Diving is a challenge off the Georgia coast because of the silty nature of the water and its mercurial currents. Though not particularly friendly to the novice, plenty of great offshore opportunities abound around the many artificial reefs created by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. An excellent guidebook in PDF form with full GPS data is available from the Coastal Resources Division .
Certainly no underwater adventure in the area would be complete without a dive at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (912/598-2345, www.graysreef.noaa.gov ). Administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this fully protected marine sanctuary 17 miles offshore is in deep enough water to provide divers good visibility of its live-bottom habitat. Not a classic living coral reef, but rather one built by sedimentary deposits, Gray’s Reef’s provides a look at a truly unique ecosystem.
Some key dive charter operators that can take you to Gray’s Reef are Captain Walter Rhame’s Mako Dive Charter (600 Priest Landing Dr., 912/604-6256) which leaves from the Landings Harbor Marina; Georgia Offshore (1191 Lake Dr., Midway, 912/658-3884); and Fantasia Scuba (3 E. Montgomery Cross Rd., 912/921-8933). The best all-around dive shop in town is Diving Locker and Ski Chalet (74 W. Montgomery Cross Rd., 912/927-6603, www.divinglockerskichalet.com ) on the south side.