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Dive Review of Florida Keys Dive Center in
The Continental USA/Upper Keys (Key Largo)

Florida Keys Dive Center, Sep, 2006,

by Tom Chase, KY, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports). Report 3069.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Carribean, Puerto Rico, Turks, Belize, Hawaii, NC, CA, Great Lakes
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 83 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 50 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Time limits (1 hour) and/or computer limits on deep dives.
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 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 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 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Rinse bucket only.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I dove with this operator for four two tank day trips and a night dive. I had my newly certified 14 year old daughter with me. She had just completed her advanced open water and Nitrox courses. The staff and crew were very accommodating to our needs. Even though they were very busy with a large charter for the weekend, they made us feel comfortable and welcome. They matched divers up by interest and experience. Both boats were in good shape and well set up. I much prefer the larger and faster Big Dipper to the Little Dipper.

We dove the shallow reefs and did two wreck divesthe Eagle and Spiegel Grove. The Eagle is a great dive. We saw three monster Goliath Groupers in the cargo hold. The conditions on the day we dove the Spiegel Grove were not as good so the dive was not as impressive as it would have been on a better visibility day. It is such a massive ship that it would take 4-5 dives to cover it.

Crew did a great job with dive briefings and review of boat procedures. I wish they had a better ladder because you have to take your fins off on the tow line and that is sometimes difficult with chop and if you have a camera, lobster gear or dive lights.

I heard some internal squabbles between staff members (they were stressed out because of this large group of college kids who were all taking a course and were not too concerned about being punctual or paying attention to briefings etc.) but they never let that manifest to passengers or guests. When we dove the Spiegel it was very choppy. There were several people who were on that trip for snorkeling purposes. Since the Spiegel is over 100 deep, there would be no meaningful snorkeling opportunities so the only chance they had to snorkel was on the shallow reef dive that was our second dive that day. I am surprised that the crew didnt try to talk them out of that trip since it would be marginal at best. However, they may have said something to them and I just didnt observe it.

I was quite pleased with this operator. I had originally booked all my trips through Tavernier Dive Center, but this operation purchased them before our trip so by default we ended up at the Florida Keys Dive Center. I am glad we ended up there. I would highly recommend them.
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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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