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Dive Review of Sea Fever Liveaboard in

November, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Dean Knudson, 55422, USA
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 472
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Mexico, Florida, Midwest
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
75   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 110    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No decompression diving, stay above 130'.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Large secured multilevel camera table, dedicated rinse tank, all in a
shaded and dry area. Quite nice for video or still cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
Booked this trip with Green Bay Scuba. Sea Fever sells few individual
bunks, but they offer links on their website to various dive shops that
have purchased the week. This week was a little over $1000, which was an
excellent value. Normal rate is $300 to $600 higher. Most passengers from
the Green Bay area, and were very nice folks, despite their curious
addiction to the Packers. Green Bay scuba is very easy to deal with, and
the shop owner fixed my pressure gauge for next to nothing as a courtesy. I
will give him as much of my future business as I can, he was a real delight
to work with, and sent us free digital photo files at the end of the trip.

     Accomodations are clean but spartan, not much room, bunkbed style
berths, but good AC and odor free. The ships head is noisy, if you are
assigned a room near it, you will sleep much better if you place a simple
note on the door asking other passengers to use the topside head from 11pm
to 7am. Very little storage space in the rooms. Ample freshwater, they
appear to have a high capacity water generator, which can also be noisy.
     This boat is well powered, three large diesels, and cruises at 15
knots. The gulf stream crossing is a quick three hours. The downside is the
noise at full throttle near the stern, and you also will catch a whiff of
diesel smoke from time to time. The boat motion can be more severe than the
SWATH type boats, but most of the diving is in protected waters. The boat
will, at times, swing very widely at anchor, 50 yards or so, making it
necessary to wait on the surface at certain dive sites for the boat to
swing back to you for re-boarding. It's a fairly heavy boat, compared to
the Blackbeard's 65 foot sloops, and there are certain moorings that can't
hold it when the wind kicks up. This usually means that Sea Fever can't
moor at the Bimini Barge, which is a shame, since that is an excellent
Bimini area dive. Another disadvantage to the large size is that when the
wind kicks up, the Sea Fever cannot safely approach Bimini in the dredged
channel to the harbor entrance. We were stuck for 24 hours at anchor behind
Cat Cay because of this. No diving for that 24 hours, so we watched videos
and drank Red's Deadly Rum Punch. One of the two Blackbeard's boats made it
into Bimini during the same time, and they got to spend the down time in
     The crew is excellent, Red's cooking is uniformly excellent, although
I was suprised to see several guests return his pasta sauce as "too
spicy". One passenger had a list of allergies and food intolerances
that had 25 items on it, and Red handled it without difficulty. Big
breakfasts are cooked to order.
     The boat offers five dives a day, if you can stand it. The dive
briefings are good, and they have a large goodie box for busted dive gear.
The topside sun deck is a nice spot for dive intervals. 
     The website lists two hotels to stay at the night prior to departure.
We stayed at the Ramada, which was cheap but a bit run down. I've stayed in
worse at the same price. If I were to do it again, I would stay at the
suggested hotel in South Beach, which is a lot livelier.
     One of the guests was from England, and completed his 1000th dive on
the boat. The crew printed a certificate of achievement and organized a
party for him. Very nice touch, and a lot of fun.
     The shark dive at the end of the week is at the same spot used by
Blackbeards. It was my third shark dive, and I'm starting to rethink the
experience. As per standard protocol, everyone was placed in position,
backs to the coral, and all divers checked in as OK. A dinghy then motored
on the surface with the fish-on-a-spear "shark kabob" and
attached it to a line floated to the surface from a pulley attached to
concrete bottom anchor block. As the "kabob" was pulled down
sharks started to attack it. One of the sharks struck the kabob near the
end attached to the line and then rolled. That shark became entangled in
the line and started swimming in large circles, over the heads of the
divers. Other sharks kept hitting the "kabob", very near the
entangled shark. The entangled shark started jerking violently, nearly
pulling the divemaster holding the other end off the bottom. Other
crewmembers had to help secure the end of the line. I was very nervous that
the entangled shark would be badly bitten, and that that might spread blood
and flesh onto the circled divers. After 45 seconds the entangled shark
escaped, a lucky break for the crew and divers. I discretely asked the crew
what the plan might have been had the shark not escaped, and they indicated
that they had never seen or heard of anything like this before, and they
really didn't have and specific plan, other than to cut the line free, or
possibly try to "hold down" the entangled shark to cut the
entangling lines. While it's true that the vast majority of shark dives are
uncomplicated, it is certainly not a risk free venture. I did note that
that section of video from the shark dive was edited out of the final trip

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