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

July, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Patrick Coyne, TX, USA
Report Number 1109
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, Florida, Texas gulf coast 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
76   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
2 stars    
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
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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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