Conditions this past week were a little bumpy. Winds were blowing pretty good throughout the week, and finally came down on Sunday. As I’ve said and will continue to say, it’s the winds, and not the rain, that determine the water conditions.

Because of the gusts, we canceled most trips this week. Luckily, Sunday was nice enough to do our scheduled Halloween night dive. We picked one of our favorite sites with eels and nurse sharks. There’s already something special about night dives, but imagine having a fun dive at night with friends dressed up as ocean critters — so much fun.

Next Week’s Dive Report

Next week, the wind looks like it will cooperate with divers and boaters. It should be nice throughout the week, with higher winds creeping in on Saturday night. 

We’re getting to that time of year when the water really cools down and the weather makes conditions a bit “sportier.” This is normal for the late fall and winter in the Florida Keys. It’s also a good time to consider changing your exposure suit to make sure you stay warm in the water. Usually around this time, people will go from a skinsuit to a 3mm or 5mm wetsuit. If you do so, just make sure to do a proper buoyancy check with your new weights before descending. Remember: good buoyancy helps to protect sensitive ocean habitats like coral reefs.

Still, there are pockets of beautiful, flat waters that we love to take advantage of. Want to join us?

Conservation Update

I.CARE continues to do what they do! They planted more corals this past weekend. In addition, they had an amazing Halloween party and fundraiser at Florida Keys Brewing Co. on Saturday. The costume contest brought some of the most creative sea creatures we’ve seen out of the water. From sharks with attached remoras, deep sea divers and angler fish to a dive against debris, our wonderful ocean-loving community really outdid themselves. 

Conservation Tip

Awareness is a wonderful way to help the ocean in and out of the water. If you can’t dive down to help, try talking about what you love about the ocean with friends and family.

I.CARE Tip

Even with colder waters, I.CARE continues to restore the reef. There are really cool projects coming in the future, so stay tuned!

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Eric Billips is is the owner, captain and instructor at Islamorada Dive Center and Floridia Keys Dive Center. He specializes in scuba, rebreather, spearfishing and captaining in the Florida Keys