Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
Join Undercurrent on Facebook
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Dive Review of Key Biscayne Park, John Pennekamp Park/none in
The Continental USA/South Florida

February, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Betty & John Nevelus, FL, USA
Report Number 1561
Subscribers: Submit Your Reader Report Here
Subscribe Now Questions?
Subscribers can send this reviewer an email directly from here.
Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Australia, Egypt (Red Sea), Malaysia, Thailand, Australia (Great Barrier
Reef), Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Belize, Cozumel, Indonesia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
68   to 72    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
25   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
We were pretty much restricted to the immediate area of the anchor line of
the boat at Pennekamp on Molasses Reef. We never got to dive at Key
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
1 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
I know that reader's comments in UNDERCURRENT are usually concerning the
quality of diving experiences outside the USA. However, after our horrible
experiences these past two days at two of South Florida's better known
underwater parks, I can't help but wonder what some foreign guests think
about OUR services and how they would rate them! After our experiences the
past two days, they probably think we are worse than the very worst Third
World dive destinations!
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
1 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
1 stars    
Wish we hadn't gone with either park's staff and had chosen independent
dive shops over park operations! (Typical government incompetence,
rudeness, and laziness!) If you live outside the USA and want to visit our
marine parks in South Florida, take heed and beware!!! These people simply
do NOT give a final damn whether you enjoy yourself or not! At Pennekamp,
our two divemasters were totally at odds with each other over dive
procedures and constantly contradicted each others'  (and, as shown below,
their own) instructions. The younger of the two seemed chiefly interested
in entertaining  two scantily-clad young ladies he brought along to work.
He could have cared less if any of us DROWNED! The other one kept insisting
I carry more weight than I knew I needed and then bitched about how much
weight I was carrying when I returned to the boat after my new (and, of
course, USA made) BCD malfunctioned! The younger man simply sneered,
"Looks like you'll be snorkeling the rest of the day, hehe!!!!"
(There's never any extra equipment provided by these operations. You are
lucky if they load enough tanks for everyone!) Our second day was even
worse. The divemaster was a hungover, typically snide Miami Smartass who
provided me with an ancient rental BCD that I wouldn't have loaned, much
less rented, to my worst enemy!!! When my partner and I complained, he said
we "obviously knew nothing about dive equipment" and threw us off
the boat, while he insisted on sticking this relic of a BCD in our dive
bag! (If he thinks we will pay postage to return it to the park, he is
sorely mistaken. It's going back COD!!!) He kept screaming at us like a nut
that he had had us two "incompetents" before on a trip before and
he wasn't going to "put up with us again!" (I think we may have
been to the park once ten years ago, and we certainly never met this
character!) To top it off, the boat's driver insisted on regaling us with
tales of his life, including sexual conquests and other tidbits we
certainly weren't at all interested in. No assistance was offered or given
in loading our equipment, including the tanks we rented, onto the boat. We
were finally able to get our money back. At least the  desk clerk was
accomodating. (She gave us the very strong impression that she most
definitely did NOT enjoy working with this pair of, well,
"you-know-whats".) It was the worst two days we have spent diving
in thirty years and over 1000 dives apiece around the world. We have
endured English Nazi divemasters on Grand Cayman who snarled if we kept
them on the water more than one minute past THEIR precious alotted time and
the surly and since replaced  dive shop manager at the Barracuda Hotel in
Cozumel. We've had some definitely overly "laid back" diving
experiences in Malaysia and Thailand, but nothing to equal the frustration
of these past two days in our own country and our own parks. These guys
certainly aren't entitled to our tax dollars! Others should give these guys
a wide berth and dive with someone who works for a living! I can't help but
wonder what these characters do to unsuspecting foreign guests (and there
were a lot of them at these parks the past two days)who might not speak or
understand English that well. I guess it's"sink or swim" for
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 548 dive reviews of The Continental USA and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Bookmark and Share

All The Continental USA Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to The Continental USA
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

Want to assemble your own collection of The Continental USA reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Want to get more articles like these and
other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email?
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get our free monthly Online Update, and a sample issue!

NEW! Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account |
| Travel Index | Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Forums | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues | Login | Join | Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2016 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.