2/27/98 – 3/1/98
My first, self organized, “no-instructor-around” dive trip. What an adventure. I found my divebuddy on some internet message board, we only knew each other by email and telephone chat, but we booked a room and the dives together. In the end it turned out to be a lot of fun.
First big drawback: when we arrived that Friday night in Key Largo, settled in our very nice room @ Ed & Ellens (cheap and very comfy) we discovered on the news that we were stranded: We both came down to Miami on the last Pan Am flights ever ! The company went out of business while we were actually still flying.
Ok, but as to the diving: It was my first real boat dive (1 hour + in choppy seas to get to the site) and I paid for it, now I know what Bonine is !!! I skipped the second dive site, so seasick was I.
But the first dive: Christ of the Abyss. Every divetourists dream, but a nightmare for serious dive fun. The rocking motion of the water at 30ft did not really help me with my seasickness, one strap of the newly bought fins said goodbye (wow, without surfacing I fixed it) the viz was bad and we got lost …
But next day’s dive the Duane Wreck was reward enough to forget the fiasco from the day before. The viz was actually the best of all dives of that trip, the wreck is really impressive and it was fun. The other divesites, Benwood Wreck (hmm, not really a wreck, lets call it some leftovers, scattered debris) and the French Reef were less spectacular.
Summery: The reasons for going to Key Largo are: short flight, cheap rental cars, cheap rooms, great food (check out Marlin’s happy hour: Clam, Shrimp and Oysters for 3$ a dozen !). The diving is not that great, but for a long weekend it is the closest to the Caribbean that you can get.