Avid snorklers and divers need to look no further than "A Florida Keys Dive Odyssey" to find the exact spots of wrecks and reefs throughout the Florida Keys. Production uses GPS readings to help find the best dive sites.
Diver Don Ferguson has documented 165 dive sites, both natural and artificial reefs from Pacific Reef south to the Dry Tortugas. The videos are comprehensive and include precise latitude/longitude coordinates and shore lineups that allow divers to locate each site.
"I just thought video was a far better way of telling my story," Ferguson said. "No one had done a documentary of the Florida Keys reef line. It took a number of years to shoot all of the footage for these documentaries. I have 165 dive sites documented with precise GPS coordinates."
The videotapes explore specific locales and serve as a guide to the wrecks and reef sites of the area. The Islamorada tape is a guide to finding and diving the Eagle, Alligator and Crocker reefs, and it shows footage of the Cannabis Cruiser and Iron Mast shipwrecks and the Snake Creek Bridge rubble.
Ferguson spent the early part of his life in Coral Gables, Fla., where he fell in love with the ocean. His family moved to Knoxville, Tenn. when he was 10. Eight years later he enrolled at the University of Tennessee, but spent only two years there before moving to the Florida Keys with aspirations to work in the diving industry. He found a job at Finley Ricard’s Atlantis Marina in Layton and worked there for two years as an assistant dock master and dive guide. Ricard sold the marina in 1976 and Ferguson was left without a job. Before returning to Tennessee to finish his college education, he decided to make the best of his time in the Keys.
"I had a van and a boat so before I came back to Tennessee, I started off in Key West and dived my way up the coast line," he said. "I learned areas to launch, where to stay and where to eat. I made a lot of friends."
At that time, Ferguson thought about writing a book on the dive sites, but when he returned to South Florida in the early 1990s, he decided upon the video series.
"You can show so much more on video than in print," he said.
For more information on Ferguson’s explorations, and details about the entire Florida Keys Dive Odyssey series, consult his web site at www.keysdiveguide.com