Under the Sea with Ocean Promotion
By Lenette Marie
been an avid snorkeler for many years, I didn't imagine the transition
to scuba diving to be much of a change. Fortunately, I was wrong
I've never enjoyed the beauty beneath the sea so much! And the staff
from Ocean Promotion, my conscientious guides on this spectacular
adventure, were the best!Matt Brown, who runs Ocean Promotion Scuba
and Snorkel Adventures, Inc., made sure I knew what to expect and
ensured I was properly prepared before my first lesson. His attention
to detail was important, to coordinate both the instructor and the
other students. We arrived at Villas by the Sea, in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea,
Florida, to meet our instructor under the resort's shady palms.
The location is convenient and easy to find; close to the ocean
and main arteries of Ft. Lauderdale. We met Kenny Jones, our instructor,
and began learning the basics of scuba safety right away. He quickly
got our group, a mixed bag of young and old, locals and tourists,
from the United States and Europe into the pool. Here we practiced
getting into and out of our gear, and learned how to handle emergency
situations underwater. Kenny was very thorough and competent and
created a relaxed atmosphere where we could learn, ask questions,
and have fun.
hours later we were ready to try our new skills beneath the turquoise
water. Ocean Promotion offers this accelerated Resort Course as
an opportunity to discover the thrill of diving in a day. Full certification
is also available in a three day course at very reasonable rates.
As we left the dock, and floated down the intercoastal waterway,
the charismatic captain of Aqua view welcomed us aboard. Both divers
and snorkelers were anticipating the beauty of the only living coral
reef in North America. Ocean Promotion provided all the gear we
needed including air tanks, masks, fins, and the buoyancy control
device. Snacks and beverages were served on board, too, all we had
to do was show up at the dock!
first dive included an interesting and educational shark feed. After
a brief workshop on the boat, we all met on the ocean floor to watch
nurse sharks in their natural habitat. I was able to feel the sharks'
shimmery reptilian-like skin. Being among four, live, full grown
sharks, without fear, was an unforgettable experience. The snorkelers,
too, were able to view the feeding from the surface. And even those
stuck on board the boat got a treat through the vessel's glass bottom.
Next, we explored the nearby reef and viewed many of the 650 species
of tropical fish that live there. The underwater landscape is lined
with ledges, crevices, and tunnels, perfect for small fish and lobster
to hide from their prey. The variety of sponges, corals, sea fans,
and other plant life is amazing. The endless number of colors, shapes,
and sizes oftentimes delayed me in one fascinating spot.Our
second dive that day was to the shipwreck Copenhagen, located in
a marine preserve. While still a novice, I felt very comfortable
underwater knowing that instructor Kenny was nearby at all times.
We swam along the wreck and the reef for 58 minutes at depths between
20 and 30 feet and never ran out of things to see. I have spent
much time in the water at reefs in the Florida Keys and Virgin Islands,
and this was by far my favorite! The sea life is in its natural
condition, with very little evidence of man's frequent visits. The
undersea world is so amazing!Spying
a turtle, swimming along, was the highlight of my dive, although
the very large southern sting rays were a close second. We also
spotted another nurse shark, barracuda, and many of the crustaceans
usually seen only at a seafood buffet; lobster, crab, and shrimp.
They were certainly more interesting to observe in their natural
habitat. And, of course, the reef was teeming with fish. I enjoyed
the bright yellows and vast shades of blues. Some fish were in large
schools and others seemed to exist as loners. Being inside their
aquarium was a special treat.Heading back on the boat, our group
compared notes of what we had seen in the water. Not a diver in
the bunch was disappointed. The open water provided a scenic backdrop
for the tall and short buildings of Ft. Lauderdale and Pompano Beach.Ocean
Promotion also offers a snorkeling adventure for children. Matt's
sister, Sarah, provides both full and half day Funky Fish programs.
Visit them at their quaint European style resort setting.
| Recommended Place to Eat: Best
Ocean View in Ft. Lauderdale, Food is good and reasonable.
Aruba Beach Cafe - Brunch,
Lunch, and Dinner
On the Beach
Lauderdale by the Sea
Get More Information
on This Adventure!!!
Experience adventures like the one found in this article
and others by using TropicalAdventure.com Vacation Planner. Simply fill out our Vacation Planner form and you will
receive FREE information about this activity
and others that you may be interested in. Click below
to sign up.