A pair of divers descend beneath the surface. TYLER MORRIS/Contributed

Conditions this past week weren’t all that great. We had a couple days of high winds but it did lie down nicely for the weekend. We’re looking at the upcoming forecast of some chilly, iguana- falling-out-of-the-trees kind of days.  

But don’t let that stop you from getting out there and enjoying the underwater world with the entire family. Now that our kids are out of school for a couple weeks, it’s the perfect time to enjoy a family adventure trip to our reefs and wrecks. The Xbox and cell phones don’t work underwater, so it’s a great opportunity to unplug with the family and enjoy some time together, while swimming with turtles and rays and such.  

A young diver takes a giant stride off the back of a dive boat. TYLER MORRIS/Contributed

And don’t forget: locals get a discounted rate and active and veterans of our military dive for free at certain dive shops. If you or the kiddos aren’t certified, now is the time. It’s very simple these days with online technology. You attend class online, which is usually around six to eight hours total that you can accomplish over a period of time. It doesn’t need to be completed in one sitting. Once you’re done, then it’s two days of pool and ocean diving and you’re certified. And again, locals get discounts for classes as well. It pays off living in this paradise sometimes. So reach out to your local dive shop and either sign up for classes or a dive charter and make this Christmas break an active and rewarding one.


There are many conservation classes that divers can take part in to learn more and help our oceans. These include everything from coral restoration to dives against debris to turtle awareness. Sign up with your local dive shop.

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