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soduh

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Just joined the board. Excited to get some people to talk to about diving since none of my friends are currently certified. Got my PADI open water cert in May of last year and have mostly done dives in springs since then. Would love to get a few more boat dives under my belt soon! Panama City is the closest to me for salt water diving.
 

drrich2

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Welcome to ScubaBoard! While you're not a quick drive to some of the most popular Florida destinations, you do have the option to get to them. I don't know what you've learned about much already, but a couple of examples:

1.) Key Largo in the upper Florida Keys - Key Largo with Rainbow Reef Dive Center 2013 - http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/fl...iving-key-largo-rainbow-reef-dive-center.html

Granted, this would be a big drive, but a week's dive vacation without the hassles of flying, leaving and re-entering the U.S., whatever foreign travel/re-entry COVID-19 testing might be in effect, could be a great trip.

2.) Jupiter, FL - Jupiter 2014 - http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/florida-diving/491927-jupiter-trip-report-9-7-14-9-11-14-a.html and later Emerald Charters Trip Report 2017 - Trip Report - Emerald Dive Charters Trip Report

Looks to be about a 6-hour drive from you. Deeper diving, and typically using nitrox, but more 'big animal' action. Not far from Jupiter are West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, and the famous Blue Heron Bridge (a popular shore diving site).

Florida seems to be the 'variety pack' of U.S. scuba diving.
 
OP
soduh

soduh

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Cave diving still freaks me out. I grew up around the Brooksville area in the late 80's/early 90's when exploration of Eagle's Nest was in full swing and quite a few people ended up dying or getting seriously hurt. I am sure the sport has progressed a lot since then but for now I am good to just live vicariously through YouTube.
 

Subcooled

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Just joined the board. Excited to get some people to talk to about diving since none of my friends are currently certified.
This is a lovely place indeed.
Many of us (=me) have been in your position.
Got my PADI open water cert in May of last year and have mostly done dives in springs since then. Would love to get a few more boat dives under my belt soon! Panama City is the closest to me for salt water diving.
I cannot help you as I do not live anywhere near you. This is the premier S.C.U.B.A forum in the world, and a small number of participants, including me, are from various parts of the globe. The mental and technical challenges and equipment problems are the same around the world, but views and values might change. This will guarantee you with a varied response, would you ask a moral question.

Now, welcome, and enjoy your time here!
 

tbone1004

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Cave diving still freaks me out. I grew up around the Brooksville area in the late 80's/early 90's when exploration of Eagle's Nest was in full swing and quite a few people ended up dying or getting seriously hurt. I am sure the sport has progressed a lot since then but for now I am good to just live vicariously through YouTube.
Don't discount it entirely, Jackson Blue is a completely different experience than the Nest
 

Subcooled

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Cave diving still freaks me out.
Cave diving is a serious undertaking but it has evolved as a sport and it is much safer now than it used to be.
I grew up around the Brooksville area in the late 80's/early 90's when exploration of Eagle's Nest was in full swing and quite a few people ended up dying or getting seriously hurt. I am sure the sport has progressed a lot since then but for now I am good to just live vicariously through YouTube.
There is a difference between recreational cave diving and exploration cave diving.
 

drrich2

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This is the premier S.C.U.B.A forum in the world, and a small number of participants, including me, are from various parts of the globe.
I thought that, too, but last I heard, a larger portion than I'd have thought of the membership are not U.S.A. or Canadian.

That said, it may be a fairly small group for a given location (such as Finland). But we've got a pretty strong international audience (some of whom occasionally challenge the strong U.S.-based perspective some of us have).

Richard.
 

James79

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Panama City is the closest to me for salt water diving.
If you haven't done the St. Andrews State Park jetty yet, you should. Pretty easy shore dive (just make sure you hit it at slack tide), and the beach side of the jetty gets to about 40 ft. at the end, channel side gets to about 75. My kids and I do that one periodically. Not a boat, but cheap way to get a saltwater fix and see some cool fish, crabs, and occasional octopus.

Respectfully,

James
 

Marie13

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Cave diving still freaks me out. I grew up around the Brooksville area in the late 80's/early 90's when exploration of Eagle's Nest was in full swing and quite a few people ended up dying or getting seriously hurt. I am sure the sport has progressed a lot since then but for now I am good to just live vicariously through YouTube.

Get some dives under your belt then go do the Ballroom at Ginnie. Will give you a wee taste. OW divers are allowed in the Ballroom.

Recreational cave diving is FUN! :D
 
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