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Lars Hemel
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PADI 471740
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Diving around Panama City, Port St Joe and Apalachicola has become a prime diving destination with a very active reef program.

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Panama City is not only limited to shipwreck diving and has several natural reefs to choose from as well. The warm waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico provide excellent conditions for the growth of several types of hard and soft corals. Diving is most popular in Panama City but neighbouring towns such as Port St Joe, Apalachicola and Eastpoint are known to offer spectacular dive sites as well. Since 1970, when an extensive artificial reef program has started, almost anything that could be an artificial reef is used as such. Tugs, boats, planes, bridges and road beds all end up at a pre-planned location offshore Panama City and create excellent diving and fishing locations.

Panama City lies southwest of Tallahassee, east of Pensacola and is an easy destination for a nice day trip. Panama City, or PC as locals call it, is a party town during summer holidays. Thousands of college kids spend their time here and make the town's bars, clubs and restaurants a lively place. Most of the ocean floor in this region is like an underwater desert with white sand everywhere. It is not very useful to spend time underwater to find something new as you will probably only get lost and see sand. There are many full service dive shops that offer customized packages and provide diving and snorkeling gear.

Panama City, Port St Joe and Apalachicola have many different dive sites. Some of the best known in this area are an oil field supply ship named Black Bart and a minesweeper that served in Pearl Harbor named the USS Strength. But shore dives, deep technical dives and snorkeling sites can be found as well. So Panama City can offer dive activities for all divers.

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