Let the Keys Make You a Better Diver

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A huge loggerhead banks to the right around a gagged ledge and rises to the surface to take a breath.  Jawfish are popping up out their burrows and then back in again, all in unison.  A nurse shark is foraging over the reef with all its senses in play to find a tasty meal.  Diving in the Florida Keys is about exploration and the excitement of seeing an underwater world that many never have the opportunity to see.  As divers, we are fully aware of the advantages we have over others that do not dive.  But as divers, do we really know what it takes to understand all of the fascination from our underwater world.  As beginning divers, we worry about our equipment, how long it has been since our last dive and how many underwater experiences we have had.  We miss more than we see, even though we don’t realize it, because whatever we are seeing, we are seeing it for the first time. Divers that get the most from their underwater environment are divers that are comfortable in the water.  That is why it is critical to dive and deliberately strive to improve your diving skills and abilities. The more comfortable you are, the more the underwater world exposes itself to you.  Instead of look...what was that??? It becomes did you notice how that fish moved as it passed over the shelf?  Was that an aggressive move?  Is it territorial? At the University of Michigan, there a was a professor that could stay underwater for an unbelievable amount of time on one tank of air.  Most of us thought he was some sort of prenatal mutant and some us thought he must have become the stuntman for Kevin Costner in Waterworld. He did have an absolutely awesome underwater photography collection.  His underwater abilities helped him pursue his passion and in turn work his dream and all of his students were better off because of it. Good divers do the right things in the water and can spend more time in the water because they are not compensating for their lack of knowledge or skills.  They breathe easier and flow better in the water.  Their buoyancy is handled effortlessly and they can do more than one thing; like study their environment; or spearfish; or shoot beautiful photos.  They are simply more comfortable.  Good divers dive more than other divers but more importantly good divers dive with the intent on becoming better divers. Here is where the Florida Keys come into play.  It is an easy location to start your diving career and any continuing diving training, instruction and development that you may be interested in.  There are a number of reasons for this and the combinations of these reasons make it an unbeatable place to learn and enjoy the marine environment. First, the Keys have possibly the finest set of career dive instructors and dive professionals around.  Many of the instructors are well beyond the minimum requirements to train and instruct and have many more hours instructing and several certifications more than the average instructor. Second, most of the instruction is tailored to individuals and not large classroom settings, so the soon-to-be diver gets that personal attention that makes them better in the water right from the start. Many of our divers become friends with us and return to increase their skills many times over. Third, its the lay of the land and the ocean that makes it great to learn. You can’t dive 24/7, so why not spend your non-diving time in sunny weather in a real fun place.  It’s in the USA and you will be helping the economy, trust me.  When it is time for the ocean, the Keys are shallow, with great sites that are both scenic and functional to become a first-time diver. Then you can improve your skills by taking on the added challenges of navigation skills, underwater photography, fish identification and more, without worrying about your depth.  Then, when you are ready there is plenty of deep water and structures to dive on with some of the best wrecks and sites in any ocean.  So make your next diving destination the Florida Keys!!! Fair winds and dive safe, The Dive Team at Captain Hooks Marina & Dive Center Since the 1950s, Captain Hook’s Marina and Dive Center has been the place to get everything you need for a day on the water. Charters for fishing, diving, snorkeling, dive instruction and certification; bait and tackle; scuba equipment and air tanks; boat rentals. You can find them on the web at www.CaptainHooks.com


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