Gulf County, Fl., is gearing up for summer adventures, including one that might surprise some visitors: scuba diving.
While travelers no doubt expect to find diving in an area that boasts 244 miles of shoreline, they might be surprised to learn that even those who aren’t scuba certified can dive in Gulf County. Daly's Watersports is one of a few select dive shops across the country that is certified in and approved to offer “Discover Scuba Diving,” a program that lets inexperienced divers as young as 10 plunge as far as 40 feet into the water.
“There’s great diving for everyone in Gulf County,” said Jennifer Adams, executive director of the Gulf County Tourist Development Council.
“Divers of all ages and experience levels will appreciate swimming with fish and exploring wrecks in crystal clear waters. Plus, with shallow dives no more than 15 minutes off shore, you don’t spend half the day on the boat.”
Certified divers can strike out on their own adventures or charter a boat. Many charter captains and Gulf County Adventure Guides like father-son team Bobby Guilford and Wade Guilford enjoy showing divers their favorite spots.
But inexperienced and reluctant divers are the ones Ann Marie Daly, another of Gulf County’s 23 Adventure Guides, loves getting in the water. After all, the North Dakota native was once tepid about getting wet, much less diving. These days Ms. Daly’s business, Daly's Watersports sees more visitors each season take part in “Discover Scuba,” which it has offered for 14 years.
“Diving changed my life, and I see it change the lives and outlooks of those we take on the water,” Ms. Daly said. “It’s an experience you’ll never forget.”
Ms. Daly, Mr. Guilford and fellow adventure guides share their stories of unexpected adventures with travelers online at www.visitgulf.com/adventure-guides. The Gulf County concierge team (1-800-482-GULF, www.visitgulf.com) connects visitors who want to book adventures, including diving for beginners and experts alike.