This Week’s Dive Report

It’s fall — and you know what that means! The weather is slowly changing. Conditions were great up until the weekend when the winds came in. As I always say, diving in the Keys depends more on the winds than the rain. You can dive in the rain (and it’s pretty cool), but you don’t want to be on the water when it’s too windy.

Before the weather turned, we took out two groups of students from Ocean Studies Charter School in Key Largo. The first was studying sharks, which we love to see. The second was focused on sea turtles. We took these budding marine biologists to two shallow patch reefs to hang out with some of our favorite underwater residents. 

It’s always so rewarding to take students out to enjoy our waters. First-hand experience with the water is the best way to teach students about the value of our seas and all the animals that live in them. It’s a privilege to watch kids look underwater and see sharks, turtles, fish and so much more for the first time. It reminds me about how magical our seas really are when you’re looking through the eyes of a kid.

Next Week’s Dive Report

The upcoming week, conditions look great throughout the week with mild winds. Do you have plans to get out there before it gets colder and choppier?

Nurse sharks are the most commonly-seen shark on Florida Keys reefs. Weekly file photo.

Conservation Update

If you’re interested in learning more about sharks, join us every Friday when we go on our Shark Awareness Dives. You can earn PADI Shark Awareness Certification while diving with us and become an ambassador for these beautiful creatures.

Sharks actually help ecosystems stay healthy. They keep prey populations in check by taking weak and sick individuals. Without sharks, the ecosystem in the Florida Keys would fall even further out of balance. 

On these dives, we take the classroom to the water and teach you about the perils that sharks encounter because of longlines and demand for shark in soup. Unfortunately, these apex predators are 100% endangered.

Conservation Tip

When you teach the next generation about the oceans while they’re young, you create lifelong stewards for the sea.

I.CARE Tip

I.CARE will be planting corals with Islamorada Dive Center this Saturday. Book to make a difference with your own two hands. 

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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