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Dive Review of Subway Water Sports/Palmetto Bay in

November, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Dennis Lewis, ca, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 3253
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Cayman, Cozumel, Yap, Palau, Hawaii, California
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
75   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
No fresh water on boat or on shore. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
2 stars    
The rain (off and on) and wind kept us on the south side of the island.
Over the week, we saw very few fish over a few inches. No sharks, rays or
turtles. We did find at least one eel on each dive  two that were in the

Prince Albert (just off shore from CoCo View) is a beautiful wreck.
Structurally, it is still in very good shape. That said, it has been down
just long enough to get a nice layer of growth and a lot of crabs and fish
to call it home. Many good macro opportunities. We had the site to
ourselves for about 10 minutes. Then IT happened. I wont say from where
they came, but come they did. 15 or more divers hit all at once. Most had a
camera in hand. We watched as they grabbed on to the wreck to steady for a
shot of a shrimp or crab, full hands crushing what ever was there. Between
the fin kicks, hand holds and simply rubbing up against the boat, the silt
soon resembled a sand storm. If that were not bad enough, one of their dive
leaders would not stop banging on his/her tank in an effort to herd the
group around and around the site. In 15 minutes or so, they were gone. What
had been teaming with life, now looked like a brown cloud. We surfaced to
see their boat heading in. I guess they were late for lunch. 

Marys Place is a must because it is so unique. However, Valley of the
Kings also had a nice cut and much more fish life. Just watch out for all
of the fire worms and hunting eels. 

Subway Watersports is a tale of pros and cons. On the pro side, they have a
fast, small boat that gets you out there quickly. Note that there is really
no shade or place to put your camera on these boats. They let you dive your
computer. The boat captain was friendly and always ready to lend a hand
getting us geared up or to grab a weight pouch to help us back on the boat.
The DM and three DMs in training were all very friendly and helpful. We
never had a cattle boat feeling. 

As to the cons, well, safety was a concern. Of our group of 7, 3 were
relatively new to the sport (for one, these were his first post-certified
dives). The general rule was that the DM (or DM in training) would take us
out along a wall or such, and then back to the area around the boat. This
would cover maybe 30 minutes. A wave and then they were gone. For 4 of us,
this was fine except then we became the leaders of the other 3. Since we
were all one group, there was no complaint. What if we were not traveling
together? A DM should at least be in the water to watch over divers who are
at the location for the first time. Let us dive at our own slow pace so
that we can enjoy the beauty of the sea, but for safety at least one DM
should be down there. Liquid Blue of Cozumel and Dive Makai of Hawaii come
to mind as great examples of small shops run by people who clearly love to
dive and take the safety of their employers (the divers) seriously  a DM
is always in the water. Subway has half of that equation solved. Of course
it could always be worse. There is the alternative that many California
dive boats take  well get you there, but after that its up to you.  

Lastly there was the issue of equipment. A couple in our group rented some
equipment. In general, it was in poor shape. One BCD had a small leak in
the inflator hose. They traded it out no problem. Except that the new one
failed completely. Luckily it was near the end of the dive because the free
flowing inflator drained his tank in short order. Again, luckily, his buddy
was experienced and calm enough to share her air and do the safety stop. 

We did one dive with Waihuka - a shark feed. Very safe. They get 4 stars. 

Palmetto Bay is terrific eco friendly resort. These are single family
homes, not hotel rooms. Each house on the property is different. My group
split into two houses, each had three bedrooms, two baths, full kitchen,
laundry and living area. A beautiful deck surrounded half the house. The
furnishing and kitchen appliances were all first class. Each night we fell
asleep to the sounds of the surf. Very, very reasonable prices. Note that
the bar and restaurant always, and I mean always, had problems figuring out
the tab. Dont even try to pay as you go. Just let them add it all up at
the end of your stay. Bar has a satellite TV. Very good food. They even
brought in a turkey from Tampa Bay for Thanksgiving. 
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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