A few weeks ago, a few friends and I made plans to visit dive sites where Goliath Groupers congregate off the coast of West Palm Beach in Florida. This would be a quick weekend “dive and dash” consisting of about 4-6 dives.
Unfortunately, a hurricane ripped through the area a week before our visit. So, we knew that conditions would not be ideal. We received confirmation from the dive shop that weekend diving would be offered so we made the trip down to Florida. During our flight we received an email from the dive shop cancelling our weekend dives due to very poor visibility. This was obviously quite upsetting. So, we had to quickly figure out how to savage the weekend and come up with an alternative plan.
We decided to drive a little more than 2 hours from Fort Lauderdale to the Florida Keys to check out the reefs in the marine sanctuary for one day. We found a dive shop called the Florida Keys Dive Center located in Tavernier, Florida. The dive shop is conveniently located between Key Largo and Islamorada. They own and operate several boats and can accommodate large and small groups.
After completing standard liability paperwork, the team from the Florida Keys Dive Center took us out for two morning dives at a site called Davis Reef. Davis Reef is a coral reef located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The marine sanctuary was established in 1990 in response to concerns about the decline of the reef ecosystem.
As presented in the video above, the reef is full of marine life. We saw a few nurse sharks, plenty of schooling fish and healthy soft coral.
Although, I only spent a day of diving in Tavernier. I would return to dive and explore the area further.