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Diving Panama City Beach
 

Panama City Beach Panama City Beach Hot

Panama City Beach

Dive Details

Type of Dive
Ocean 0-100 feet
Experience
Open Water
Max Depth
50ft
Avg Visibility
30ft
Currents
Strong
Access
Shore
Marine Life
Urchin, octopus, small fish

Location

Address
4607 State Park Lane
State
Zip Code
32408

Geographic Location

Latitude
30.14
Longitude
-85.74

First open water dive

Well I have to start with a little back ground seeing as I did not go about learning to dive the normal way.

It started when I was working at a marina on lake allatoona in Acworth, GA. I worked for Boat US as a tow boat operator on the weekends. There was always a boat that needed gas or just broke down in general. Then there were the calls of boats being grounded. Then sometimes, well they would just sink. Any salvage had been done by the guys from another marina on another lake. Well me and a friend that already had been diving for a number of years decided why can't we do this.

  We started going out on the salvage jobs and I would be the one to stay top side.  I soon realized that I wanted to be the one going down and rigging the boat that had sunk. So seeing that we never followed protocol much, I talked them into letting me dive in the lake. Shallow at first just to get the hang of it. I did have a master diver as a customer so he help out and taught me what I needed to know. Well all this said I took to it like a fish.  So why all this, I did my first 10 dives in ZERO visibility and below 15 feet very cold water. I thought I could handle anything. More salvage stories to come.

On to Panama City Beach. We would go to P.C. to get away from the city and relax. I had always wanted to dive in open water so we decided to do a little shore dive at a state park.  The day was beautiful, 85 degrees and sunny. We waded out and went under. It was clear, I didn't know what to do. I could see as far as my eyes would let me. You could only go about 20ft in the pool area we were in. It was good to swim around and get acclimated to things but, I wanted to go deeper. There was an opening in the barrier wall were you could go out into the jetties. My friends were OK and so we went. You had to go though this trough let are it had rocks crap all over it. My first friend went through and then he was gone he went straight down it appeared. My buddy and I went through next and the only way I can describe it is that I felt like I had been flushed down a toilet. It seemed we had picked a bad time to go out because of the tide. It was going out and the current was killer. We went to grab hold of some of the rock but, it was covered and I mean covered with urchins. I couldn't find one rock to hold one to. I was kicking as hard as I could just to stay in one place. My buddy wasn't doing any better which kind of made me feel OK because he was the experienced diver. No we didn't panic just went deeper to find our friend chillin at about 50ft. The current wasn't so bad down there. I wanted to stay and look around but got voted out. We went forward about 100ft then came up slow so the current would bring us back to the opening in the wall. We went through back to the calm side of the wall surfaced. All this happened in about 20 mins so I was not ready to get out of the water. I went back down, I know only 20 ft but it was OK because I found an octopus under a rock in the wall so there I stayed playing with it until I had  to surface. It was a great day and all ended well. Like I learned in zero visibility never panic and everything will be OK.

 

 

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Panama City Beach

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0 #1 Shane Lewis 2012-04-25 11:40
Enjoyed the Read, reminds me of the time swimming near the jetty's on Margarita Island. The current was so powerful and I kept getting pulled farther out. I swam against the current, which now I understand you aren't supposed to do, but rather swim cross-current. I wore myself out and thought I would never make it. Real scary.
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