Moving to Jacksonville!

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dive_forever

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Hello all.


Short version: I lived in Florida for three years: Daytona Beach, then moved north to Palm Coast. While we were down there I dove in multiple springs, diving off of new Smyrna beach, the keys, and West Palm Beach.

While in Florida I joined the military and they decided to ship us up to Minnesota. Been in MN 2 1/2 years.

Today I received my next set of orders.

This spring we will be moving back to Jacksonville area. Looks like we are heading back to Florida!


Edit: I plan on starting the divemaster course a couple of months after we move. Can anyone recommend a good dive shop or two in the Jacksonville area?


Also is there any diving in the area (besides Ginnie) that you would recommend: of particular interest is reefs and wrecks.
 
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siikik

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Sorry to hear about you being stationed in Jacksonville...

There are lots of springs in North Florida from Ocala on up. A few of the ones I dove recently include Devil's Den (private), Blue Grotto (private), Alexander Springs, Manatee Springs and Troy Springs.

All are good dives and are unique. When you go to Alexander, don't forget to bring a hotdog with you to feed the fish... And don't forget the gloves too.

Of course there are many more around... Look for a book "Diving Guide to Underwater Florida" for some good reference that is sometimes out of date. And of course, look here on ScubaBoard.



Ken
 

Jupiter31

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There is, of course, good salt water diving in the Jacksonville area; tends to be better in the warmer months and the offshore diving is just that - ofshore - not uncomon to have to go 20 or (much more) miles which in colder weather can be a chore. As a result there are few charters in the winter months.

While you are living here, take some trips south to Palm Beach county; Jupiter, West Palm, and Boynton are GREAT spots to dive and the boat trips are much shorter.
 

OneBrightGator

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I am fond of Scuba Tiger in Orange Park, which is really close to Jax NAS but not so close to Mayport, but I drive there from St. Augustine.

As far as diving goes, there are a lot of people who enjoy diving off Jax, I'm not one of them. Most of the springs are 1.5 hours away and I do most of my diving there. When I want something different I will head down to South Florida for the weekend or the Keys for a long weekend.

We have a decent SB group in Jax and we're all (mostly) friendly and diverse.
 

100days-a-year

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Diving is great here.I had good(30"-60') vis and 67 degrees last week out deep(110'+).

At the very least to dive here you must
A.not be a conehead:dork2:
B.be willing to fork out close to $100 for gas/ice/fills etc..,
C.be comfortable on a boat and in the water
D.be willing to improvise as conditions warrant
E.be open to going with spearfishermen as they do most of the diving here

I suggest AOW and Nitrox as a minimum starting point training wise.The dive charters here mostly stay inshore and shallow to accomodate newbs and consequently miss the best diving.

Springs are for training and summer picnics with the kids,you fork out almost as much to get in and gas money as it would cost to dive offshore so I see 0 point in it.Not when I can dive wrecks only 10 people have ever dove,see ledges and natural bottom never dove and have a big animal experience almost every trip.
 

PalatkaBoy

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100days is right. The shops around here cater mostly to the spearfishers and usually stay close to shore. You get to see the same barges time after time. If you're fishing it's not too bad. The best diving here is way offshore. I've been 20 - 25 miles out on one of the wrecks off Georgia (Victory ship - Edwin Nettleton), best diving I've done here. It's quite a trip but the payoff is fantastic.
 
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Congrats on your orders, I too am about to move to jacksonville, I'm currently stationed in Oklahoma City, Tinker.

I've been doing alot of research and found a Commercial Diving Academy there and plan on looking into the tech diving course and Trimix course. They are certified with the Board of Education so I'm going to see if TA will pay for it. If I found anything out i'll let you know.

Are you going to NAS, or Mayport?
 

divepro69

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The diving offshore Jax is impressive! We have many wrecks with lots of fish. Also we are 2 hours from Ginnie Springs, Blue Grotto, etc. I dive with Atlantic Pro Divers, they have a shop at the beach and a great dive boat. Good luck !
 

I Dive

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I've heard a lot of people knock the diving off Jax and I've never understood it. Granted, I've only dived off there once so I guess I could have gotten lucky, but I had an awesome 3 tank dive. And, it wasn't all that deep either, 70-80 feet. I will happily dive off there again given the chance.
 
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