Diving the Florida Keys - Forget the Caribbean, the diving in the Keys is GREAT!

The Scuba Adventures of John and Joan

We (a group of 7) rented a small Keys home on a canal that came with a powerboat!   Our only costs were gas and air, and we had no trouble finding the divesites.

Get seven good friends together at 5 am...
Dave and Arlene, Lynn and Dave, John and Joan, and Jan (she took the pic)

...pack up the car...

...and take a picture of every state as you drive from Canada to Florida! (I got W. Virginia)

Our rental backed on to this canal...

...we lowered the boat, loaded our gear...

...and headed out to dive. It was awesome!
(Except for the time we ran out out gas!!)

We passed a research station...

...saw a couple dolphins jump!... look close, my super telephoto lens caught the jump :-)

and arrived at the dive site buoy, with another Keys diveboat.

A baracuda watches us do our backroll...

Jan and Lynn check out the scenery...

...and look up to see a school of baracuda.

A yellow stingray tries to hide from us...

...and a southern stingray glides by...

...as a scrawled cowfish checks us out.

I love looking inside barrel sponges...

Look! A miny forest of fire coral.

And nearby, some encrusting sponge.

A gorgeous sea fan...

...a surgeonfish...

...and some colorful firecoral.

Elephant ear sponge


Elkhorn coral

We look up and see our dive boat...

...and then see some other power boat zoom directly over us with prop spinning!
(Fast shutter speed freezes the motion.)

Jan says, "I can't believe how stupid some boaters are!"

A beautiful school of bluestriped and white grunts.

Common and plentiful throughout the Keys...

...these are beautiful fish.

"We dove our brains out." :-)

Boulder coral

Soft coral with polyps extended.

Yellowtail parrotfish, initial phase

Rock beauty

Gray anglefish

Dave Steadman watches a midnight parrotfish...

...have a meal of chomping on coral.

Beautiful soft coral seascape.

Beautiful underwater topography...

...of sand and coral.

A giant apple?

Hogfish, young intermediate, at a cleaning station.


Black grouper

Channel clinging crab. (Feeding)

Silversides with a black margate in the background.

Another school of bluestriped grunts.

Finger coral

Coral boulder

Sea lettuce

Dave's looking for me...

"Hey Dave! I'm over here."

"I see ya!"

We visited John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and saw the famous "Christ of the Abyss"

Jan reads the plaque.

The plaque.

Jan admires the setting.

Joan admires the statue.

Elkhorn coral mimics the statue.

Spotfin butterflyfish


Queen angelfish

Vase sponge before breakfast.

Vase sponge after breakfast.

Another meal.

Christmas tree worms

Sea fans

Christmas trees worms

Common snook

Blue tang

Spotted drum

Sargeant majors and grunts amidst elkhorn coral.

Spiny lobster

Black grouper

Something you don't see very often... a parrotfish with a sharksucker attached.

...another view of the sharksucker...

and a bluehead shadow feeds.

A scorpion fish hides with its cameoflage.

Beautiful bubbles

We dove "Pickel Barrel Wreck". Carrying cement in pickel barrels, the concrete shapes are now a lasting memorial!

An open-heart surgery seems to have been interrupted.

Elephant ear sponge.
(Or is it cauliflower ear sponge?)

A blind sea monster's head.

We find another parrotfish with a sharksucker.

Another beautiful school of bluestripped grunts...

...up close.

The sargeant majors were frantic protecting their eggs.

They definitely didn't like me getting this close.

Spanish grunt

Another gorgeous seascape.

Jan takes a picture.

Tube sponges.

A nudibranch!
This one is a red-tipped sea goddess.

Moray eel

Banded shrimp

Jan finds a little budda holding up a boulder coral!

Bizarrly, it was gone the next time we dove this reef!

Everyone loves finding a scorpion fish. This one wasn't exactly using his camouflage to best advantage!

Spanish hogfish

Banded butterfly fish


Leafy flat-blade alga

Flamingo tongue
(Gently touch the carapace and watch it withdraw back into the shell.)

Loggerhead sponge

Beautiful school of bluestriped grunts.

Beautiful school of tupe sponges.

Beautiful school of schoolmasters.

Now he's got his camouflage working!

Another parrot fish with a sharksucker!
This one is sleeping. (night dive)

Scorpion fish have such gorgeous pectoral fins.

Hawksbill turtle

Yellowline arrow crab

Channel clinging grab

Roughlip cardinalfish
The Humann and DeLoach Fish ID book states: Abundance and Distribution: Occasional Bahamas, northwestern Caribbean. Not reported Florida or balance of Caribbean. "Hey, I'm reporting it!" (Or maybe this is just the common Flamefish [pale phase])

This was the vis on the last day of our 10 day stay!

Longspine squirelfish

Jan and I did a dive at the Jules Vern undersea lodge site.



Transfer module

Control room

Someone's cute mailbox :-)

If you're in the Keys you gotta stop at the Pelican Sanctuary

At feeding time, look out!
It's every pelican for him/her self!

If you've got the nerve, anyone is welcome to "toss out the grub!" Jan's got the nerve, and I'm happy to stay behind my camera. :-)

It was bird chaos!


"Hey! Will you guys keep the noise down!"

At the end of our stay, my log book had reached 199 dives. I called this dive #200!

"Come-on in, the water's great!"

"What a great holiday!" (But we gotta go home.)

Comments or Questions about our Florida Keys dives? Drop us a line... email John and Joan

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