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Dive Review of John Pennekemp State Park Dive Center/private condo in
The Continental USA/Key LArgo Florida

John Pennekemp State Park Dive Center/private condo, Jun, 2006,

by Linda + Steve Tolf, MA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 3068.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Maui, Aruba, Cancun, Grand Cayman
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions One hour dive or return to boat at 500 PSI.Come up at least once during the dive to check on location of boat.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We have been diving with the crew at Pennekemp State Park for three years and always have a wonderful dive experience.Captains John and Jim have lived in the area for many years and are extremely knowledgeable about the Florida Keys reefs and their inhabitants.They do a thorough safety and dive briefing and conduct several roll calls each trip.The large 50 foot aluminum catamaran features easy front entry and two side ladders for exiting the water.

This is a great boat for a group or family with mixed dive experience.Each trip features 2 dives with a meximum bottom time of one hour.Surface intervals are 5 or 10 minutes. As is the norm in the Keys,there is no divemaster in the water but private tours can be arranged.Diving in the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary is very easy and relaxing. Depth rarely exceed 40 feet and although the coral has taken a beating in the last few years due to hurricanes and disease there is prolific fish life! During one memorable dive we spotted a southern sting ray,nurse and reef sharks, a green turtle, schools of large barracuda and a 6 foot goliath grouper!Eagle rays, moray eels, large angels and all phases of parrotfish are seen as well as jacks, spadefish,and spotted drums.

The Pennekemp Dive Center also offers scuba classes.We have taken the AOW certification as well as specialty courses here and were extremely pleased.Instructors Tom and Pete are very professional and knowledgeable.They truly love diving and their passion for the protection of the reefs and its inhabitants is quite evident.We always look forward to diving with the Pennekemp crew on our visits to Key Largo.
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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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