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Dive Review of Aquanut's/Kelly's On The Bay in
The Continental USA/Key Large

January, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Leslie and Michael Bardelli, CT, USA
Report Number 1351
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Jamacia, Grand Cayman, Roatan x5, Northern US Coast
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
70   to 72    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth, Time limit and back with 500 PSI.
On wreck dives must ascend and descend using mooring line due to possible
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Each boat has a rinse tank for cameras only.  Otherwise nothing special for
photographers.  Boats open, no real dry place for battery or film changes.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
Kelly’s on the Bay in Key Largo Florida is a Motel that is no
frills.  The rooms are small but fully functional.  Each room has a small
fridge, coffee pot and microwave.  All their rooms are different, each with
a different bed configuration.  Some have kitchens, a few have porches and
a couple overlook the bay.  They offer a continental breakfast each
morning.  There are 2 grocery stores close by and plenty of great
restaurants in the area.
We stayed at Kelly’s for 6 nights while diving with
Aquanut’s and were fully satisfied with the accommodations.  No
bells and whistles, but clean, comfortable rooms.  We were happy enough
that we have booked another trip to Key Largo and will be staying with them

Aquanut’s is a very well run, safety conscious organization. 
They use the DAN tag system to keep track of the divers on board the boats.
 You set up your gear on the dock and they load your BC and tank on the
boat while you wait on the shore.  You bring the rest of your gear on board
during roll call.  They do a verbal roll call between the 2 dives and then
the final roll call involves returning the DAN Tag.  All tags must be back
in the box before the boat leaves for shore.  

They have 2 boats that are large and open with a rinse tank for cameras. 
There is a dry storage area up front, but it does not stay dry in the rain.
 Boats have a marine head as well as fresh water showers.  Platform on the
back for Giant Stride entries and 2 ladders to get back on board.    The
boats also have a jug with fresh water for drinking and a cooler that you
are free to put drinks or snack in.  

They do a general briefing prior to departure.  A briefing about the boat
and it operation during your ride out and then a site briefing on arrival. 
The Captain and DM stay on board the boat.  Site briefing includes max
depth and time to be back on the boat.  They do The Duane and Spiegel Grove
each once a week.  You must be advanced certified, have a dive computer and
go no deeper than 100 Ft on the wrecks.  The rest of the diving is shallow
reefs, 30 – 40 Ft.  The boats generally leave for 2 tank boat
dives twice a day, 8 AM and 1 PM.  The morning dives seem to be more
popular when we were there.  Beware, there is a minimum number of divers
for the boats to run and we did see the afternoon dive get cancelled
because of not enough divers.  The boat ride to sites is generally 45
minutes.  Surface Interval is usually short even after a deep dive.  On the
second dive you are shallow enough that you are really not limited by NDL,
but by the time they set.  You can do both AM and PM dives.  The boats are
back in time and they bring a cell phone and a menu of Hobo’s
Restaurant so that those who are doing both dives can order lunch and once
back at the dock, just walk out a grab your meal and pay at the restaurant.
 (Hobo’s is a great restaurant that is just outside the Motel

Overall, we had a great experience.  We enjoyed the diving as well as the
staff.  Everyone was very helpful.  Steve (Instructor/DM) was always happy
to give us restaurant suggestions as well as advice on places to go and
things to see.  

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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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