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Dive Review of Amoray Divers/Amy Slate's Amoray Inn in
The Continental USA/Florida Key Largo

Amoray Divers/Amy Slate's Amoray Inn, Jan, 2004,

by Dean K Knudson, mn, US (Contributor Contributor 15 reports). Report 971.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Mexico, Midwest US
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 69 to 73 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 20 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Back on the boat within one hour, every diver required to have a timepiece and pressure gauge
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This is a well designed and very pleasant appearing resort. The rooms are large and clean, the small kitchen units work well, and most of the rooms are far enough off of the main road to offer privacy and low noise levels. The resort is supposed to look like a large spread out carribean villa. Most of the rooms are within a 45 second stroll to a locked equipment cage that guests can store gear within. Maid service is unobtrusive and complete. Within 30 steps of the equipment room is the large catamaran dive boat. There is a spit of land that extends out into the bay with a couple of tiki style thatched huts, and it's a pleasant place to have a beer and watch the sky and the occaisional dolphin swimming by.
The web site suggests that there is a hot tub or spa on the property, and that's not true, it was removed due to some zoning or safety issue. That's really too bad, this place could really use a spa. It's too cold in the winter months to regularly use the pool.
It's possible to get excellent deals on rooms in the winter, but buying a diving/room package in advance is a gamble. Winter diving in the Keys is very hit and miss, a northern cold front can wipe out the diving for days in a row.
Water temps in mid winter in the keys are chilly. When the resorts are advertising 74 to 78 degree water temps, one can expect the actual temp to be 2 to 3 degrees lower. I was cold the first day, but was toasty warm the following three days as a result of renting a very large full sleeve upper half suit which I rented ($6 per day), and wore over my 5/4/3 full suit. I also used a beanie. I recorded a bottom temp of 69F one diving day. Plan to bring a windbreaker or polarguard sweater for the trip out and back.
The boat is a catamaran style cattleboat which is spacious and 25% full on weekdays and packed to the gills on weekends. There are five exit points, so all 20 to 25 divers on the packed boat get off and on within a reasonable period of time. This is, by and large, a beginner's boat, with the usual newbie chaos and admirable enthusiasm. I was suprised when one certified diver confessed that she didn't know that she needed a watch or timepiece to scuba dive, and hadn't brought one on the boat. I felt sorry for her, and loaned her my spare. No good deed goes unpunished, she returned it with a scratched crystal, but I didn't have the heart to point this out to her, as she was gushing with excitement about diving "out in the real ocean".
I picked this boat and resort as a means to entice a friend who hadn't dived in 15 years to join me. It worked well. Most of the dive sites are 30 feet or less in depth, and the marine park status of the keys has led to a large quantity of fish, eels, small rays and lobster in the area. All in all, not an unpleasant diving experience, but, let's face it, Cozumel it ain't.
The catamaran won't go out if there are large waves, and divers are directed to other boats in the neighborhood. One of the boat captains was a very pleasant man and an excellent host. Another was irritable and short tempered, and actually got into an argument with one of the dive shop staff right on the dock, in front of assembling customers. I had no major complaints about the staff overall.
This resort would be an ideal location to introduce a non-diving husband/wife or partner to the sport, more so if that individual were uncomfortable with foreign travel. There is a breakfast offered, included in the price, but it is simply cereal, milk, toast, coffee and inexpensive juice near the dive boat. Fine, but nothing special. Hobo's restuarant, next door to the hotel, is the locals' hangout, and serves a fine lunch and dinner, cheaply.
On Friday and Saturday nights the "world famous tiki bar" 20 minutes down the road has live music in a big open air covered bar, and is worth the drive. There are dozens of restuarants up and down the road, the captain and staff can steer you to what you might be looking for. There is a Publix supermarket a three minute drive up the road, and a large discount dive equipment shop five minutes down the road. Shell World, also five minutes down the road, is one of the best tourist traps in the Southern United States, and is chock full of all of the useless tidbits that grade school kids love, including shells, pirate flags and nautical toys. I scored a hawaiian hula girl fringed lamp there that I am certain my wife will let me take out of the garage and into the downstairs bar within five years if I keep begging.
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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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