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Dive Review of HMS Minnow in
The Continental USA/Key Largo, Fl

June, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Gary Cowden, MO, USA
Report Number 1962
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Aruba,Cozumel, Grand Caymen, St. Maarten, Abacos, Walker's Cay, San
Salvador, Bimini
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy  
Seas
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
80   to 83    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
20   to 75    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Adhere to computer or dive table and return to the boat with at least 500
psi.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 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  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
     I have taken 7, 1-week dive trips to Key Largo from 2000-2005, and I
dove from the HMS Minnow on every occasion.  Jeff Jarvis is the
owner/captain of the HMS Minnow, a "six pack" boat with a single
outboard motor.  The HMS Minnow takes a maximum of 6 divers, and berths in
the canal by the Holiday Inn on the east side of Hwy 1.  I spent two trips
diving from the HMS Minnow in 2005 – 1 week in July and 1 week in August. 
In July, my friend and I arrived in Key Largo on the heels of Tropical
Storm Arlene.  Due to Arlene's influence, on our first day of diving we
experienced windy weather, unusually heavy seas, and very limited
visibility.  The weather, waves, and visibility gradually improved as the
week progressed, but the visibility never exceeded 50 feet, which was below
average for the Key Largo area.  In August, I returned to Key Largo with my
family, who also are divers.  The conditions were more in line with what
we’ve come to expect in Key Largo.  Water temperatures were in the mid-80s
and visibility ranged from 30 to 75 feet.  On both trips the reefs looked
healthy and the fish life was plentiful.  We had several sightings of
spotted eagle rays, turtles, green moray eels, and spotted eels, as well as
numerous nurse sharks.  Our favorite dive sites were Snapper Ledge, Conch
Wall & Reef, and the Spanish Anchor site on Molasses Reef.
     As dive operators go, you can’t ask for any better than Jeff Jarvis. 
His boat is well maintained (thanks to Betty, his First Mate) and
comfortable for the 6 or less divers he takes out on each trip.  Jeff has a
friendly and relaxed attitude while still being keenly aware of what’s
going on with his divers and their equipment.  Jeff is very helpful without
being overbearing.  Jeff gives clear, informative pre-dive briefings,
making use of maps of the dive sites.  Jeff stays with the boat during the
dives rather than entering the water with the divers, so divers should be
reasonably competent at underwater navigation or, if you request in
advance, Jeff can arrange for a dive instructor or guide dive with you.  As
someone who has made dozens of dives from the HMS Minnow over a 5½
year period, I can attest to Jeff Jarvis’ awareness of safety, attention to
details, and efforts to provide good, old-fashioned customer service.
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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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