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For some of the best Florida scuba diving, head to Miami where artificial reef construction, natural rocks and the coral reefs off Miami Beach offer divers a wide selection of dive sites. Miami scuba diving in deep waters can be enjoyed at artificial reefs created by planned wrecks where divers will find an abundance of marine life. Miles of shallow water scuba diving in Miami can be found around the natural reefs closer inland. In Miami, you'll also find well-established dive shops, top scuba charters and highly qualified dive instructors.
Whereas many seasoned divers sometimes like to go it alone, for most, scuba diving in Miami usually involves a day-trip out to sea with one of the city's scuba charters. If you are already licensed to dive, then you can book a trip through a number of Miami scuba diving operations. If you are not licensed, many of the companies that specialize in scuba diving Miami will offer instruction and certification courses, normally taking a couple of days. Most of these instruction sessions can fit your schedule with morning, afternoon and evening classes, and some dive shops offer an online section to the course. Among the recommended dive shops in Miami, are Diver's Paradise and South Beach Divers.
Miami is a popular place to dive for those seeking a good amount of wreck sites, whereas over 75 current wrecks can be found off the Miami coast. As scuba diving in Miami becomes ever more popular, the Dade County Environmental Resource Management division actually arranges for ships to be sunk to make more sites for Miami scuba diving trips. Once boats are selected to be sunk, they are cleaned and environmentally prepared to become artificial reefs, where marine life eventually thrives. As these artificial reefs develop and become a part of the ocean environment, they eventually develop into popular sites for fishing and scuba diving in Miami. They also provide relief to the area's natural coral reefs. What makes scuba diving in Miami so excellent is the balance between the natural reefs and the artificial ones. Wreck sites generating artificial reefs include ships, tanks, tug boats, old pipes, a water tower and even a Jose Cuervo concrete bar.
Many of the reef sites along the Miami coast are found in calm and relatively shallow waters, and beginners scuba diving Miami can easily access them. Graceland Reef is a good place for beginners looking to develop confidence and skills while scuba diving in Miami. Graceland Reef is extremely shallow, sitting only 18-22 feet below the surface, and among its ledges divers will find plenty of crags to explore. Graceland Reef is several hundred yards long, which makes for lengths of sites for exploration. Another reef well worth visiting during your scuba diving Miami adventure is Emerald Reef, which is gaining in popularity as a quality Miami dive site. Emerald Reef is just 30 feet below the surface, and its size places it among the larger natural reefs found off the Miami coast. Some Miami dive shops will even arrange day trips to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, found near Key Largo. Great coral reef diving can be found at Pennekamp and the adjacent Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary.
Among the most popular wreck sites to dive in Miami, is the Sheri-Lyn. Found within a few miles off Key Biscayne, the Sheri-Lyn is a 230-foot freighter made of steel that has split into two pieces. Divers to this site can explore the ship's hull and perimeter, where they will encounter a wide array of marine life, including barracuda, arrow crabs and other ocean creatures. Visibility at the Sheri-Lyn is usually very good, making it ideal for marine photographers. The Tenneco Towers are among the most unique Miami scuba diving wrecks, and they dually serve as the understood northern boundary for Miami-based dive operators. The "Tenneco Towers" are actually old Tenneco Oil Platforms, and in their past lives they served in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1985, Tenneco Oil Company moved the platforms to the Miami coast, with the sole purpose of sinking them to create artificial reefs. This is a dive to be made by intermediate and advanced divers, as the depth of the three separate towers ranges from 110-190 feet. The platforms, having been submerged for 22 years, offer a novel diving experience among their coral-covered rungs, and they harbor a variety of sea life such as barracuda and bull sharks, as well as hundreds of species of fish.
Miami offers so much when it comes to Miami scuba diving. Generous gulfstream currents often make for good visibility, and beneath Miami waters a number of scuba diving Miami adventures await both the novice and the experienced. Scuba diving Miami involves a little bit of the best of everything you could want when diving. Natural and artificial coral reefs, numerous wrecks, warm waters and a multitude of marine life characterize Miami scuba diving. From West Palm Beach, to Miami and down to the Florida Keys, some of the best scuba diving on the planet awaits visitors to southeastern Florida.
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