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

June, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Linda + Steve Tolf, MA, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 3068
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Maui,Aruba,Cancun, Grand Cayman
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy  
Water Temp
80   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
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.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
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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