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Dive Review of Divers Den & "The Splash"/Rented a Condo Independently in
The Continental USA/Florida

Divers Den & "The Splash"/Rented a Condo Independently, Jul, 2004,

by Patrick Coyne, TX, USA . Report 1109.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Florida, Texas gulf coast
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 76 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 30 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 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 1 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments Our group of six divers included three with fewer than 15 dives each. Plans were made for dives that met the needs of those with limited experience. We experienced two days of 2-tank dives. The artificial reefs were at reasonable depths for the less experienced divers. Seas ranged from flat to less than 18 so the first boat diving experiences for the rookies were as pleasurable as possible. We had to report to the shop one hour before departure to pick up our tanks and rental gear. We were amazed to find out that it was our responsibility to transport tanks to the marina, a distance of 3-4 miles. At the marina a deck hand did assist in our unloading of the tanks and gear and in the transportation of these items to the boat, a distance of 50-75 yards. The deck hand did place the tanks and gear on the boat and did little else in assisting. It appears that Divers Den does nothing more than sell lessons and gear, rent gear and broker divers to the owner of The Splash. That boat is adequate in size and was not overcrowded. Amenities are limited to an ample supply of cold water and a seating area that has a reasonable amount of covered deck space. The dive and safety briefings were minimal but adequate. On the second day one of our divers used the marine head. Only then did Capt. Casey announce that the head had been out of service for two weeks and that parts had been ordered. Given the number of boats and supply houses in the area it is doubtful that any serious effort had been made to repair the defective head. The crew did assist in securing fins to feet before entry. No shop supplied dive master or crew member entered the water with us. Upon our exiting the water the crew did take fins from the divers and immediately disappeared. The crew seemed to make an effort to be nowhere near the ladder as divers exited the water. This lack of assistance was an inconvenience, especially for the new divers, and could have posed a serious safety risk in heavier seas. On the first day Capt. Casey proudly announced that he always insisted on a minimum surface interval of one hour between dives. However, on the second day he stated that he had a date and made a serious effort to bully us into the water after the last surfacing diver had been up for only 35 minutes. Nobody complained but nobody got into the water quickly either. When the Capt noticed that he had been ignored he stated that I dont have much of a life, but I got a life and I do want to get home. Thankfully, on the first dive that had a possible maximum depth of 80-85, I did not let our group drop below 60so the 55 minute surface interval that I managed to take kept us out of the shaded areas of the PADI dive tablesbut not by much. Another disappointing item was that Capt Casey calmly directed insults at several divers when small issues arose. The captain would do well running a slave ship in Sudan and should reconsider being in the service industry. When we returned to the pier we were not asked but were directed to form a conga line and to remove the empty tanks from the boat. We were reminded that it was our responsibility to return them to the shop. Attitudes of the dive shop personnel ranged from incredibly helpful to borderline combative. On the next trip to Panama City my group will be using different dive operators.
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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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