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Dive Review of Conch Republic Divers/Ocean Pointe Suites in
The Continental USA/Tavernier

May, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Richard Sziede, VA, USA
Report Number 2490
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Florida Keys, Belieze, Bay Islands, Saba, Turks & Caicos, Cayman,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
77   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 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
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Could use a better rinse tank.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
1 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
1 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
The sixth time is the charm.  The Spiegle Grove has always been my bad-luck
dive.  Previous attempts all came a cropper.  First try the damn thing
hadn't sunk.  Second: flooded camera.  Third: Wilma.

Conch Republic Divers had three Speigle Grove dives this weekend.  I
merrily did all three.  Finally overcome my jinx.

All three Spiegle dives had wicked current.  Up and down on the mooring
line, hung out like flags, attended by a school of curious (I hoped not
hungry) barracuda.  

First dive I missed the mooring line for the ascent.  My computer was deep
into the yellow zone, so rather than spend time hunting for the line, we
came up free.  Current put us way out of swimming distance from the boat. 
Scenes from "Open Water" began playing in the back of my mind. 
Another dive boat sent a swimmer with a rope, and we were soon reunited
with Conch Republic.  The dive masters were kind about my blunder. 
Pointedly kind. 

The second and third dives we kept the mooring line in sight.  My jinx held
for the second dive.  I had rigged the video housing very slightly off.  It
didn't leak, but I couldnt turn the camera on: a fact I didnt learn till
I was in water.  I no longer have the right to make fun of Perkin Elmer for
not performing that end-to-end test on the Hubble before launch.  

Finally got good footage on the last dive.

Conch Republic runs a tight boat.  In and out on time, no slip-ups,
cheerful and helpful crew.  Two-man crew handled a crowded boat with
aplomb.  An additional hanging rack for dive skins and BCDs would be nice. 
Last boat in had no place to hang wet gear other than over the  stuff
already hanging there.  The shop didn't see this as a problem.  

Fish life seemed thinner than my last visit.  Fewer 'cuda and Grouper.  The
huge green moray I remembered from my last dive on the Benwood was on
vacation.  The schools of Atlantic Spadefish were entirely absent.  But
there were plenty of Striped Grunts, File Fish, Pipe Fish, and other little

A Goliath Grouper is in residence in Speigle Grove's wheelhouse.  (Some wag
wondered if Florida would rename Jewfish Creek.)  Most shallow sites have a
compliment of Nurse Sharks.  Got good footage of a High Hat patrolling a
coral cave right under the nose of a Green Moray.  Lobsters and crabs came
out to pose for my camera.

Ocean Pointe Suites had some negative reviews on travel sites.  They lived
down to them.  

Seafood lovers can't go wrong in the Keys.  Fishing boats bring their catch
right to their favorite resturants.  In DC you have to go to 3-star joints
to get fish from "day boats."  In the Keys, just go to Fish
House, or Snappers.  Don's Diner in Key Largo provides a belly-bustin'

Atlantic's Edge in the upscale Cheecha Lodge is not much more expensive
than Fish House, with a big step up in ambiance.  A wedding in the lodge
presented a South Florida fashon show that was a refreshing change from
Washington DC's boring business suits.  Many guests wore Florida's
high-maintenance woman uniform: dress too tight, makeup too thick,
tottering on Manolo Blahnik shoes.

Love the Keys, liked Conch Republic.  Won't use Ocean Pointe again.

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