Q: What are your typical dive conditions?
A: There are many different things that affect our dive conditions. These include:
-- Temperature: Air temperature varies from 100F/38C in summer to 60F/15C in winter.
Water temperature varies from 93F/34C in summer to 65F/18C in winter.
-- Visibility: Typically visibility is 30-50 ft depending on water movement. We are in a
unique geographical position, sitting between two different oceans. The Atlantic
Ocean to our south is warm, blue, clear water. The Gulf of Mexico to our north is
brown, cold, murky water. Where the two oceans meet is called the blue line" (a
visible line in the water). The blue line can move up to 30 miles overnight with the tide.
This means we can have 100 feet of visibility one day, and 6 feet the next, based purely
on where the line is. We also have the Gulfstream (a warm water mass that flows around
the Caribbean) just off the reef. If the Gulfstream moves in the water tends to clear up.
-- Sunlight: (Never in short supply in Florida). Light absorption increases with the depth.
Typically the biggest color range is found on the shallow reef dives in 30 ft or less.
-- Wind: Most of the time during summer the water is flat calm. During the winter we tend to
get more wind. Wave height depends on the direction of the wind. If wind is from the north,
the Keys break up any waves, and you only get a small chop. If the wind is from the south,
we tend to get bigger waves (From 1ft to 4ft -for very strong winds). If we consider the
waves too rough for passenger comfort, we run trips to the Gulf of Mexico.