PV005: Diving in Key West

Posted by Arlo on Aug 31, 2009 under Postcard Valet, PV-Podcast, Travel, Videos


Last summer, Oksana and I bought a Jeep in Florida and we drove it back to Alaska.  Since we were already down there, we decided to take a quick trip to Key West to check out the diving.

This is a little video about our first two dives (of six) down there.  I had a tough time editing this together — it was definitely more work than play.  (Oksana and I need to get more cover footage when we’re on vacation; sure would have been nice to have more than a couple random pictures of the town when I was editing the first part!)  I was frustrated with this one right up until the end, when I started to play around with the music.  I think the “Aquovisit” score in Soundbooth worked rather well — what do you think?

Our 2-tank dive with Captain’s Corner Dive Center cost about $80 each (with equipment rentals), but I have to say we weren’t terribly impressed.  Next up, a video about our other four dives with Dive Key West — now that’s a company we can recommend!

This s is still a…
Postcard Valet
Temporary Intro
Sand Key, Key West
Key West, Florida
June 2008
Arlo and I are still both pretty new to diving.  We learned how to dive in Australia and so, every time we go on vacation now, we look for an opportunity to go diving.  When we were in Key West, we thought that we absolutely had to go diving there.
The thing you have to understand about Key West is that everyone wants to live there, and because of that, there are people there working on the streets, doing whatever they can to make ends meet.  It seemed like there was an information booth on every corner and there was someone there trying to hand you a business card or a brochure to the company that would give them the best commission.  So of course we were directed to the most popular place, called Captain’s Corner, which turned out to be nothing more than a gazebo with someone and a cell phone inside taking reservations for a boat that was parked out in the harbor.
Sea Eagle was really interesting.  It wasn’t your normal dive boat where you bring all the gear onto the boat and then you go out.  Sea Eagle was actually kind of like factory diving boat — all the equipment was stored in the hull of the boat and you got everything fitted the boat itself.
I guess the best selling point was that it was in the James Bond movie, License to Kill.
(Music)
(Cough) Okay, that was terrible.  (Laugh)
So, our first dive was at Sand Key…
The weather before that dive was absolutely crazy.
The captain wouldn’t let us off the boat until he had gotten an official weather report.
So we’re all, you know, sitting with our gear, ready to go.  And we waited, and waited.  Finally the captain was like, “Okay, you can go.”
We went ahead and got in the water and this was the first dive where we were trying out our new underwater camera.
And the visibility was quite bad.  We had a really tough time following each other or figuring out how to use the new camera, who should be leading, who should be following.
Because we stayed a little deeper than everyone else, our air ran out a little quicker.
We never found the shallows, which was just pathetic, but that happened.  So it was a pretty disappointing first dive.
That first dive was only about 35 minutes, but when we surfaced, the weather had cleared and the seas had calmed, so it looked like our second dive would be better.  Once we got back in the boat, they took us to a new site called Rock Key and we tanked back up again and got back in — this time after Oksana and I had discussed how we would manage the camera.  The person with the camera would no longer be leading it was too hard to focus on the subjects and keep track of the dive buddy, so instead, we’d have the leader out in front and the person with the camera behind, and that worked out great because now we could put the leader in the shots with the fish!
This dive was much better.  We saw a lot of different types of coral that we got to swim through.  There was plenty of bottom time for me to just kind of stop, play around with the camera and practice playing with the video for a little bit.
We got to see a couple different varieties of coral.  We saw fan coral, we saw a whole forest of staghorn coral, and we also saw brain coral.  The fan coral is absolutely incredible.  It grows in this huge leaf-like — almost like banana leaf — they end up growing in the way of the current, so every time the current moves, it gives an impression that the coral is actually swinging in the wind.  It looks like it’s alive, and it’s just really incredible.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of really deep diving.  I like to stay in the shallows.  However, sometimes you get in and there’s just this wall of blue in front of you and you can’t quite judge distance or anything like that, and things look a little bit murky.  On this particular dive, we came across a big huge fish.  Out of the blue, out of nowhere, showed up this silver-looking, huge fish.  I had no idea what it was, so it scared daylight out of me.
We asked afterwards, and it turned out they were Tarpon, which I’d never seen before.  But, they never let us get too close.  Even when we approached them, they just kind of casually swam away.
But it was really amazing.
The second dive, at Rock Key, was much better for us.  We were in shallower water, about 22ft was the deepest we went and we stayed under for 50 minutes and got out with still air in our tanks.
Postcard Valet
Episode 5:
Sand Key, Key West
Diving in Key West
Video of the Sea Eagle in
License to Kill
© 1989 Danjaq / United Artists
All other footage
© 2009 Arlo Midgett
http://blog.arlomidgett.com
Postcard Valet is a Travel Podcast by
Arlo Midgett & Oksana Midgett
If you enjoyed watching this, the best thanks
you can give us is to show it to someone else! *
* (PADI please?)

The following is a transcript of the above video for Google’s benefit (ignore it, watch the video instead!)

This is still a…
Postcard Valet
Temporary Intro

Sand Key, Key West
Key West, Florida
June 2008

Arlo and I are still both pretty new to diving. We learned how to dive in Australia and so, every time we go on vacation now, we look for an opportunity to go diving. When we were in Key West, we thought that we absolutely had to go diving there.

The thing you have to understand about Key West is that everyone wants to live there, and because of that, there are people there working on the streets, doing whatever they can to make ends meet. It seemed like there was an information booth on every corner and there was someone there trying to hand you a business card or a brochure to the company that would give them the best commission. So of course we were directed to the most popular place, called Captain’s Corner, which turned out to be nothing more than a gazebo with someone and a cell phone inside taking reservations for a boat that was parked out in the harbor.

Sea Eagle was really interesting. It wasn’t your normal dive boat where you bring all the gear onto the boat and then you go out. Sea Eagle was actually kind of like factory diving boat — all the equipment was stored in the hull of the boat and you got everything fitted the boat itself.

I guess the best selling point was that it was in the James Bond movie, License to Kill.

(Music)

(Cough) Okay, that was terrible. (Laugh)

So, our first dive was at Sand Key…

The weather before that dive was absolutely crazy.

The captain wouldn’t let us off the boat until he had gotten an official weather report.

So we’re all, you know, sitting with our gear, ready to go. And we waited, and waited. Finally the captain was like, “Okay, you can go.”

We went ahead and got in the water and this was the first dive where we were trying out our new underwater camera.

And the visibility was quite bad. We had a really tough time following each other or figuring out how to use the new camera, who should be leading, who should be following.

Because we stayed a little deeper than everyone else, our air ran out a little quicker.

We never found the shallows, which was just pathetic, but that happened. So it was a pretty disappointing first dive.

That first dive was only about 35 minutes, but when we surfaced, the weather had cleared and the seas had calmed, so it looked like our second dive would be better. Once we got back in the boat, they took us to a new site called Rock Key and we tanked back up again and got back in — this time after Oksana and I had discussed how we would manage the camera. The person with the camera would no longer be leading it was too hard to focus on the subjects and keep track of the dive buddy, so instead, we’d have the leader out in front and the person with the camera behind, and that worked out great because now we could put the leader in the shots with the fish!

This dive was much better. We saw a lot of different types of coral that we got to swim through. There was plenty of bottom time for me to just kind of stop, play around with the camera and practice playing with the video for a little bit.

We got to see a couple different varieties of coral. We saw fan coral, we saw a whole forest of staghorn coral, and we also saw brain coral. The fan coral is absolutely incredible. It grows in this huge leaf-like — almost like banana leaf — they end up growing in the way of the current, so every time the current moves, it gives an impression that the coral is actually swinging in the wind. It looks like it’s alive, and it’s just really incredible.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of really deep diving. I like to stay in the shallows. However, sometimes you get in and there’s just this wall of blue in front of you and you can’t quite judge distance or anything like that, and things look a little bit murky. On this particular dive, we came across a big huge fish. Out of the blue, out of nowhere, showed up this silver-looking, huge fish. I had no idea what it was, so it scared daylight out of me.

We asked afterwards, and it turned out they were Tarpon, which I’d never seen before. But, they never let us get too close. Even when we approached them, they just kind of casually swam away.

But it was really amazing.

The second dive, at Rock Key, was much better for us. We were in shallower water, about 22ft was the deepest we went and we stayed under for 50 minutes and got out with still air in our tanks.

Postcard Valet
Episode 5:
Sand Key, Key West
Diving in Key West

Video of the Sea Eagle in
License to Kill
© 1989 Danjaq / United Artists

James Bond Theme
by David Arnold for the
Quantum of Solace Soundtrack
© 2OO8 J-Records

All other footage
© 2009 Arlo Midgett

http://blog.arlomidgett.com

Postcard Valet is a Travel Podcast by
Arlo Midgett & Oksana Midgett

If you enjoyed watching this, the best thanks you can give us is to show it to someone else! *

* (PADI please?)