By Tessa C.
I had the most amazing open water diving experience in Key Largo, Florida with Patriot Scuba. It felt so good to be in the warm Florida weather over the MLK weekend.
We started at 8 AM, Saturday morning when we met our fellow divers at the Conch Republic dive shop. We loaded the boat and set out for our first dive. When we finally got into the water, it felt different than diving in fresh water. The water off Key Largo was so clear it was unbelievable! The coral was so beautiful. The fish were unafraid and just swam right up to us. I had the great experience of seeing a shark on the first dive. Later, on another dive, I got a chance to see a giant sea turtle up close.
On Saturday afternoon, I had the opportunity to dive with scientists studying the coral reef. It looked like an underwater garden with the beds of coral lining the bottom of the ocean. As we swam to another part of the research area, we got to see the coral which was attached to Christmas tree-like shapes and secured with wires. I was able to clean off the algae that had accumulated on the coral with special brushes. Without a doubt, this was my favorite dive.
In the future, I hope to complete the advanced open-water certification and the required courses to eventually become a dive master. My goal is to travel and dive the top 50 dive sites in the world. I hope that through my love of diving I can encourage others to try it as well.