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Dive Review of Force-E/Admiral's Club in
The Continental USA

March, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Paul Selden, MI, US
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports)
Report Number 5678
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Galapagos, Caribbean, Vancouver Island, California
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
64   to 70    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
2   to 20    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No remarkable restrictions.  Solo diving okay.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
After each dive, you can rinse all gear with a fresh water hose and dry it
on the dock.  Cameras can be soaked in plenty of clean fresh water in the
tub at your own apartment/room.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
If you want to dive Phil Foster Park in West Palm/Riviera Beach, you want
the max convenience, arent allergic to a little pet dander from the
owners dogs and cats, and dont mind a do-it-yourself, non-resort
atmosphere, staying at the Admirals Club on Singer Island is the absolute
best place to stay, and Force-E scuba center is the handiest scuba shop
around.  Admirals Club is a small (approx. 10-14) room apartment building
on the intra-coastal waterway that caters to divers and rents furnished
full-kitchen rooms to those who dont mind fending for themselves.  Richard
Baumgart, the owner/manager, has no website, doesnt check his email every
day (, but does return calls and emails eventually. 
We stayed in a roomy two bedroom plus livingroom/kitchen apartment for
$900/week.  One of the main attractions about the Admirals Club is that
Richards dock is fantastic, with a view west directly of Phil Foster Park,
and steps down into the intra-coastal that allowed us to enter the water
any time we felt like it.  In case you havent been reading the dive
magazines lately, you may have missed that Phil Foster Park (and the nearby
waters, including Richards dock) is home to some unusual marine life.  The
east end of the Blue Heron Bridge, which connects the mainland to Singer
Island, by way of Phil Foster Park, is under construction.  That may be
keeping some divers away, since diving under this part of the bridge (where
a lot of the weird creatures hand out) is off-limits.  But there is plenty
of good diving off the park, under the east piers, and off Admirals Club
itself.  I saw my first sea spider in the sands off Phil Foster Park on a
morning dive, and saw my first beaded sea cucumber at night under a dock
just north of the Admirals Club dock.  The place was a macro-photo heaven.
 I was so fascinated by the marine life that I never bothered doing any
ocean dives by boat (which are also well worth doing).  Diving in the
intra-coastal, dive times are totally governed by the tides.  There are two
main rules, and you learn them fast.  First, you cant reasonably dive
except for a period some 30-45 minutes before and after the tide turns,
when the water is slack.  At other times, the water flows like a river with
high current.  Second, the only time visibility is reasonably good is at
high tide, when the ocean sweeps in; at low tide, murk, organic matter,
leaves and twigs from the shallows sweep out, reducing visibility to a
couple of feet or less.  If you time things right, by luck or design, this
means you can get in a couple of great dives per day, about 11-1/2 hours
apart, so the time changes every day!  I tried diving one low tide, but the
visibility made it too tedious.  Dives are shallow, only 8-20 feet, so one
upside is that they are nice and long.  I fell into a routine that usually
included one morning, and one night dive.  In the afternoon Id pick up a
pair of fresh tanks from the nice folks at the full-service, well-stocked
Force-E Dive Center (on the same road as the Blue Heron Bridge, about a
quarter mile to the west) and go sight seeing with my wife.  Important:
bring your dive hood, even if you only think you need a 3 mil for sunny
Florida.  This past winter and March were exceptionally cold in Florida,
and for the first few dives Id get very cold toward the end, even in my 7
mil.  Buying a one mil hooded tunic at Force-E made all the difference
between total comfort and having to tough it out.  Topside, it was hot and
great weather.  We enjoyed driving around the island and looking at the
beautiful homes along the seaside drives in the Palm Beach area.  There are
a lot of great restaurants in the area (we liked Johnny Longboats and the
Sailfish Marina) if you dont want to cook for yourself.  The public beach
and walking paths on Singer Island are well kept.  Be sure to see the
Flagler Museum in Palm Beach.  Henry Flagler was an oil tycoon who built
the railroad out to Key West.  His 55-room estate has been nicely restored.
 The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach is another gem.  My rating for
beginners is my opinion that beginning scuba divers might be bored by
diving in the intra-coastal waterway or find diving at high tides to be too
demanding, schedule-wise.  But beginners would probably greatly enjoy a
combo of boat diving with Force-E and a few dives in the intra-coastal
around the park.
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