Key Largo has long been touted as the “Diving Capital of the World” for it’s easy access to the Florida Keys Reef Tract, the 3rd largest coral barrier reef in the world, which stretches 221 miles along the coast of South Florida, from Key Biscayne near Miami to the Dry Tortugas. Divers from around the world have flocked to this idyllic island paradise since the early 1970’s to experience the great reef and wreck diving offered.
Forever Young Charter Company (FYCC), the vision of Captain Tony Young and his partner Allysa Lund, is breathing fresh air into the dive scene in Key Largo. Owners Tony and Allysa were born and raised in the small town of Hutchinson, Minnesota. After completing high school, they both pursued their degrees at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Following graduation they packed up and moved to the beautiful Florida Keys.
After working in the industry for many years, Tony pitched the idea to start up their own business. In 2016, their vision became a reality and Forever Young Charter Company was born.
Tony shared with DeeperBlue.com that:
“Our team is a small group of family and friends, who work together with integrity to share our passion for the work we do.”
Tony and Allysa believe passionately in being wise stewards of the natural resources of the Keys and in not being a “cookie cutter” dive operation:
“Our mission is to enhance the way people dive, spearfish, and experience the Florida Keys.“
From their original offering of private sunset cruises through the quiet mangrove-lined waters of the Keys, to boutique SCUBA and snorkeling experiences, the team at FYCC are adding to their vision “to build an appreciation and respect for the places our charters bring you.”
Tony, a Minnesota native, has been diving since age 12. Now, far from the cold winters of the northern USA, he shares his knowledge gained through his degree in Environment and Sustainability and years of being on the water. With experience working with the Georgia Aquarium, Coral Restoration Foundation, and diving operations around the Florida Keys and Minnesota, Tony is an accomplished PADI Dive Instructor, EFR Instructor, and a USCG licensed captain.
Allysa studied Elementary and Special Education at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She is now working as an elementary/middle schoolteacher at the Key Largo School. Allyson brings her skills as a coach and educator to the FYCC team, running the day-to-day operations of the business and enjoying sunsets with guests or on the boat spearfishing with the guys.
The team at FYCC specialize in small group (4-person) dives that are tailored to the customer’s needs. Whether it is a reef dive or wreck dive, the experienced team will work with the customer to make their experience truly personalized.
For spearo’s, the team wants you to know:
“Spearfishing is what we do, not only when running a charter, but also on our days off.”
Tony and Allysa tell DeeperBlue.com:
“We have a deep respect for the ocean and the fish we harvest from her. All of our trips are conservation minded to ensure the sustainability of the fish we target.“
Sites are selected by the diver’s experience level and the fish that are in season. “The places we take you are the same places we spear for fun and we know them well,” says Captain Tony. Equipped with fast 26′ Mako dive boat, they can cruise around 40 mph, giving access to more pristine spearfishing locations. FYCC typically offers a live boat (drift dive) to increase shooting opportunities.
From sunset cruises to spearing deep ledges, the team at FYCC want to make your next Florida Keys trip a memorable one. More information can be found at foreveryoungchartercompany.com.