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Dive Review of HMS Minnow in
The Continental USA/Florida Keys

HMS Minnow, Sep, 2009,

by Howard Kaiser, MO, United States (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 5049.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caymans, Belize, Bahamas, Cabo, BVI, Honduras[Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 30 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]


stay within computer limits
Buddy Dive,
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 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]Camera Bucket dedicated

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments We've dived with owner Jeff Jaevis for a number of years and have found this operation to be perfect for our purposes. Boat is a 6 pack and Jeff is always first to the dive sites...I can tell you that there have been numerous occasions over the years, including this past month, where we saw large schools of fish and a variety of pelagice- tarpon, amberjack, black tip reef and bull sharks- even a hammerhead at Molassses in 2005- that disappeared once the larger operators arrived and dumped their divers. This trip we stayed at the Marriott -using some points I'd built up..we generally stay at the Holiday Inn where Jeff's boat is moored since it's so convenient but found we liked the better amenities at Marriott enough to warant a few extra minutes' drive. We do 4 dives a day with Jeff- which is exhausting so it's necessary to plan your day...strong currents from an earlier tropical storm closed down both the Duane- my favorite wreck and the location of several bull sharks- as well as the Spiegel Grove. So lots of diving Pickles and the deeper sites...our very best diving came the third day when visibility opened up and currents calmed down enough to get to Molasses. We dove the southern-most buoys and were amazed! First dive may be one of the finest dives I've done in 10 yrs of Keys diving...saw several decent sized 4-5 ft nurse sharks, a small loggerhead turtle as well as a green turtle- which you don't often see in this area. Two small schools of spadefish, two amberjack, a large snook and a school of permit cruised by as we made our way over to the swimthroughs. Inside, schools of grunts and snapper gave way to several impressive clouds of glassy sweepers. On several occasions we ran into goliath grouper hiding under ledges and in the swimthroughs. These protected animals have made a great comeback thanks to the marine park designation. They are unmistakeable- like grouper on steroids! The dive concluded with a pair of large eagle rays skimming by as we crossed a sand flat. I was also able to find two green morays as well as a spotted juvenile swimming out in the rubble. The volume of fish on this early morning dive was impressive. Jean and I believe that certain dives in the Keys rival Caymans and Belize for the quantity and diversity of fish life. We think the HMS Minnow and Jeff Jarvis are exceptional values for diving and the Florida Keys in general is a great spot for a family dive vacation that won't explode the budget.
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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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