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Dive Review of Conch Republic Divers/Blue Fin / Key Lantern Inn in
The Continental USA/Islamorada

Conch Republic Divers/Blue Fin / Key Lantern Inn, Apr, 2007,

by Paul O'Connor, OH, USA . Report 3625.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Cozumel, Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos, Belize, Fiji, Aruba, Saba
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 73 to 77 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 4
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Back on board with 500 psi, no-deco diving, buddy diving encouraged
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 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 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was my 3rd trip to the Keys, and the best one by far. I intended to try out both Key Divers and Conch Republic Divers on this trip. I dove a couple of days with Key Divers and really don't have anything but good things to say about their operation other than I think they are geared a little more for less-experienced divers. Strict dive time limits at Key Divers caused me to finish out my time with Conch Republic. I found Conch Republic's operation to be professional, friendly and well suited to experienced divers. I did both morning and afternoon dives each day and only re-visited a dive site on request. Most days I was on the Republic VII, which is a very nice sized dive boat. One AM I was on the Aquatic Diver because the Republic VII had been chartered by a group. I ended up with that group in the PM, because all them did not want to dive in the PM.

Although much of the coral is not in good condition, there are significant areas where the coral is very healty and the marine life is also very abundant. Overall I was very pleased with the diving and will plan to return maybe once every two years or so.

I was particularly impressed with CRD's professionalism when we had a couple of divers get separated from the boat while diving the Eagle. One the divers had been snagged by a fish hook and got tangled up in some line. Her buddy helped to free her from the mess, but in the meantime he fed the fish through his regulator. So - it didn't take them long to get disoriented in the 30'-40' vis and soon they had lost sight of the wreck. Per the dive briefing that was repeated every AM and PM, they made a safe ascent and were able to signel the boat that they were OK. Of course the boat had to wait on the mooring for the other divers to surface, but they did through out a small orange mooring ball connected to a very long spool of line. The ball drifted more or less the same direction as the lost divers and we had no trouble locating them and getting them back on board, a bit tired, but otherwise with another experience to tell their buddies about! The main takeaway from this was CRD's skillful handling of the situation.
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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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