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Dive Review of Multiple - See Narrative in
The Continental USA/Florida Keys

August, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by William & Frances Ungerman, CA, USA
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 150
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
More than fifty words can tell....                                         
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy, currents, noCurrents  
Water Temp
84   to 88    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 90    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Most operations we dove with suggested no deco diving and redreational
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
No operator we dove with was specifically concerned with U/W photography. 
Had to request a rinse bucket on three of the five boats and none fit a
twin strobe outfit.
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  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
KEY WEST:  Soutpoint divers.  The shop is located on Duval Street in
downtown KW.  Nice facility,  Caters to the tourist crowd, but that's
what's in Key West.  The boat is docked at the Hyatt and someone forgot to
mention it's $15.00 to park there (no where else to park).  We dove
"Joe's Tug" at 65 feet in 50 foot viz absolute but the crew kept
insisting it was 100 feet.  Maybe there girlfriend's believe their
measurements.  The wreck berift of marine life.  Second dive on Western
Sambo - Haystacks.  Nice little cruise around some spur and grove coral
formations.  Lots of damage, some fish.  On return subjected to major
preassure for gratuities and had to face a virtual gauntlet of staff
personnel confronting you between your gear and the dock.  Some divers
ignored the presssure.  I folded.  This is not a bad operation per se, it's
just a cattle boat.  Typical Keys dive rate is around $50-$60 per two tank
trip PLUS your tanks which are never included.  $5.00-$10.00 per tank. 
Snorkelers - $25-$45.00.

BIG PINE KEY:  Paradise Divers.  Trecked back North and dove the Adolphus
Busch, Sr.  This dive operation was very good.  "Linda," one of
the owners, took my diving wife and daughter and our snorkeling daughter
and one other diver to the wreck.  Great dive.  70 foot viz, moderate
current.  Second dive at Looe Key (West End) and not to be missed for a
great reef dive.  Turtles, lobster, morays, lots of tropicals.  80-90 foot
viz.  No tip preassure except for a modest sign on the boat.

MARATHON:  Dove with Middle Keys Dive Center, Richard Boileau proprietor
and video master (And I mean MASTER).  We dove the Thunderbolt wreck, again
with just the four of us and one other diver.
This is another must-dive spot when in the Keys.  Tarpon, jacks, the
ubiquitous Barracuda.  Lots of bait fish.  Gropers and a huge Jew Fish (uh,
"Goliath Grouper") on the wreck.  Dolphins feeding on walls of
Silversides.  Stiff current that would tear your mask off if you turned
sideways.  Strong armed your way down the granny and down lines.  Second
dive at "Rocky Top."  Nice reef, no current.  Outstanding Keys
viz and good marine life evident.  Now, about Richard.  After the dive, ask
him to show yiou his videos!  This guy is a genius.  He has an incredible
collection (more like the Smithsonian)OF u/w footage that will blow your
fins off.  You will never see stuf like his marine-life interractions
anywhere on Discovery or any channel.  He makes Spencer Slate look like a
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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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