My husband and I have become passionate about scuba diving. We used to snorkel a lot but diving allows us to get a closer look at the beautiful sea creatures and to see them in action. Discovering them hidden in the crevices of the reef is a lot of fun.
NORTH MIAMI, FLORIDA
These are some of our usual dive sites…
SUNNY ISLES, FLORIDA
This morning the boating conditions weren’t ideal but the dive trip didn’t get cancelled. We couldn’t dive the C-One wreck, it was too risky so we ended up diving on the reef closer to shore. Many small creatures were hiding in the crevices around the pipeline.
Our second dive got scrubbed because the winds, waves and surf had picked up while we were below. The ocean conditions had worsened during our first dive and we surface 5-6 and even 8-footers waves. Getting back on the boat was sporty to say the least; it was also dangerous. One could get knocked out and it would be extremely difficult, maybe even impossible, to get an unconscious person back on board. This is what it looked like when we surfaced…
Another excellent dive on the C-One wreck, the 120- foot tugboat was sank on purpose to create an artificial reef. It’s a haven for sea life and has multiple entry points—there is always something to see and the tilted angle gives it an interesting look.
Our second dive was on a beautiful reef just off the coast of North Miami.
We dove right off the beach in the heart of San Juan. This was our first beach dive and the quiet cove was ideal for this type of dive. It’s also great for swimming and snorkeling. Due to bad weather, visibly was pretty limited (maybe 15 feet) and not ideal for pictures but the old bridge was nice to see.
A few days after Hurricane Matthew passed 100 miles from the coast we went diving. Visibility wasn’t great but we still had fun. Stingrays were everywhere! ?
Our dives consisted of The C-One—a 120-foot tug boat that was sunk in 1990. The vessel is at about 60-70 feet of depth and is in one piece with lots of growth and full of sea life. The fact that it’s tilting over at almost 45 degrees makes for many interesting photos. Our visibility was about 40-50 feet so a little hard to get the whole tug into a good shot but it was a great view and a great dive.
Our second dive was to a reef just outside Sunny Isles from where we could see lots of the familiar buildings just in front of our view from home. The reef is in about 25-30 feet of water and probably a 1/2 to 1 mile out from shore, too far for a shore dive.
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
Our first dive site was the Dema Trader, which looks like a wreck but is in reality an artificial reef. The 165-foot freighter was sunk on purpose to create a habitat suitable for a variety of marine life. For extra hiding places, concrete culvert pipes and junction boxes were added into the cargo hold. Sections were removed so as to create an opening large enough to enter into the steering cabin for a great photo op!
When we dove the site, conditions were not ideal and visibility was only in the 20-25 foot range. This was primarily due to bad weather from previous days. That said it was still a spectacular dive and well worth doing. The reef colors are vivid but at 75 ft. the use of a flashlight is necessary in order to bring them out. I also used a red filter on my GoPro.
For our second dive, we were taken to Emerald Reef, which is a shallow (approx. 25ft) reef. Here too, visibility was not ideal for photos, but it was still a lot of fun to be in the water and to dive.
This dive should be on every scuba diver’s list. It was amazing! The huge Mantas come to feed on plankton that’s attracted by the lights from the divers down below and the snorkelers above. It’s an incredible show, the Mantas are so close you could touch them but don’t; it’s bad for them and also illegal in Hawaii.
See my video on YouTube: Manta Ray Night Dive
At the time we didn’t own an underwater camera and we had to rely on the generosity of others — these photos were taken by our dive guide. A few weeks after we had invested in a camera of our own and we hope one day to return to Thailand for more diving.
Snorkeling in Zanzibar was incredible. We decided to get certified shortly after this…
Let’s keep the ocean clean and protect this natural resource…