these areas offer wonderful visibility, which makes the diving experience unrivaled.
Located in the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary is 5.3 nautical miles of sculpted reef, the Stargazer. Just five miles off Key West, this reef includes a series of replicated star constellations once used for sea navigation. If it is diving in waters with colorful marine life and coral, then this is the place to be.
Last, in the central region of the Pan Handle you can find over 1,000 diving springs. Some are located on private land, while others are located in National or State parks and reserves. Many divers visit Blue Springs because of an incredible once in a life time experience: the migration of the manatees. Other favorite diving sites in Florida include Turtle Reef with a depth of 25 feet, Carysfort Reef that has a diving range up to 70 feet, Carysfort South with a diving depth of 20 feet, the Elbow, as mentioned, which is up to 35 feet deep, and the Dry Rocks in Key Largo, with a depth of 25 feet. For more advanced divers who like to dive in deeper waters, you should visit Adolphus Busch, which has water depths up to 110ft, or Outside Reefs and Western Dry Rocks up to 210 feet depths.