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Dive Review of MV Ocean Explorer/Sands Harbor Marina in
The Continental USA/Pompano Beach Florida

February, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by al, ny, usa
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 1606
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
East Coast USA,Costa Rica,Roatan Honduras
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, cloudy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
70   to 72    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
generally accepted technical diving community standards  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
I am a beginning UW photographer and this was a deep technical trip.
However the operation would be accomodating to any level of photograper.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
4 stars    
This is the second time i have dove with this operator. the goal of this
trip was to dive deeper extended range wrecks in the Pompano beach/Ft
Lauderdale area. The boat offers both liveaboard and dayboat trips. these
would be daytrips with sleeping onshore at the hotel associated with the

The boat is a 55ft fiberglass boat that is fairly seaworthy and in general
a good platform for diving. it has two ladders, including a t bar ladder
preferred when climbing with stages. They have an onboard compressor which
came in handy on days when we did two dives. All diving gases were provided
as a package by the operator which made it easier to dayboat. we didnt need
to move gear on and off each day. Trimix and deco gas fills were done
accurately by the boat staff. Unfortunately the boat was short staffed
during our stay. each day the first team was asked to set the hook by the
boat as they only had one mate.  This also meant that each team had to help
the others in and out. At this level each should be able to do this, but
those expecting premium service might be dissappointed. Such is techdiving.
The captain was experienced at finding the wrecks and at overseeing
drifting deco dives, which are required by the gulfstream currents in this
part of offshore florida.

We dove the Hydro Atlantic,Lowrance,RBJ,and Skycliffe during the week. Each
is a spectacular dive, with good vis and light current. I attempted some uw
photography inside these wreks, i need to learn to deal with floating
particulate rust and backscatter, otherwise the diving was fun.

The hotel was another matter.During the high season they are apparently
overbooked and consider divers to be offseason trade. They told me i would
have my room moved on the first night, because they had my room booked to
another party. Every other day i was summoned to the front desk to be
informed of the status of my room. The method used was to shut off my
electronic room key, denying my access to my room. During the week i was
never moved. The other members of my party were not so lucky. They returned
after the third day to find that the staff had moved their possessions
without informing them. Their stuff was placed into garbage bags and moved
during the day. Except for the roughly four grand that my friend had in the
in-room safe. A room that was then given to another couple.
My friend had to wait until the others returned to the hotel and discovered
their key was turned off to get his money out of the safe. The manager
refused to provide any accomodation for this treatment, remarking that we
should be happy to get a good rate <$90 us per day)and stop complaining
and giving new jersey a bad name.

The rooms were somewhat rundown and smelled of mold. The maids were seen
only on the last day, apparently they only deal with rooms after you

All in all we will return to florida and probably dive with this boat, but
not stay at the same hotel.After several years of being an undercurrent
member this is my first report. I am used to seeing apparently angry
members seek revenge by posting about their misadventures, and while i have
been amused by them in the past,i will be reconsidering them after this
experience.   Happy diving to you!
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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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