The Florida Keys with Ocean First

By OceanFirst on 7/22/16

A trip report from Kelly Faulkner:

Usually my job keeps me busy behind the retail counter at Ocean First, but I recently got the chance to tag along with our instructors Bruce Penner and Roger Young as they led a group of twelve to dive the vibrant Caribbean reefs of Key Largo.

Key Largo is our most frequented trip; because it’s spread across a long weekend and is offered numerous times throughout the year it’s our answer to a local dive trip from the middle of the country. When the local reservoirs aren’t satisfying your need for some open ocean but you can’t leave the country for weeks at a time, Key Largo is your best friend.

Our flight into Fort Lauderdale was quick and painless, and the trip leaders made sure the airport transfers to the Holiday Inn Key Largo resort went smoothly. Over the long weekend we had the opportunity to rack up eight dives on the shallow reefs surrounded by sharks, turtles, eels, and tons of colorful schools of fish.  

Any Open Water students who chose to complete their dives with us on this trip are paired up with an Ocean First instructor to finish up their certifications. In addition, the wonderful staff at Sea Dwellers provide the boat and staff to accompany our crew. Congratulations to Megan, Kyle, Kaity, Kevin, Liam, Daniel, and Kirsten who successfully completed the last portion of their Open Water training this trip! They were well deserving of Key Largo’s famous key lime pie or treats from the Tiki Bar after a long day of training.

Key Largo is also a great trip for any divers looking to level up with some continuing education training dives. On Saturday, the whole group chose to conquer a wreck dive; there are tons of options to choose from but we ended up diving the Benwood, an English-built ship that sank in 1942. On the last dive, Bruce accompanied Dan on a Navigation dive to keep his continuing education goals moving forward. Dan plans to reach the Master Diver level by next April!

In all, the Ocean First Key Largo trip was a fun-filled weekend accompanied by good people and great diving. I now understand why we have so many repeat offenders on these trips; I can’t wait until I can do it again!


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