I found myself in the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area and decided to try to do some diving — I had planned it out and brought most of my dive gear. For a charter company, I chose South Florida Diving Headquarters, mostly just a flip of the coin decision. They were friendly and helpful on the phone and have a decent web site (you can book charters right from the web site).
The weather wasn’t terribly cooperative. I had wanted to do one day at a relatively shallow site and one day at a deeper site. The shallower site would have accommodated divers, snorkelers, as well as non-divers, but, the wind made the water too choppy to go to this location. So, we scrapped the trip on Friday and just took the trip Saturday afternoon to a deeper location. Originally, several people were going to go with me just to ride along, but, the other folks were warned against the trip as the waves were in the 4-6 foot range. On the boat were something like 15 or 20 divers (quite a few people, but, it didn’t feel overly cramped) — a pretty even mix of new divers (certified the same morning) and experienced divers.
The waves were pretty strong which made a lot of folks (myself included) feel pretty queasy. The dive (pictures to follow in another entry) was at a wreck named the Ancient Mariner. The ship is 165 feet long sitting at 50 and 70 feet. There was no current to speak of and the visibility was quite good. A really nice dive. This was especially fun for me as it was my first wreck dive and because the wreck is so open, penetration is quite feasible. I got in about a 35 minute dive. While doing my safety stop, the waves again became quite perceptible which started me feeling queasy again.
I would say the trip was a lot of fun, but, I would have preferred calmer waters. Maybe next time.