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Dive Review of Key Dives/Ocean Point Suites in
The Continental USA/Islamorada, Florida

April, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Scott Anders, VA, USA
Report Number 3360
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
St.Lucia, Grand Bahama, Nassau, Hawaii, Dominica, Grand Cayman, Cayman
Brac, North Carolina, Virginia Beach, Cozumel, San Salvador (Bahamas),
Roatan, Key Largo
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
choppy, surge, currents  
Water Temp
71   to 76    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
35   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Follow the divemaster. Come up as a group. Come up with at least 500 psia.
In general, dives ended at about the 45-minute mark.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
2 stars    
We went on three two-tank trips with Key Dives. $75 guided 2-tank trip
($210 for 3 trips). Nice 42 boat with 60 tank holders but in our 3 trips
there was never more than 12 divers. Boat has a head. Mike runs a good
operation and is very knowledgeable about diving anywhere from Hawaii to
the British Virgin Isles. I arranged the dives over the phone with Lauren.
She was very helpful and projected a certain excitement about diving off of
Islamorada with Key Dives. Arranged for nitrox for the first dive of each
of the three trips we booked ($8 for nitrox).  They have it ready for you
to analyze in the shop the morning of the dive. Elected to do this just for
the first dive of each trip out since we were told the first dive on the
morning trip would be the deep dive for the day and I wanted to maximize
my underwater time. There was a $2.50 trip fuel surcharge that I didnt
find out about until I went to pay. Requested the Eagle as one of the dive
sites for our second of the three trips and the request was granted with
enthusiasm. The crew will hall your gear from your car to the boat and set
up your gear.-and theyll rinse your wetsuit and BC afterwards. If youre
diving with them the next day they will store it for you and have it rinsed
and ready to go. Dive briefings are good. There is a cooler of water and
orange slices are served between dives. There is a camera bucket and a mask
bucket. they should be separated as I saw a few people rinse their mask in
the camera bucket. The general drill is giant stride off the back, pull
yourself up the granny line to the anchor line and start the dive when the
divemaster determines everyone is ready. Dives are limited to about 45
minutes. I think it is because they want to get two dives in and get back
for their ~1pm trip. A 60-minute limit would be much better (just leave the
dock 30 minutes earlier). The seas were very rough (2 to over 4+) and the
ascent and exit procedure accounted for it. We enjoyed the casual and
playful atmosphere the crew creates, especially after they get to know you
a little. Water temperatures started out a little chilly this week at ~71 F
the first day. Currents changed and we had about 75 F for the rest of the
week. During the week we dove with Key Dives, Rainbow Reef Divers, and Blue
Water Divers.
1st trip out: 9 divers total; 3 students with one divemaster and 6 with
divemaster Mike. 71 F. Maximum depth was about 60 at this site. This was
not a deep dive and I would have skipped the nitrox if I knew ahead of
time (and if I knew that the dive was limited to 45 minutes). The 45-minute
limit took me off guard because Ive always bragged that the Keys are a
great place to dive because you can easily do 60-minute dives (previous
trips were with Dual Porpoise, which doesnt exist anymore).
2nd trip out: 7 divers led by one divemaster, Lauren. ~75 F. When we got to
the Eagle there were fisherman on one mooring ball and Conch Republic
Divers was on the other. There was a strong current and 4 seas. Mike
decided we would do a hot-drop where we would all get ready and get off
the boat as quickly as possible as a group and swim for the mooring ball.
The plan sounded reasonable to everyone but the direction of the current
plus swells was misjudged and we ended up having a long swim. Thanks to
Conch Republic Divers we made it to their tow line and pulled ourselves to
the back of their boat, then up their granny line and then, after a brief
rest, down the mooring line. By that time their divers were coming up the
line and we all had to pass each other while in a very strong current. The
current let up around the wreck of the Eagle and we had an enjoyable dive.
The dive was cut short for some of us since we all had to come up as a
group (lowest on air determined dive time for all). Also, not all divers
were on Nitrox. Two of the air divers were told at the shop that nitrox
wouldnt extend their bottom time because we would come up as a group.-If
that is the policy then all divers need to know before booking and before
getting nitrox! This would an over constraining policy for Advanced Open
Water Divers. The second dive of this trip was a drift dive. It was a great
choice. The briefing was good and the dive went smoothly.
3rd trip out: 12 divers, 6 per divemaster. ~75 F. The first dive site was
Victory Reef. The second dive was a drift dive that began at the same
location. There are many large coral heads, small sand channels through the
coral, lots of nice big healthy sponges and a great variety of marine life.
I would definitely go back to this site, especially if it was a drift dive.
At the end of the first dive my wife and I were led around the site for
another ~5 minutes while the other divers went through the process of
getting on board. After having already been on two trips with them, I think
Mike recognized that we expected a little more time underwater. We surfaced
as the last divers were climbing the ladder.
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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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