Welcome aboard! We're happy you've decided to join us on one of our exciting expeditions offshore! Charleston diving is like nothing else you'll experience on the East Coast. Our sites are close enough to the warm, clear waters of the Gulf Stream to draw colorful tropical species up from the south, but also deep enough to draw large pelagic animals such as sharks, turtles, dolphins and big rays from the open ocean. Our wrecks and reefs are the only structures that populate an otherwise featureless sandy bottom, which means that these sites are always teeming with fish. And not just little fish. At any given time, you're almost guaranteed to be surrounded by massive schools of amberjack, spadefish, pinfish, snapper or even barracuda.
Descriptions and Rates (Scroll down for calendar view)
Open Water Sites
Advanced Open Water Sites
What to Expect When Diving With Us
Diving in Charleston is a very special experience, but it also presents some unique challenges that may be new to divers who typically dive in tropical, shallow-water environments. So here are a few important things to keep in mind:
The boat ride is long. Even our "shallow" Open Water sites are about an hour and fifteen minutes away, in calm seas. Our deepwater sites are around and hour and forty-five minutes to two hours offshore. We therefore strongly advise sea sickness medication the night before and the morning of your dive. Avoid alcohol the night before your charter.
You will be gone all day. Diving in Charleston is more of an expedition than an excursion. You need to report to the store no later than 7 a.m., and be fed, caffinated, and ready to go. Brind food, plenty of water, and snacks. Some snacks and water is also available on the boat.
Make sure your gear works. There is nothing worse than being two hours offshore and having to miss a dive because of a gear issue. Have your gear serviced or evaluated before you dive. We will not service gear on the morning of the charter. If you discover you have defective gear on the day of your charter, you may rent gear from the store for a fee.
Rental gear is not included in the price of the charter. This includes tanks and weights.
We require that all divers have a snorkel, a safety sausage, a computer or timing device, and a dive knife. A snorkel will save your life if you have to make a long surface swim in 2-3 foot seas. It will also help you conserve your air as you wait on the trail line for your buddy to enter the water. If you surface away from the boat in choppy seas, a safety sausage will make you much easier to see. We recommend a dive knife because many of our sites are also frequented by fishermen, and it is not uncommon to find fishing line that presents a risk of entanglement.
We do not provide guides except upon special request. Space is at a premium on our boat, and our crew is limited to one Captain, one Divemaster, and a third crew. On our boat, the role of the Divemaster is to safely secure the boat to the wreck by physically tying the anchor to the site, and to untie when we move locations. He or she also assists divers at the surface when we are anchored in. If you would like for us to carry a second Divemaster to help supervise your party, the rate is $200 for Open Water sites, and $250 for Advanced Open Water sites.
Use the lines! Because we often dealing with surface current, we set up an easy system of lines to help you pull yourself from the back of the boat directly to the site. If you attempt to make a free descent to the site without using the lines, you risk exhausting yourself, running out of air, or getting lost on the bottom.
We require a refresher course for divers who have been out of the water for more than a year. To keep yourself safe on our boat, your skills should be sharp. We offer resher courses every other Sunday morning. If you are coming in from out of town to dive, we can often set up a class on a weeknight before your charter.
The takeaway is this: Our crew will do everything it can to make your trip comfortable, safe and enjoyable. But as a diver, you are responsible for diving within the limits of your training and experience. Please take the above points to heart, and you will have a great time. Look forward to diving with you!
Photo courtesy of Gary Finka Warm up this winter with a trip to Key Largo! We have three days of diving lined up with Ocean Divers, which is just steps away from our resort, Marina del Mar. This trip includes a 4-night hotel stay with free daily breakfast, tanks and weights, … Read More →
MONKEYS! This is just one more reason we love diving in Silver Springs, a wilderness area in north Florida. These feral monkeys are the descendants of escapees from a 1930's filming of Tarzan. You'll also see manatees, otters, snapping turtles and herons. It's like diving in a jungle! Only a … Read More →
If you've been thinking about joining the diving world as a professional, now is the perfect time! This fall, Charleston Scuba will host a complete Instructor Development Course, broken into two parts: The Assistant Instructor Course in September, and the Open Water Scuba Instructor Course in October. … Read More →
In late July we welcomed back 9 of our divers from beautiful Dominica. This was our 5th trip to this lovely island. Check out theses photos to see why we keep going back! You can also see several videos posted by our divers on the public Facebook page for the trip. … Read More →
Charleston Scuba would sincerely like to thank everyone who attended our 30th Anniversary part on August 19. We had a great time handing out door prizes (including an Aqualung Legend regulator!) and visiting with all our friends in Charleston's very special dive community. Thank you all for a wonderful 30 … Read More →
We had a great turnout for our inaugural PADI Women's Dive Day event on July 22. A big thank you to the six lovely ladies who joined our female staff in the pool, and for cocktails after. Thanks for celebrating with us!
Charleston Scuba instructor Michelle Taliercio kicked off a new Divemaster class this week, aiming to make 4 new PADI Divemasters by November. Jody Mullinax, Randy Tindell, Tim Warrick and Jeff Sheldon have been working hard all year to enter the DM program, and we can't wait to work with … Read More →
Suunto has identified a potential safety risk affecting all Suunto Wireless Tank Pressure Transmitters and Suunto Tank PODs, which wirelessly transmit air pressure to compatible Suunto dive computers. In two reported incidents, the exterior casing has failed during regular dry land pressure testing. This presents a risk of injury due to bursting, … Read More →
Photos from Utila A group of 15 intrepid Charleston Scuba divers recently returned from Utila, Honduras. From the photos that have been trickling in on Facebook, it looks like our group had a great time on our second international trip of the summer. Click here, here, and here to … Read More →
Sunday, July 30 Calling all Fish ID enthusiasts! Charleston Scuba and Michelle Taliercio, our resident marine biologist, need your help collecting data for our Great Annual Fish Count on Sunday, July 30! We will visit the Subway Cars and Comanche wrecks to identify as many species as we can, and record … Read More →
Thursday, June 8 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. If you missed the sign-up deadline for our 2017 summer trips to Exumas (May), Utila (June) and Dominica (July), don't worry! We still have 6 SPACES LEFT on an amazing liveaboard trip to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, October 7-12, 2017. Join … Read More →
G G We're so excited it's dive season again! We've had three great charters so far to the Comanche and Subway cars, the APCs at the Charleston 60 and the Freddy Day, and some of our favorite deep ledges at Indigo and Little Gardens. We have a new page on … Read More →
G Charleston Scuba recently wrapped up its annual crew training to prepare staff members for charter season. In April, we brushed up on our boat handling skills while the Trinity underwent its annual makeover next to the shop. In May, we had a great time reviewing water rescue skills during our … Read More →
Charleston Scuba made its first-ever appearance at the Charleston Outdoor Expo at James Island County Park last weekend. Staffers Claudia Bonforte, Morgan Chichester, and Jesse Lang had dozens of conversations each day with festival goers about our classes, charters and trips. We had a great time, and will definitely be … Read More →
Thursday, June 8 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Join us at the shop on June 8 for our Sea of Cortez travel preview party! Our Sea of Cortez trip this October 7 - 12 is our last international trip of 2017, and we've only got 6 SPACES LEFT! Trip leader Tom … Read More →
SeaLife Cameras Now in Stock We are stepping up our underwater photography game this season by stocking up on SeaLife cameras. The new DC2000, SeaLife's most advanced camera, features an ultra-fast autofocus and multiple shooting modes, including land and sea panorama. The Micro 2.0 32GB was Sport Diver magazine's best camera … Read More →
G On April 20, Charleston Scuba hosted the 2017 PADI Member Forum, an annual event for Charleston-area instructors and Divemasters to receive training updates from PADI. This year, the event featured our brand-new Southeast regional representative, Lucy Dunbar, who briefed us on PADI's latest efforts to fight for healthier oceans and … Read More →
Congratulations, Campers! Five Junior Open Water Divers Get Certified at Spring Break Scuba Camp Charleston Scuba would like to congratulate our five newest Junior Open Water Divers after the successful completion of our (First) Annual Spring Break Scuba Camp! Congrats Liam Hageman, Zane Seachrest, Colton and Dusty Pedro, and James … Read More →
Spring Break Scuba Camp Get Your Child Certified April 10 - 14! Join Charleston Scuba for our first-ever Spring Break Scuba Camp, April 10 - 14! Most Charleston schools are out for spring break this week, so it's the perfect time to have your children certified before your big summer … Read More →
Spring Instructor Development Course Assistant Instructor - March 31 - April 2, 2017 Open Water Scuba Instructor - April 27 - April 30, 2017 From mid-March to early April, Charleston Scuba will be hosting a PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC). On March 31 - April 2, our own Staff Instructor Tim Schmitz will … Read More →
Hurry! The deadline to sign up for our January 20-22 manatee trips is this Friday! The cold weather this weekend has likely driven the manatees up into Silver River, which we will be diving the second day of our trip. This trip is a perfect chance to thaw out … Read More →
Still thinking of joining our Dec. 2-4 trip to Rainbow River and Silver Springs? The deadline to sign up is Saturday, November 26! Billed as "the world's favorite freshwater drift dive," Rainbow River provides fun for all ages and certification levels, including snorkelers and kayakers. The crystal-clear waters of this … Read More →
Charleston Scuba is now an OTS dealer, which means we can both service and sell popular full face masks such as the Guardian and Stealth masks, along with accessories such as camera and light mounts, and "buddy phones" for communicating with your friends underwater! Store models are available for in-water demos, and … Read More →
Charleston Scuba welcomes two brand-new instructors to its roster, Craig Nettles and Morgan Chichester. Morgan and Craig passed their Instructor Exam together in early October, and will be taking on Open Water students this winter. Special thanks to our course director, Conrad Rucker of Dive Georgia, for coming out to prepare … Read More →
November Pompano Trip Full Still Room for Rainbow River and Silver Springs, Dec. 2 – 4 Billed as “the world’s favorite freshwater drift dive,” Rainbow River provides fun for all ages and certification levels, including snorkelers. Join Charleston Scuba in experiencing the crystal clear waters and startling natural beauty … Read More →
Our PADI Pro Night on November 15 was a resounding success! About a dozen people signed up for our special course packages to up their dive game or become paid dive professionals! We're very excited to announce seven new divemasters-in-training: Oliver Uxa, Randy Tindell, Jeff Sheldon, Carly Rowen, Derick Arneberg, … Read More →
Charleston Scuba and our commercial partners are now offering underwater recovery and inspection services. If you or someone you know needs a sunken boat or a sunken dock lifted, we may be able to help! We can also inspect hulls, bridges, or other underwater structures in virtually any dive conditions … Read More →
Tuesday, November 15 7 - 9 p.m. If you've ever thought about becoming a PADI Divemaster or Instructor, you MUST attend our 2nd annual PADI Pro Night on Nov. 15! We will be offering discounts up to $1,400 on course packages designed to take you from a novice diver … Read More →
Saturday, November 19 Join us for our upcoming fossil-finding dive in the upper Cooper River! River diving is wildly popular in Charleston because of the wealth of Pliocene-era fossils that litter our river bottoms. If you're lucky, you'll find fossilized bones of woolly mammoths or giant sloths, or even a … Read More →
We're still looking for two solo divers to join our Little Cayman trip October 29 - November 5. At $1,570 for an all-inclusive, 7-night stay of 3-tank boat dives, this trip is one of our best deals of 2016! Call the shop for reservations. Find out more about the trip … Read More →
Join fish biologist and Charleston Scuba instructor Michelle Taliercio for our annual Ocean Clean-Up day on Saturday, Sept. 24. We'll be pulling trash and dangerous fishing line off of two of Charleston's most iconic wrecks: The Comache and the Subway Cars. Receive $10 off for participating in the clean-up, … Read More →
If you're thinking about our liveaboard trip to the Exumas next spring, now is the time to put down your deposit. We must release any unsold cabins by October 15. This $2,595 trip includes 7 nights lodging, 4 or 5 dives per day, all food, drinks, and some of the … Read More →
We're so excited to finally have t-shirts and hats sporting Charleston Scuba's cool new logo! Hats are adjustable, and shirts are super-soft, ring-spun cotton available in both crew-neck and v-neck styles. We also just received more store-branded stickers, and metal license plates are coming soon. Come pick up some shop swag and … Read More →
Aqualung Recall: Power Inflators Aqualung is conducting a recall of select powerline inflators on all Aqualung buoyancy compensators (including the Apeks Black Ice) manufactured after January 1, 2015. Some power inflators installed after this date may "stick," causing auto-inflation. Models that need replacing have a number beginning with "H" next … Read More →
Check out the famous swimming pigs of the Exumas! We'll splash around with these friendly little guys during one of our many topside adventures on the AquaCat this April 29 - May 6. These pigs were brought to the Exumas in 1999 by a bunch of paranoid Y2K preppers trying … Read More →
Join Our September IDC Calling all Divemasters! We are bringing in our Atlanta-based course director, Conrad Rucker (left) for an Instructor Development Course in Septmeber. Important dates: September 2-4: Assistant Instructor Course Class is 9 a.m. to roughly 6 or 7 p.m. each day September 9-11: Open Water Scuba Instructor … Read More →