It was November 2011.
We were still living in Singapore but took an extended trip in the US: Glenn had a business trip to Charlotte and Jill’s family was gathering in Virginia for Thanksgiving. And there was a week in between.
Neither of us had been diving in the US (or anywhere in the Western Hemisphere for that matter!) but we’d heard that Key Largo was the place to go. Glenn knew somebody who knew somebody at a dive shop* who was able to book a 2-tank trip for us and set us up with gear.
The boat was full and a little different style than what we were used to in Asia, but we felt at ease among divers from near and far. The day was sunny and breezy and we were excited to see what this part of the underwater world had to offer.
Unfortunately that’s where the excitement ended.
The skies darkened and the water became choppy when we got underway. Our ‘spot’ was inside the covered part of the boat out of the wind but boat fumes blew in anyway.
When the boat stopped at the dive site – the name of which has been blocked from both of our memories – it rocked even more. Up and down. Side to side. Long story short, I got super-seasick.**
I hoped to feel better once I got under water but the rolling seas created surge and very poor visibility at the shallow dive site. All I remember is hazy-looking water waving the sea fans back and forth. A few fish. Probably a lobster or two, and a moray eel.
The short dive time of 45 minutes felt like it lasted twice that long. We surfaced to the same conditions, went somewhere else (I think) and got back in the water for another uncomfortable and unpleasant dive.
I started to feel a little better as the boat trundled back to dock but all the exertion really dampened my energy and spirits for the next two days of our vacation. And we didn’t dive again on that trip.
Now listen, I’m not one of those divers who always expects everything to be perfect. I was told during my very first Open Water diver class that there would be some dives that I simply would not enjoy.
But the combination of the crowded boat, unfamiliar gear and marginal sea conditions on that first dive here in Key Largo almost put me off diving in the Florida Keys ever again. And that would have been a shame. Because I’ve had some of my favorite dives here in the years since.
That day was firmly in our minds the other week when we talked with those super-nice folks from Tennessee who postponed their trip to Key Largo from Labor Day because the weather was terrible.
Unfortunately when their rescheduled dates rolled around in October we had another sad conversation with them about conditions: a lingering weather system brought winds over 20 miles per hour, waves over 5 feet, and visibility of only 30 ft.***
Our boat is as stable as they come for its size. Glenn is an experienced US Coast Guard-licensed captain with bunches of hours at sea. We can take it when the wind blows and the waves roll.
But we’re always going to be super-honest about conditions. The way we wish someone had been with us before our first dive in Key Largo. You always have the chance to opt out if it doesn’t sound like fun. Or double-up on seasickness remedies if it does.
We want you to remember Key Largo for all the best reasons: exploring our amazing coral reefs and wrecks, seeing the coolest sea creatures, enjoying a comfy boat and making happy memories that last a long time.
*Names of dive shops have been omitted on purpose!
** Extensive descriptions of my seasickness have been omitted for brevity. And because it was gross. But PM Jill for the details if you really want them.
***And those were captain-to-captain reported wave heights and visibility estimates from boats that did go out that weekend. Captains and crew in the business have been known to exaggerate depending on who they’re talking to: downplaying the waves and rounding up visibility for customers, but Capt. Glenn thinks they were being pretty straight with him!
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– Theresa N.
Oh my gosh! What a perfect day for a very very special occasion…a surprise, underwater proposal. They showed us a beautiful, private dive spot and made sure that the proposal went off without a hitch. The videos are perfect. Jill, Glen, and Stephanie, thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
– Em S.
What an awesome time!!!! Every year for my birthday, I look for different things to do with my friends. This year, it was a sunset cruise, which far surpasses a dinner at yet another restaurant. … A plus is their actual head (toilet) aboard. Their cat is a perfect size for 6 passengers. It is well appointed, spotless and very stable. Highest praise for Jill, Glenn and Suzy!
OMG. To be honest I booked this charter because the boat had a full functional bathroom. Luckily, I never needed it. … The boat was beautiful and immaculate. The little detail that was actually quite useful and made us all very comfortable was the fresh water shower after each dive. We got back to the dock feeling refreshed and not sticky and gross. Jill was responsive in following up with my initial inquiry and follow up confirmations etc. the dive sites were quite impressive. Overall an amazing experience and won’t be our last.
– Lance H
Lucky Fish Scuba is a top notch diving operation, very professional, and so much fun! Glenn & Jill made had everything prepared and ready when we arrived. Once we arrived at the dive spot, they were very helpful explaining where we would go, what we would see, and then proceeded to guide us through the dive. Since this was our first time diving in Key Largo, having a dive master guide us was very comforting. In between dives, they provided drinks and snacks. The boat is perfect for small groups and very comfy and it has a head if needed. In addition, Jill provided us with a short video of our dive a few days later. We loved it! This biz is a gem amongst all other dive operations in the Keys. You will not be disappointed booking here. We can’t wait to go back!
– Jose B.
Lucky Fish Scuba is where you need to go in Key Largo! Both Glenn and Jill are extremely professional, courteous, and fun. They will keep you laughing throughout the trip while always being very attentive to your needs. The boat is super comfortable and they are able to make a customized plan according to what you want.
– Heather P
HIGHLY recommend. 5 stars isn’t enough Took my 11 year old daughter diving. Jill and Glen are amazing- a hidden gem. They are extremely personable, the boat is phenomenal, and the level of customer service is top notch. Worth every penny. They will be my go to scuba diving resource from now on. And they are super kid friendly Thanks Jill and Glen we had an amazing time.
– David T
Worth every penny. Great tour and super friendly and knew all the right dive spots. Look no further. Also took amazing photos for us.
– Linda K
Inclement weather in Marathon Key did us a great favor. Our trip with Lucky Fish Scuba in Key Largo surpassed anything we could have imagined…