Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

After six weeks home, I’m finally ready to start some planning for future dive trips. We cancelled our Spring Break week to Key West. Until now, I hadn’t wanted to even think about what we missed. It just seemed too selfish to even contemplate pining for a trip that didn’t happen.

We’re pretty good about being realistic. When we made the decision to cancel the afternoon we were supposed to leave, and we never looked back. No regrets, no self-pity. It was a far better choice to not jeopardize the lives of health care workers by traveling.

Instead, we concentrated on bettering ourselves; reading more, working out more, and taking online Scuba safety classes. Now I’m ready to think about planning a week-long trip for Scuba diving in the Florida Keys! Here’s our plan!

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Key West Dive Trip 2020

Last year’s Spring Break trip was unusual. Bill had a broken arm, so cycling and diving were out for him. Instead, I kept to the “lesser” of the dives to keep up my skills. The “big” dive was to be the Vandenburg. Since he’s been wanting to do that dive for so many years, I just couldn’t bring myself to dive it without him. I’ll wait for him for that important experience!

This year’s highlight was to be – of course – the Vandenburg! Alas, it’s still there for us to look forward to in the future since we didn’t make it this year. If we make a third plan, and that goes awry, I won’t plan it again. That would be a definite sign from the universe that I should avoid that dive!

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Wednesday

Pack dive gear! Actually, today’s check is the final checklist check.

Gear assembly truly began a month ago with dropoff at our local dive shop for reg service, thorough go-through of bcd valves, smb valves, and so on.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Thursday

Clothing packup and toss bags into the car. Consult lists, put any last-minutes items on charge. Re-consult all lists. Make sure to have books, sunscreen, towels and refillable water bottles for poolside.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Friday

Pack food for travel in the cooler. Grab last-minute, just-used items like tea kettle and French press.

Depart after work – Stay at an Airbnb in Stuart.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Saturday

Drive Stuart to Key West.

Stop at Dennys Latin Cafe on Key Largo for Authentic Cuban Cuisine for unbelievable flan and Cuban coffees! We have to split the flan – very generous portions. I like a regular coffee, and Bill favors the Cuban teeny cup of potent espresso.

Then, head across the street to Diver’s Direct and check out the newest in dive gear. You can’t miss it – there’s a huge red and white dive flag flying overhead.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Stop at Island Fish Co. Restaurant & Tiki Bar on Marathon for lunch. There’s a helicopter pad, waterfront seating, and delicious menu. They are at 12648 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050  (305) 743-4191 

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

If you have time, History of Diving Museum – “Immerse Yourself in Diving History” – Islamorada, is great fun! You cannot imagine all the information you will discover. They feature several of everything imaginable from the history of diving – every single piece of equipment ever used is represented there.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Their book selection includes so many of my favorites, and is a great way to support them. They offer Incredible Books about Naturalists, Diving, and the Ocean in their collection.

If you’re looking for more Books for Divers, here are 15 Great Reads I highly recommend if you can’t make it by the History of Diving museum to pick them up in person.

History of Diving Museum: 82990 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036  (305) 664-9737 Daily 10am-5pmAdults: $12  Seniors/Veterans: $11

Head to the Commissary on the Navy Base in Key West. They are closed Sunday and Monday, so this is our chance to stock up for the week’s meals.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Sunday

Relax in place. Go over dive gear, charge anything needing charging. Lounge by the pool, read a little, and make sure to pack a lunch for tomorrow.

Go watch the sunset somewhere quiet. US Navy Sunset Lounge at Sigsbee Marina is the perfect spot.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Monday

Vandenberg Dive at 8:00 a.m. with Captain Hook’s.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Tuesday

Maybe a trip to the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center – Key West NOAA – Mote Marine Laboratory since they are open Tuesday through Saturday. They feature several interactive exhibits. Their display of coral restoration taught us so much about the methods of re-growing corals. Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center // Key West NOAA // Mote Marine Laboratory

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Wednesday

Joe’s Tug Dive and Reef Dive at 8:00 a.m. with Captain Hook’s.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Thursday

Go explore Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park and take a look at Key West’s Favorite Beach/Shore Dive! I bet you had no idea you could shore dive in Key West!

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Friday

Caymen Salvage Dive and Reef Dive at 8:00 a.m. with Captain Hook’s.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Saturday

Start the day at Baby’s Coffee with coffee in your refillable cup, and watch the chickens scratch for crumbs from your delicious bagel. You’ll also probably see some cyclists dropping in for mid-ride sustenance.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Then, head a bit south to see the Cuban Chugs at the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden. The stories of the crossings and experiences in these makeshift vessels are unbelievable.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Sunday

Looe Key Dive at 8:00 a.m. with Captain Hook’s.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Monday Return Home

Drive north through the Keys. Make a stop at The African Queen – Katharine Hepburn & Humphrey Bogart’s Famous Boat in Key Largo for a tour.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Diving in Key West

Captain Hook’s – formerly Dive Key West, 3128 N. Roosevelt Blvd., Key West, FL 33040, (305) 296-3823 ~ (800) 426-0707

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Lower Keys and Key West Dive Sites

From The Florida Keys & Key West, I found the following list of dive sites and information.

Little Duck Key, Missouri Key, Ohio Key, Sunshine Key, Bahia Honda Key, Spanish Harbor Key, West Summerland Key, No Name Key, Big Pine Key, Little Torch Key, Middle Torch Key, Big Torch Key, Ramrod Key, Summerland Key, Knockemdown Key, Cudjoe Key, Sugarloaf Key, Park Key, Lower Sugarloaf Key, Saddlebunch Keys, Shark Key, Geiger Key, Big Coppitt Key, East Rockland Key, Rockland Key, Boca Chica Key, Key Haven, Stock Island, Key West, Sigsbee Park, Fleming Key, Sunset Key, Wisteria Island, Looe Key Reef, The Adolphus Busch wreck, The Vandenberg, Sambo Reefs, Rock Key and Eastern Dry Rocks, Sand Key, Cayman Salvage, Joe’s Tug, Alexander’s Wreck, Western Dry Rocks, Marquesas Keys

There are about 50 sites to dive around Key West. The sites range in depths from 20 to 120 feet. Visibility usually is around 50-80 feet and summer water temperatures in the mid 80’s, winter temps around 70. Sambo’s Reefs, the outer Reef and Ten Fathom Ledge are a few of the most popular dive locations. Sambo reefs (Eastern, Middle and Western) are on the main reef line which is Southeast of Key West. A drop-off of 60-90 feet with steep ledges is at the edge of the reef. The Outer Reef and Ten Fathom Ledge are about a mile past the main reef line. Patch reefs may be a mile of two in length and have many hard and soft corals and sponges. In the shallow waters, parrotfish, butterfly fish, angelfish, stingrays, eels, nurse sharks and turtles are common. The wall at the deeper end of the Ten Fathom Ledge drops from 60 to 120 feet. You’ll find jewfish, moral eels, yellowtail, grunts, wrasse and barracuda at the wreck dive sites.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

You Are the Help Until Help Arrives

We suggest you enroll in a Crisis Medicine Tactical Casualty Care Course, and with code “DeepWH” you save 20% on the TC2 course, which I highly recommend. You need more than basic First Aid when you are far from help, as you are when traveling, on a dive boat, or even when you are working in your yard with a chainsaw. A human can bleed out within four minutes; faster than rescue can reach you. Learn how to use a tourniquet. Get training. Someone’s life might depend on it.

Purchase tourniquets from reputable companies, like North American Rescue. There, you can see the Bleeding Control Kit I carry. Use code “MAY25” for 20% off all community preparedness products through midnight on 5/31/20. This is a huge savings; take advantage!

MyMedic also features Individual Bleeding Control Kits at this link. You should bring one everywhere! We do… It’s better to be prepared than to be unprepared. You can spot our kits sometimes in our videos – either on a vehicle headrest, or lying close by.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Reef Safe Mask Defog and More

All products that touch your body work their way into our rivers, stream, lakes and oceans. Many vacation destinations like the Florida Keys will not allow toxic sunscreens. Use the only one tested and proven reef safe; Stream2Sea, use my code “DeepWH” for 10% off on SPF 20 or 30 mineral, regular or tinted sunscreen, mask defog, shampoo, conditioner, rash guards and more reef-safe supplies. They have added hand sanitizer (no discount – it’s paying the bills) to their line! Order fast!

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

Yes, We Do Buy Travel Insurance

Up until last year, we had never purchased travel insurance. For a week-long dive cruise, we realized there we had a flight, a cruise, four different dive operators, expensive dive gear luggage, and personal luggage including cameras. We also had a family member who was not doing well. The need to have that bit of flexibility in case of the worst taught us so much.

First of all, we were far more relaxed knowing that if we had to cancel it all; everything was covered. Second, we were astounded at how reasonable travel insurance actually is. Click Travelex here or above for a free quote.

Books We Use to Identify Fish

Greenberg’s “Guide to Corals and Fishes of Florida, The Bahamas, and the Caribbean

Coral Reef Fishes: Indo-Pacific and Caribbean” by by Ewald Lieske and Robert Myers

Updated May 8, 2020. Updated May 15, 2020.

Key West Scuba Dive Trip, Week-Long Dive Trip in Key West // Scuba Itinerary

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