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

HMS Minnow, Jun, 2005,

by Gary Cowden, MO, USA . Report 1962.

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
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
UW Photo 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
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 weve 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 cant 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 whats 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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