A nurse shark on Davis Reef. TIFFANY DUONG/Keys Weekly

This Week’s Dive Report

This week’s conditions were nice — as the last few weeks have been — right up to when Fred rolled by. We took out a group of divers to Davis Reef. Davis Reef is a Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA) and has a welcoming statue of Buddha that you can rub for good luck.

There are also many resident nurse sharks that we visit on our Shark Awareness Dives every week. We are lucky to have sharks and other predators in our oceans, because it means that our marine ecosystems are healthy. We need every level of the food chain in order to maintain a healthy, functioning reef. You can learn about this and more when you come out to visit these amazing creatures with us.

After the great conditions, the storm mixed things up a bit — as weather tends to do around here. Fred brought in rain over the weekend. While there wasn’t much action (fingers crossed it remains that way), it does serve as a good reminder that we need to be prepared for hurricane season. 

Tip: have a hurricane prep list and supplies for your boat on hand. This makes it a quicker, more efficient job in case you have to do it in a hurry. There are many “hurricane boat prep” resources out there, so take advantage of one and come up with a good game plan for you and your boat.

You can rub the Buddha statue at Davis Reef for good luck. ERIC BILLIPS/Contributed

Next Week’s Dive Report

As things continue to settle down after the storm, conditions look very promising for this upcoming week. The crowds are reduced because schools are opening up, so there’s plenty of space on the boats. Water temperatures are still summer warm, so get out there with us to enjoy what the Keys are all about: our ocean.

Conservation Update

I.CARE will be planting corals this Saturday, Aug. 21 on our deeper planting site: Victory reef. The corals being outplanted have been tested for resiliency. This will be important with things like warmer oceans and heavy storm seasons. Deeper corals have the chance to avoid heavy wave action, but get less sunlight as a result of being so far down. It’s a tradeoff, but it does work for some corals.

Conservation Tip

Every dive, fishing or boat trip should be an exercise in conservation.  Be aware of your environment and treat it with respect.  Love our earth and mother ocean.


Call Islamorada Dive Center to join the I.CARE outplanting trip.

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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