Read Story at: https://blog.padi.com/padi-club-florida-keys-dive-trip/
As scuba divers, we get to explore places others don’t, encountering thrills, marine life, and adventure along the way. Joining PADI Club can be a great way to meet like-minded people. You will get to meet divers in your community, learn from the club members and plan dive trips. Recently, our PADI Club members went on a dive trip to the Florida Keys.
What Did This Dive Trip Include
If you didn’t attend the PADI Club™ Reef and Wreck Adventure dive trip in the Florida Keys, here’s what you missed:
The Best Diving in the Florida Keys
The PADI Club Member-only event included stops in Key Largo, Islamorada, and Key West. All dives and accommodation were included.
For those who had never been diving in Florida before, the trip was like a Florida Keys scuba diving sampler platter! The host hotels and PADI® Dive Shops visited included:
No Dive Buddy? No Problem
You don’t have to bring a dive buddy to a PADI Club event. One-third of the guests arrived solo, and with plenty of opportunities for socializing, everyone quickly made new friends.
“People who only went on one dive together decided they’d be dive buddies for the rest of the trip. Some started planning future trips with people they met in the Keys,” said Zach Pavkov, Operations Manager for PADI Club and one of the trip leaders.
A Typical Day on a PADI Dive Trip
- Wake up at the dive resort
- Coffee/tea and a light breakfast
- Morning two-tank boat dive
- Lunch at the resort
- Afternoon two-tank dive
- Prize giveaways and guest speakers
- Dinner with the group or on your own
Dive sites were chosen based on the trip theme: Florida Keys: A Reef and Wreck Adventure. Each day included an opportunity for both reef and wreck diving. There was also plenty of time to hang out and talk story with other divers.
“After diving wrapped up for the day, we would all get together and talk about our dives, share photos, have a couple cold drinks and talk about plans for the next day,” said Zach. “We also had contests featuring superb prizes like an Aqua Lung Legend regulator and Aqua Lung dive computer and guest speakers including Robby Myers talking about new equipment and equipment testing, Jack Fishman from the PADI AWARE Foundation™ and Blu3 tankless diving systems.”
PADI Club dive trips attract scuba divers of all levels, including beginners, experienced divers and folks who haven’t blown bubbles in a while.
Note: PADI Club membership includes free access to the PADI ReActivate® scuba refresher program and a 20% discount on PADI eLearning® courses.
Words From Some of the “Newer” Divers
Rui – New Open Water Diver
I got Open Water certified in April 2022, so I was basically a brand-new diver. This was my first diving trip and I felt very safe. The trip was well-organized, every store was very nice and clean and the dive guides were very professional. I learned a lot – not just from the guides, but also from very experienced people that come as guests. Also, I got my Enriched Air Nitrox certification. I studied online before the trip and then the guide showed me how to use nitrox. I also made my first night dive.
Cynthia – Diving Again After Many Years
I saw an email about the trip and thought, “that’s something I’d do if I’d been blowing bubbles recently.” I’d been wanting to get back into scuba diving and visit the Florida Keys so I signed up!
I had an in-water refresher where instructor Jack took me through scuba 101. The first few dives were uncomfortable but he stuck to my side. He was so patient and kind.
My favorite dive was also the scariest. Jack led us into a channel about six feet wide that separated two coral reefs. In my mind, I’m thinking, “I can’t believe I’m doing this!” It was so cool, something I’d never done before.
Signing up for the PADI trip was a spur-of-the-moment kismet decision. Looking back, I’m so glad I did it. It was a great experience. The people truly took care of me. I told my son and daughter (who are in their 20’s) they need to get PADI certified. I would love to bring them on a PADI trip.
Dive Trip Highlights
When asked about their favorite moments or adventures, two clear favorites emerged. Even though the guests had varied diving experience and ranged from 27 to 70 years old, diving the Spiegel Grove and the Dive Against Debris® cleanup activity were at the top of nearly everyone’s list.
Here’s What Some of Them Had To Say
Stephen – Divemaster
I absolutely love wreck diving. When I saw the PADI Club listing for a reef and wreck dive trip in the Florida Keys I thought, “WOW! What a fantastic idea, I must check this out.” I really enjoyed the Spiegel Grove in Key Largo. I was able to see “Snoopy on the floor” at 34m/112ft. There was great visibility, 30°C/ 86°F, clear turquoise blue Caribbean water and an abundance of sea life including turtles, sharks, barracuda and moray eels.
While in Islamorada, we participated in a two-tank ocean cleanup dive. It was an incredible experience. My team worked together to bring up old anchors, scrap metal and rubber mats that had blown off boats. We also removed more than 30m/100 ft of rope that was intertwined in the coral beds. Altogether, we removed 98 kg/217 lbs of metal, rubber and rope from the ocean. It was very rewarding.
Rui – New Open Water Diver
The activity where we helped protect the ocean was very special for me. It’s so cool PADI Club is not just a diving club. They’re trying to do something very meaningful.
I’ve read a lot about protecting the ocean and I’ve always wanted to try it but didn’t know how. I’m not the kind of person who would jump in and start picking up trash because I’m a beginner. Now I feel like I could do it again (but with an experienced buddy in case there is some heavy trash).
It was kind of funny because we were trying to find sharks the whole trip and during the cleanup event we saw three nurse sharks after we picked up the trash. It’s like they showed up to say thank you. They were so cute.
Seiko also provided thank-you gifts to divers who participated in the Dive Against Debris.
Don’t Miss Out on the Next PADI Club Adventure
Stephen – Divemaster
I had an absolutely amazing time. I had never gone on an all-inclusive dive trip before and it would not be a stretch to say that it changed me as a person. It was such a peaceful, tranquil stress-free adventure. Everything was taken care of. The only decision I had to make was what to eat for the day. I will do this again and again. It totally exceeded my expectations. I hope to bring my newly-certified daughter (age 12) on the next trip with me.
Anyone can attend a PADI Dive Trip, but existing PADI Club Members are the first to know when new trips are announced and receive priority booking.
Is PADI Club membership “worth it”?
PADI Club costs $49.95 US per year and can quickly pay for itself. In addition to free access to PADI ReActivate and 20% off PADI eLearning courses, you also get:
- Invites to exclusive PADI Club events
- Discounts on dive gear and apparel
- A subscription to Scuba Diving magazine
- 20% OFF PADI Gear™
- Plus you can earn discounts on liveaboard trips