From Key Largo to the Cayman Islands, the Monroe's have explored the ocean's depths for the past four years as scuba divers. Just this year the couple went diving in the Cayman Islands and Aruba.
"The Grand Cayman beats everything. You have shipwrecks, the Cayman Trench," Anette Monroe said.
"It's amazing," Dennis Monroe said.
They each have more than 100 dives under their belts and have no plans to slow down. They're recent lifestyle change inspired them to make a living doing what they love. They decided to open a shop where they can provide training, equipment and services . . . right here in Gulfport.
"Gulfport is a city on the upswing and we just want to be part of that," Dennis said.
The store not only sells diving supplies such as wetsuits, dive masks and underwater cameras, they also refill diving tanks. And, the back room will serve as a classroom for diving certifcation courses. Dennis is a certified diving instructure and has already begun scheduling classes in January.
The Monroe's not only opened their business here, they recently moved here.
"We decided if we were gonna have a store here, we should live here. It's been crazy, but it's been a lot of fun." he said.
They moved here at the end of September and opened up the shop on November 1, just two weeks after the unit next door caught on fire. Dennis says although none of the merchandise was lost they did receive minor smoke damage when Gulfport Hardware burned down on Oct. 18.
"We're thankful nothing else was damaged and no one was hurt," Dennis said.
The fire didn't effect their grand opening date. Now, they're hoping divers in and near Gulfport will find their new shop.
They want to invite anyone to stop in and say "hi". If anyone is interested in diving, stop by and learn more about how to turn your "wish list" into a destination "to do list."
The Gulfport Dive Center is located at 5004 Gulfport Blvd. S. The center is open Tuesday through Sunday with the following hours:
- Tue-Fri 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Sat 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Sun 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.