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New York to Florida Keys
Walid - 6/05/2012 6:33 AM
Category: Buddy Wanted
Replies: 9

Hello there,

I am a new diver, just completed my advanced open water and did a few dives in mexico (cozumel, isla mujeres and tulum). I would like to log many many dives before getting my rescue certification.

I did some research to look for the most affordable diving besides Dutch Springs, and it looks like the Keys in Florida is one of the best, I plan to camp and dive for like 5 days or so. Other good option would be Puerto Rico.

Let me know if you’re interested!!
Greg - 6/05/2012 7:09 AM
Send a direct message to the divebuddy members in the area you plan on visiting. I’m sure you can find some local buddies to dive with.
Walid - 6/05/2012 8:37 AM
thanks for the tip Greg! Do you have any recommendation for Florida? ideally I ’d like to camp and scuba dive. It’ll make it more fun and less expensive...Thanks for the help.

LatitudeAdjustment - 6/05/2012 8:52 AM
Camping in the Key’s isn’t cheap, just cheaper than a room. My kids and I did Key Largo a lot, there is a camp site right on A1A (Caluso SP?) and a nicer one behind the K-mart with a pool but less tent sites. Speaking of tents, you are camping on limestone in the Key’s and most of Florida, tent pegs are useless so bring line to tie your tent to a tree to stop it from blowing away. That happened to us once at Port Canaveral.

There are cheaper tent sites in the state parks BUT you need to break down every morning and then get in line to renew your permit, what time is this, same time you would be out on the morning diveboat! Bahia Honda you camp right on or near the beach, a beach by the way that has made the top beaches list a few times. Site is buggy and the nearby diving is shallow but it’s a short drive to Key West.

Another option is Frank is cheaper than a shore based dive op and you’ll get in a lot more dives.
LatitudeAdjustment - 6/05/2012 9:09 AM
Before you even get to the Key’s there is some great free shore diving, Phil Foster Park under Blue Heron Bridge is a must dive, just be sure to do it at high slack tide. There is plenty of info in "dive sites" and I sent you a PM as to where to stay nearby.

Another interesting shore dive is in Lauderdale by the Sea just south of Commercial Blvd. The diving is free but the parking isn’t :(
grouperman - 6/05/2012 6:32 PM
I agree with Lat’s recommendations re the Keys, esp at this time of year. If it isn’t the heat, the mosquitoes will do you in. You’ll be better off in a cheap motel and there are a few inexpensive ones at this time. As you get closer to mid-July and the lobster mini-season they raise the rates dramatically. I have found the best rates in the Keys in September. Oh and there isn’t any shore diving to speak of since it will take a mile to get more than 20’ deep!
LatitudeAdjustment - 6/06/2012 8:34 AM
For cheap rooms stop at state welcome centers and some McDonalds to pick up coupon books, I’ve found some great prices in there but in the Key’s it’s still going to be at least $100 a night. A lot of Key’s divers like this place

But again, for what a room in the Key’s cost you could be diving off the Spree, bunk and meals included!

Places I won’t stay again, Knights Inn in Florida City and Looe Key Reef Resort.
Walid - 6/07/2012 11:06 AM

Thank you SO MUCH for all this time you invested in replying to my question! I Am a new diver and I sense that there is a great solidarity between divers..this is great.

It seems that it might be cheaper to go to another country all together to do the dives. I love traveling anyway so that might just be the same price or cheaper if you consider 100 USD for a motel room in florida...that’s like the price of 4 nights in a B&B in other countries in the carribeans/mesoamerica...

The only advantage with Florida is the proximity and the fact that I could technically go there for like 4 days and come back to ny...

From the research I did, it seems that a cheap scuba trip would be to Puerto Rico or DR.

I am so overwhelmed with the options! I really appreciate your time and help and thanks also to grouperman.

If it can be of any help to point me in the right direction, I know I am not that interested in wreck diving because I am not into deep diving which I consider too risky for what it is. I am more interested in marine life and possibly in photography. I intend to continue and become a dive master with PADI in the future...

Any recommendations/ideas are welcome!

Thanks all :)
B_Ward_NYC - 12/18/2012 2:41 PM
Keep me posted fellas. I’m always down to return to PR and the Caribbean. I have been to John Pennecamp Park in Key Largo and it is OVER-RATED and OVER-EXPENSIVE!!