I loved every second of this – put me back in the water!
Scuba diving had been high on the bucketlist for a while and what better place to try it for the first time than while I was driving from Miami to Key West. This is a stunning 3 hour and 40 minute drive crossing over 42 bridges on the Overseas Highway. It is incredibly scenic as you pass multiple islands and keys such as the Islamorada Keys and Bahia Island. It has to be one of the most beautiful drives I have ever done, with the water by your side and underneath you for the majority of the drive. (Check out this photo of the roads found on apassportaffair.com, note: the COLOUR of the water):
Prior to my trip to Florida, I found a Scuba Diving company called “Try Scuba Diving” which offer one on one lessons for beginners. The dive site is located half way between Miami and Key West – a perfect pit stop activity for the long drive.
I arrived at the dive site area, a small cove just off the highway called ‘Horseshoe’. I quickly understood the name given the rocks around the water come together with the shore shaped like a horseshoe. The water was so clear and I was a mixture of excited and nervous for my first ever dive, I dipped my feet in and it felt like a bath – no need for a wet suit in the gorgeous Florida November weather! I saw others snorkeling close to the shore, one guy brought this to the shore (apparently it is illegal in Florida to remove conchs from the sea so don’t worry he put it back in after the photo):
We also spotted this guy among the trees along the shore, the colours on him:
I met with my diving instructor, Luke who had just finished up with another group. He talked me through how to use the equipment, the importance of BREATHING (I learnt that holding your breath is the worst thing you can do), popping your ears, our hand signals for the dive and other safety rules – He was super encouraging and assured me that I was going to survive (haha). We walked out into the water put on our gas tanks and we swam under. Luke brought his GoPro along so he got some footage (below) of our dive. We swam to the very bottom and followed fish along the rock face, the water was super clear so you could see everything and the colours were amazing. The dive was about 40 minutes long but I could have stayed down there for hours, It was actually far easier than I thought it was going to be. It was such a great experience which I would definitely love do again sometime in the future.