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Dive Review of Key Dives at Bud and Mary's Marina/N/A in
The Continental USA/Islamorada, Florida

December, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Vern Svereika, NY, US (1 report)
Report Number 3148

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Reporter
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Roatan, Honduras (CoCo View), Little Caymen (Pirates Point), Caymen Brac,
Crystal River Florida, numerous wreck dives in the St Lawrence river,
NY/Canada

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy  
Seas
choppy  
Water Temp
77   to 80    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
5
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
As our dive sites were shallow, I'm not sure if there were any depth
restrictions.  You were only asked to surface with 500lbs air.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
None 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
A permanently mounted table on the boat allowed a place for divers to store
their cameras.  Two fresh water showers on the boat were available as well
as rinse buckets for cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
Key Dives at Bud and Mary’s Marina, Islamorada, Florida, January 2007, Vern
Svereika (diverdownunder@hotmail.com), Fulton NY.  Experience: 101-250
dives.  Vis: 50 Feet Water: 78F choppy.  Michelle and I flew into Miami and
drove down to Islamorada for a long weekend.  I didn’t expect to get much
diving in so I left my gear at home.  Michelle decided that she wanted to
learn to dive so we called around a few of the local dive shops and found
that Key Dives was offering a Resort Scuba course on Sunday morning.  The
plan would be for her to spend three hours in the pool with the dive
master, and then head out to the reef for two afternoon dives. When we
arrived Sunday morning, there was a couple from NJ also interested in the
resort course.  I can’t say enough how great the staff of Key Dives was. 
For starters, it had been especially windy (25 knots) for the past five
weeks and the waves were 5-7 feet.  The forecast for Sunday seemed
promising as the winds were supposed to subside but the Key Dives staff
stressed prior to anyone signing up that the reef dives would be canceled
unless the water settled down.  They said they really didn’t see that
happening enough to take new divers out.  Diver Safety was their number one
priority.  The three people opted to take the course with the hopes that
the waves would flatten out.  The course was run by Les, a 25 year dive
veteran of Australia.  Les was extremely helpful, patient and professional
as he made the resort course fun and enjoyable.  As luck would have it, the
forecast proved wrong and the winds stayed strong.  No afternoon dives. 
Key Dives did suggest an alternate site but said the visibility would be
extremely poor.  We decided to wait.  The following day, the winds died
down and Key Dives called us to say everything was a go.  We rented gear
from them and walked across the parking lot to their brand new 43’ twin
diesel dive boat.  It was beautiful!  The wide deck was lined with benches
and tank racks, a fixed table and rinse buckets serviced those with
cameras, two fresh water showers could be found aft and there was an
enclosed head in the forward compartment.  Key Dives staff took care of
transporting and setting up the gear.  The rental gear was Scuba Pro and in
new condition.   A 15 minute ride took us to our first dive site on
Alligator reef.    The second dive site was 5 minutes from the first.  The
NJ couple headed home that day so that left Les to work with Michelle.  Key
Dives offers many trips to deeper sites, however, there were four other
divers on the boat (with their own Key Dives dive master) who needed to
complete an open water dive for their PADI cert. I was never bothered by
the PADI class as they held their dive briefs on the fly bridge and dove in
the opposite direction from us. I was informed before signing up that due
to the diver make up, this boat trip would be going to shallow dive sites. 
The reef dives were 17-20 feet, with clusters of coral.  There was an
abundance of sea life, Nurse sharks, Green Morays, a Goldentail Moray, many
Spiny lobsters, a Spanish Lobster, Scorpion fish, Grouper, schools of
Barracuda, Trunkfish, Arrow crabs, Yellowtail Jack and Parrotfish to name a
few.  Les was great guide as he pointed out and wrote on his slate the
names of many of the undersea denizens.  I thoroughly enjoyed these dives
and look forward to another weekend trip to the Keys. 
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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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