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Diving tours in NC, SC or GA?

Discussion in 'South Eastern United States' started by Lisa Klink, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. Lisa Klink

    Lisa Klink Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Netherlands
    2
    0
    1
    Hello everyone!

    My buddy and I will be in the US end of April/beginnen of May for a conference and I booked a week of vacation after that. We love to take this opportunity to do a half or full day dive tour. However I have difficulties finding a suitable one. We will drive through North- and South Carolina and Georgia. We can probably make it to the Northern part of Florida, but unfortunately do not have enough time to reach the Southern part. We cannot bring our own equipment so we have to rent everything. We like to dive in (small) groups with a guide and we do not have a preference for boat or coast dives. Do you maybe have tips of affordable diving tours in those areas? All tips are welcome! Thanks!
     
  2. RyanT

    RyanT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    1,704
    1,331
    113
    What kind of experience do you have? There are some great dives to be had off NC, but they can be challenging. These are typically well offshore in the 110-120' range (33-36 meters). A couple of the dive operators do offer dive guides on their trips, but you still need to be prepared for the conditions. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of good shore diving options in this part of the US.
     
  3. Lisa Klink

    Lisa Klink Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Netherlands
    2
    0
    1
    Thank you for your reply! Was this around Morehead City?

    We both have our Advanced Open Water with two specialties (drift and peak-performance), about 45 logged dives and have dived in various conditions. Our deepest dive was around 30 meters max. In the Netherlands we dive with just the two of us most of the time but on holidays we generally like a guide/group around us.
     
  4. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    4,024
    2,592
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    Yes what he said was about Morehead City.

    Aquatic Safaris runs out of Wilmington, NC. Some nice night spots at the waterfront in Wilmington for dining and relaxation. They have some dives like, Gill, Hyde, Markham, Stone, that are a bit shallower and closer. They also run out further like in Morehead but have a good mix.

    Xpress watersports runs out of Murells Inlet which is about 20 minutes south of Myrtle Beach, SC. They have a variety of dives and are a good op. Couple decent sea food places in MI and you are very close to Brookgreen gardens which are well worth the stop.

    As far as southern towns go I would stop in SC and spend the time in Charleston, SC rather than Savanagh, GA. Charleston is a real gem. Blocks of historic homes, piles of restauarants and entertainment. Over the years I have sent several European visitors to Charleston and they all raved about it afterwards. You could spend a month there and have a great meal at a different place very night. Also history and art and other activities. Not so good for diving.

    Have fun.
     
    Hoyden and RyanT like this.
  5. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    4,024
    2,592
    113
    NC and SC boats do not usually put a guide in the water. But you can hire one if you want. Think it is $45 for a private DM on AS. Have dove with express but not familiar with their guide prices.
     
  6. RyanT

    RyanT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    1,704
    1,331
    113
    @Lisa Klink, Yes, I was referring to Morehead City. That's my usual dive place, but @Steve_C 's suggestion of diving out of Wilmington is a good one. From Morehead City, there are only two wrecks that are shallower than 30 meters (at least normally visited by the dive operators), the rest are farther offshore and deeper. It's my understanding that the concentration of sand tiger sharks is higher off Morehead City, but they do hang around the wrecks off Wilmington as well. Diving with them is a very cool experience! I would also second Steve's suggestion of visiting Charleston. Beaufort NC (next door to Morehead City) is a really charming little town, but you can experience all of it in an afternoon, it's quite small. In terms of tourism, from a history/entertainment perspective, Charleston has a lot more to offer. Just to give you an idea, Morehead City/Beaufort is a little less than a two hour drive from Wilmington. Charleston is about a 3.5 hour drive from Wilmington.
     
    Steve_C likes this.
  7. W W Meixner

    W W Meixner Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ontario Canada
    625
    417
    63
    Lisa...

    Referencing Morehead City...Olympus...and Discovery in Beaufort...which is basically just down the road from Olympus will take very good care of you...Discovery...during the wreck tying off process will set up temporary navigation lines on the wrecks...water's crystal clear...vis usually 100 ft...in most cases unless you want a DM for your own personal comfort level...a DM is not necessary...

    Usually lots of sharks teeth in the sand around the port bow area of the Shurz...

    Enjoy NC...

    Warren...
     
    Hoyden and Barnaby'sDad like this.
  8. divad

    divad Solo Diver

    7,594
    1,797
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    Where will you be in NC? It's a wide state.
     
  9. RyanT

    RyanT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    1,704
    1,331
    113
    The visibility off North Carolina can reach 30 meters or more, but I wouldn't count on it. Particularly in April/May, you are more likely to get something like 8-12 meters.
     
    WinfieldNC and Steve_C like this.
  10. AustinV

    AustinV Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NoVA
    176
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    NC suggestions above are good. Not sure the route you're taking, if you end up in the Florida Panhandle then Panama City Diving is an excellent operation as well.
     
    Rollin Bonz likes this.

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