If you’ve never been to Dixie Divers, you should. After my original Christmas gift for my husband fell through, I walked into Dixie Divers in the hopes of finding something cool for him, knowing he loved to spearfish growing up. There are stores that are stores, and then there are stores that are communities. Dixie Divers is the latter. It’s something of a pleasure shopping at a store where the people truly love what they do. Every single person that I interacted not only had a passion for the ocean but the expertise to offer the best advice about what to get.
One of Dixie Divers’ biggest assets is that it is a one-stop shop. Need equipment? Check. Want to get scuba certified? Check. They have an on-site dive pool for training. Want to go on a diving excursion? Check. Their 46-foot custom dive boat, Lady Go Diver – I love the name! – runs from Fort Lauderdale all the way up to North Boca. They also do Dive Trips in the Caribbean to Bimini, Cozumel and Bonaire, and even perform underwater weddings. Divers can book a private charter for a fun time with the family or to celebrate a birthday. Some local colleges book private charters on Lady Go Diver for Marine Biology students who are doing research.
Dixie Divers aren’t just service providers. They really care about the health of our waters. They offer a PADI invasive lionfish tracker course which teaches why lionfish are a threat to our local waters, reefs and ecosystem and how best to safely eliminate them.
We sat down with one of the partners, Michelle Day, to chat with her about what she loves most about diving.
Where did your love of diving begin?
I grew up in South Florida, so growing up on the water had a huge impact on my love of the ocean and diving. I also ended up majoring in Marine Biology and minoring in scientific diving.
What is your favorite thing about diving?
When I'm diving, it is like being on a different planet and each time I dive there is more to experience and learn. My favorite thing is probably the ocean environment, the ecosystem, the biology behind it as a scientist. I love the animals, especially specifically whales, sharks and dolphins.
What is your favorite diving spot?
Cozumel is at the top of my list. The reefs are spectacular. The water is warm, there’s a wide variety of fish and mammals, nice resorts, excellent weather, and very accessible. As a diving destination close to South Florida, Cozumel is hard to beat, which is why we frequent it so much with our DXDivers Dive Trips.
What's the most memorable diving experience you've ever had?
We have our own travel department and I led a group to Bimini for a hammerhead shark dive. There was a 14-foot shark only four feet away from you, and it’s the most gentle soul. I love the conservation aspect of these dives.
On Christmas Eve, I left the store with a new spear gun for my husband but more importantly, I left feeling I’d just witnessed something special. A warm and thriving local business.