Casey Key is a barrier island at the southern end of Sarasota County, in Nokomis, Florida. It boasts several miles of Florida’s most unspoiled and gorgeous white sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. The exclusive island is home to the popular Nokomis Public Beach, which is where SCUBAPRO and Florida Underwater Sports hosted the fourth Submerge With SCUBAPRO event.
Florida Underwater Sports, a SCUBAPRO Platinum Dealer and PADI Five Star Instructor Development Center, offered both shore and boat diving, and everyone was looking for what the area is best known for, at least for divers: shark teeth fossils, dating back two to three million years. The bonus: for the entire day, four manatees played (probably mating) in the waters within yards of the beach, so shore divers and snorkelers were delighted by their antics.
The day dawned a bit iffy: Cloudy with some rain, which dampened the beach but not the spirits of the hosts and participants, one of whom drove from Biloxi, Mississippi, to try out some of SCUBAPRO’s best-performing gear, including the Luna dive computer, MK25/S600 regulator and Seawing Nova fins. One of the best parts of this event was that divers could try out the gear on boat dives and shore dives. It was an easy walk into the water, and at 9 a.m., the first divers returning from their beach dive reported seeing four manatees not more than 50 feet from the beach. When the last diver, Scuba Diving videographer Matt Jackson, got out at 5:30 p.m., the gentle giants were still cavorting in the same place. (Check out Matt’s video of the day’s diving.)
The viz may have been reduced by the weather conditions, but the diving was still stellar and a number of participants, including a local 12-year-old, came back with fossils. Florida Underwater Sports specializes in guiding divers to the best spots for hunting prehistoric fossils, including sharks’ teeth.
By lunchtime — subs, chips and soda — the rain was gone and participants enjoyed SCUBAPRO’s seminars on the Meridian computer and its regulators as well as ScubaLab director John Brumm’s presentation on SCUBAPRO’s Testers’ Choice gear.
By the end of the day, SCUBAPRO packed up and headed north to its next and last event on May 19: diving Crystal River with Birds Unlimited.
For more info, visit scubapro.com.
CONTACT: Florida Underwater Sports, 6345 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida (941-870-4461; floridaunderwatersports.com).