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Dive Review of Florida Keys Dive Center in
The Continental USA/Florida Keys - Tavernier

Florida Keys Dive Center, Dec, 2007,

by L. B., MA, USA ( 2 reports). Report 3778.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Caribbean, Bali
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 75 to 77 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions One hour or 500 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments Clearly marked separate rinse bucket for cameras, but it got a bit crowded with several sloshing around in it. No separate camera table.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Dove Snapper Ledge, Pickles, Horsehoe Ledge, Crocker Plateau and the Eagle. Diving around Tavernier the fish life was great, but the reef felt more overgrown with algae than it has been looking back over the past ten years. Very little small life - shrimps, etc, - other than Xmas tree worms. Only small patches of living coral and a few big brain corals. Lots of green morays and a few spotteds, lobsters, small nurse sharks & stingrays. Florida Keys Dive Center was busy with the underwater Santa Claus dive the first day and felt rather zoo-y. The second day of diving had two deep dives: The Eagle at 70-100 feet was followed by a second dive on Crocker Plateau which is around 50 feet. The Captain gave us only a 20 minute surface interval and got snarky when another diver asked for a bit longer. The proposed limit of one hour on the second dive was therefore meaningless as our bottom time was limited to around 20 minutes. The shallower area we were directed towards was downcurrent from the boat and not much shallower. It would have been a very pleasant second dive if enough time had been given in between. Other divers on board clearly chose to wait longer on deck before entering and then were able to have a slightly longer dive. The other two days were both shallow reefs where the short surface interval was less of an issue, but it was still a bit rushed to get gear changed over and get re-hydrated in between. Regularly had 1500 psi left at the end of each dive. While there is a time limit, given the afternoon dives, the short surface intervals felt a bit unsafe and unnecessarily rushed, as there was always plenty of time back at dock between morning and afternoon. The dive crew was fine for us given that we are reasonably experienced, but seemed more attentive to the lobster hunters on board than to several beginners that could have used a bit more help and encouragement. (Really miss Lady Cyana Divers.) Water temps were around 75-77 F below - for a full hour below taking something warmer than a 3/2 wetsuit would probably be helpful. Stayed at Ocean Pointe - a bit worn, but perfectly fine and comfortable. Pricey for a couple, but good for a family especially if some are non-divers.
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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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