An instructor shows her regulator.

Friday – Chance of rain 40% south, southeast winds, 5 to 10 knots, 2-feet seas

Saturday – Chance of rain 30% south, southeast winds, 5 to 10 knots, 1-foot seas

Sunday – Chance of rain 40%, (this information will come Wednesday)


We’re still being blessed with “Keyzee-like” conditions this past week. The visibility has been spectacular and the water temp is holding at a balmy 84 degrees. And the good news is, this coming week is more of the same if not better.  

An instructor signals divers to descend.


Labor Day brought us some late summer visitors and they enjoyed a beautiful weekend on the water. We were visited by a group from the scuba certifying agency PADI. PADI, or Professional Association of Dive Instructors, sent a group of employees to the Keys to enjoy diving from Key Largo to Key West. 

There are numerous PADI dive centers throughout the Keys, all of which pride themselves in offering top-shelf scuba instruction from PADI. Some classes offered through PADI are considered “specialties.” These specialty classes are designed to focus on one specific activity.  For example, Deep Diver specialty teaches divers to dive beyond recreational depths, getting them confident in descending down to 130 feet max. 

If you’ve ever considered getting into underwater photography or videography, there are specialty classes for that as well. And one of my favorites, Underwater Hunter. This teaches divers a safe and sustainable way to spearfish with a conservative-minded approach. This specialty was actually written by us for PADI, so obviously we’re a little biased. If any of these interest you, seek out your local PADI dive center and get on the schedule; you wont regret it.

Divers prepare their tanks and regulators. CONTRIBUTED


I.CARE is planting at Key Dives this Saturday. If you haven’t had a chance to watch I.CARE in the new scuba dive TV series, “Destination Dive,” please go and check it out. It features I.CARE and its mission to restore our local reefs.  Destination Dive airs on Discovery Channel and is hosted by yours truly. It focuses on beautiful destinations to dive and the conservation efforts these wonderful places are incorporating to ensure our ocean’s ecosystem is here for future generations. If you missed the first episode you can watch on YouTube and the website www.destinationdive.tv


As always, be a soldier in the fight to save our reefs. These reefs are the backbone of the Keys.  Without them we lose our identity. Fishing, diving and snorkeling are all susceptible to the health of our reefs.  

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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