We were looking through the latest edition of Sport Diver magazine and guess what we found in the Getaways Section…just a great little article about the Dive Locker.
It seems that during this summer a writer from Sport Diver took an excursion on one of our boats and was so impressed, he/she wrote a great little article about us and the great diving off Panama City Beach.
When you get your copy of Sport Diver in the mail, take a look at pages 60-64, let us know what you think…or just keep reading…
Reprint- Rigid schedules might work for German train conductors and helicopter pilots, but not for easygoing dive operators. PADI Five Star Dive Center Dive Locker’s charters leave on time from the Treasure Island Marina, but because they typically offer one trip per day, they’re allowed flexibility. So when you encounter a pod of bottlenose dolphins while heading to the dive site, grab your snorkel – you’ll soon be in the water with them.
Dolphins are just one of this area’s big-animal attractions. Year-round, manta rays, stingrays and loggerhead turtles are llikely sightings. Every July and August, whale sharks often drop by, says shop owner Tony Snow.
Also during summer, divers regularly spot leatherbacks – a little – seen in-water species – while aboard the boat.
“Turles breed here,” he says of the famous Pandle sugar-sand beaches. “Sightings are so common on our dives that nobody really mentions them much.”
Today, as we drop in at the BLACK BART – the day’s first dive – I’d welcome seeing turtles or mantas but can’t complain when sandbar sharks slowly circle as we kick our way around the wreck. Sunk in 1993, this largely intact, upright 175-foot-long oil field supply ship has been made safe for divers, making entry into the wheelhouse easy even for those with no penetration training. Light pools in from the former windows, illuminating the stairs as we head into the lower compartments before returning to the perimiter. Clouds of snapper and grouper scatter with each passing diver.
During the leisurely surfact interval, the crew offers a spread any soccer mom would be proud to bring to practice: Gatorade and Capri Sun, water and an assortment of snacks.
After everyone has had his or her fill, it’s time to dive again, this time at ACCOKEEK, the 195-foot-long Navy tugboat. I’ve been chatting with a guest from Seaside and didn’t realize that everyone else had already begun gearing up.
“Nobody is yelling at you to hurry,” says Snow of the crew’s laid-back nature. “We’re very relaxed but safe. That’s why anyone who dives with us once will always come back.”