New diver here wondering on a suggestion.

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OP
CryptKeeper

CryptKeeper

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That sounds good, a significant advantage over many people early in their diving. And you may be one of those 'naturals' who readily takes to diving and the acquisition and application of the skills and mental task loading that go with maintaining buoyancy, being mindful of depth/time/gas pressure, keeping up with the guide and group, looking around at the interesting terrain and life, etc...

In Dan's 3rd/4th quarter Alert Diver magazine, there's an article called Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You (by Gary Rose, M.D., FACS). Hopefully that link will work. In a nutshell, a couple didn't keep up the the group as instructed, the shark feeder professional kept signaling to them, and then nearly lost his hand (and I wonder what function he'll recover).

I'm not saying you need to be a great diver to go on shark feed dives ('cause I'm not), or that I was always where I should be (nope) and knew where the tiger shark was (nope; I recall our guide pointing her out to me).

You may be ready. A lot of people with your dive count wouldn't be, but you're you, not them. Hope you have a great trip.
Awesome I’ll check that link out. And yeah I’m pretty decent at keeping buoyancy and staying with the group. I wasn’t on the first shark dive I floated to the top twice lol (it was very shallow so wasn’t an issue) the second one was deeper and I stayed right where I was needed. The coolest part was these giant groupers (I think that’s what they were) they were bigger than me! Was wild! But sharks are the whole reason I started diving. Always been so interested in them and respect them and no fear of them in the water so I don’t get nervous around them. Thanks again for all the info! I’ll make a post once I’m back
 
OP
CryptKeeper

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Awesome I’ll check that link out. And yeah I’m pretty decent at keeping buoyancy and staying with the group. I wasn’t on the first shark dive I floated to the top twice lol (it was very shallow so wasn’t an issue) the second one was deeper and I stayed right where I was needed. The coolest part was these giant groupers (I think that’s what they were) they were bigger than me! Was wild! But sharks are the whole reason I started diving. Always been so interested in them and respect them and no fear of them in the water so I don’t get nervous around them. Thanks again for all the info! I’ll make a post once I’m back
Wow that is an intense article! What a shame
 

Doc Harry

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My vote is Cozumel. While it's not a "party destination," there are a lot of bars and a lot of tequila. And the diving is wonderful. I've been diving around the world, and we have been going to Cozumel once or twice a year for the last 15 years.

Stay away from Florida, the diving is only fair, it's very expensive, and the state is run by psychos.
 

lowwall

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The OP is looking for "nightlife/party scene". That normally means crowds of young people dancing and drinking. That's just not Coz.

On to Florida. IMO, the diving off Boynton Beach and it's neighbors is very good to great. Especially for a novice diver as long as he goes with an op that will have (or he pays for) a DM to handle the flag. The water is warm at that time of year, it's relatively shallow at around 60' and drift dives are flat out fun. I won't argue about the cost or psychos though.

@CryptKeeper - If you really want nightlife, Ibiza has diving. You'd probably want to do your AOW there (or before) since the best stuff is deeper.
 

Centrals

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Ibiza! That was over 30yrs ago when I last set foot on this lovely island.
Nightlife? Did not notice it because I was staying with friends in the village. The free table wine was awful and have to be diluted it with water to make it drinkable!
 

drrich2

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Stay away from Florida, the diving is only fair, it's very expensive, and the state is run by psychos.
Judging the diving at a destination depends heavily on the standard judged against. Cozumel rocks, I agree. Florida diving is varied. I don't cave dive, lobster hunt or spear fish, only dove 1 spring (Alexander Spring, which my wife still insists doesn't count as a dive) and I haven't dove the Oriskany, so sticking to southeastern Florida, some impressions...

1.) Key Largo - offers relatively shallow 'spur and groove' reefs over a flat bottom (maybe 40 feet deep? Varies). I was there in 2013. Good reef in places, not great, viz. maybe 50 feet (not on par with Cozumel or the Caymans), and yet fishier than much of my Caribbean diving, with reef and nurse sharks (unlike my Bonaire experiences) and a trend toward more fairly big stuff (e.g.: big barracuda). Plus offshore deep wrecks such as the Spiegel Grove and Duane. But then from Cozumel you could ferry over to the mainland to dive cenotes. But from Key Largo, head off to Miami for Zoo Miami, Jungle Island or other attractions.

2.) Jupiter - goliath grouper aggregation, lemon shark aggregation, viz. a bit less on average than Key Largo (I was there in 2014 and 2017), option for shark feed diving seeing tiger sharks, great hammerheads, lemon and bull sharks, etc... What you see is seasonal. Take a side trip to dive Blue Heron Bridge. Reef underwhelming, but not the main draw.

I haven't dove West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach or the lower Keys.

In a nutshell, I think Florida has some excellent diving, if what they offer matches what you're looking for. Airfare from where I am to Key Largo or Miami tends to be low, which helps total trip cost.
 

Doc Harry

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In a nutshell, I think Florida has some excellent diving, if what they offer matches what you're looking for. Airfare from where I am to Key Largo or Miami tends to be low, which helps total trip cost.

I've been diving all over Florida, in all of the locations you mentioned -- WPB, Jupiter, Boynton Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Key Largo all the way down to Key West (which was utterly horrible). Even did cave diving at Eagle's nest and other caves in cave country.

I'll repeat, the diving in Florida is only FAIR. The caves in Mexico are a million times nicer than Florida caves, and the cave diving in Mexico is easier and not as stressful.

The cost of diving and lodging in Florida is outrageous. It's SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper for us to vacation in Cozumel than Florida (total cost). We live outside of Washington D.C. We save so much money that we always fly first class and still come out ahead.

The food is better in Mexico than Florida, and the people are infinitely nicer in Coz than Florida.

We've not been back to Florida in over a decade, and I'm not missing a thing.
 
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