DIVE REPORT: INAUGURAL CAMP IN HONOR OF LOCAL CAPTAIN TRAINS YOUNG ‘SEALS’ SCUBA BASICS

A young diver beneath the surface of a pool with Eric Billips. CONTRIBUTED

CONDITIONS A LITTLE BUMPY FOR MINI-SEASON

Conditions out on the water were a little bumpy last week. The start of a two-day lobster mini-season on July 27 pushed boats to the bayside, as conditions were a little calmer there compared to the oceanside.

WINDS SHOULD CALM DOWN

It looks to be a decent week for diving and exploration with winds finally calming down. … Phew.

DIVE CAMP IN MEMORY OF DIVE INSTRUCTOR TEACHES YOUTH

This week, we had an amazing inaugural camp for a group of 9-year-olds. We started our first “Jeffs Juniors Ocean Adventures Camp” this year and it was a huge success. The camp is in memory of Captain Jeff Leonia, a captain and instructor for Islamorada Dive Center and Forever Young Charters. The camp certified the young kids in PADI Seals course, which taught them the basics of scuba diving and got them in the pool, doing compass work, fish identification and underwater photography.

Day two saw them learning about shark awareness. We spent the morning in the classroom where they earned their PADI Shark Awareness certification, and in the afternoon we snorkeled with some nurse sharks. Days three and four were spent with Forever Young Charters. The campers learned how to reef fish and caught dinner for the family. Those interested in next year’s camp, please contact Islamorada Dive Center for details.

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