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Dive Review of Narcosis Dive Charter in
The Continental USA/West Palm Beach

August, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Torsten Gross, NY, US (2 reports)
Report Number 6691
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
26-50 dives
Where else diving
Key Largo, New York, Pennsylvania, Curacao
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
Water Temp
84   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Time. Captain would drop off experienced first  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
2 stars   
4 stars    
I arrived at the marina at 9:15am, followed closely by Nelson, a super nice
deck hand. I still had to confirm with Van, the captain whom I had left a
message for that morning, whether they would take me out (or had anyone who
could dive with me as I am in a wheelchair. I dont need anything different
other than help in/out of the water). After a few calls, and assuring Van I
could dive, he said come aboard (although no one asked for my C card or my
Nitrox card!). Opposed to my dive the day before with the Jupiter Dive
Center where Steve and I had talked, at length, about my diving needs, this
venture into the blue was 100% foreign (and trial by fire.... or wave?) for
We boarded the boat at 930ish. After a long ramp to the dock, the crew had
to lift me up three steps (4'), over the lip of the boat, and back down on
the other side into the boat (3'). Glad they were strong guys. The boat was
big, holding about 14 divers plus 5 crew on the boat with some room to
spare (Pro 48 boat). The divers had very different skill levels which meant
we couldn't hit anything too deep (everyone had been chattering about how
amazing Zion was the day before, giving me a smile that I experienced the
same wonder). However, the captain did drop off the experienced divers in a
different location first.
We left the slip around 10am and hit our first destination at 1030. It was
sunny, but I noticed the waves starting to build (on entry they reached
3'+). I was the first to get in the water since I would be diving with
Chris (Dive Master) and Mandi (who led with the dive ball). They lifted me
onto the transom; I dropped in and immediately started our decent to Rons
Reef. The current was supposed to be going North to follow the reef.
However, as we lowered to 45' it became evident that this was not a
float-and-coast dive, seeing as the current went south. Chris, my dive
buddy, had to hold the top of my BC and pull me along as I swam. Suffice it
to say my contribution was probably less than he would have liked. Even
Mandi, who held the dive ball so the boat could follow us, was exhausted at
the end of the dive. Had the current been pushing north, this would have
been an easy drift dive.
The reef was very flat at 45', with a quick drop at the end. We saw a
loggerhead turtle which was magnificent. He slowly drifted around and it
was clear he was curious as he would swim closer to inspect us (who can
blame him. I'm incredibly attractive with a mask on). The visibility was
around 40'-50' for most of the dive. At 52 minutes it became noticeably
dark as we began our ascent. Chris was very safe and ascended very slowly.
When we broke the surface we were greeted with pelting rain and a lightning
storm. Now, lightning and water don't mix, so my heart started to race. My
nerves were calmed to find out lightning disperses in water, so we were
safe (lucky for the fishies too). The swells picked up to 4+ with some 6'+
thrown in. Add that to a very high transom (without waves the transom is
about 2' off the waterline - the pictures are deceiving), making exit
really tough. Two guys on the boat, plus Chris in the water using the
stairs on step at a time, hoisted me back in.
During the surface interval, Captain Van did a solo dive to catch some
lobster. The waves continued to grow so I, and one other diver, decided not
to do the second dive. For stability, I retied myself to a metal bar in the
front of the boat only to realize that, if the boat was hit by lightning, I
would fry. So for the next two hours I held one of the seats tightly and
hoped for the waves to lessen. Lucky for me I do not get seasick, or this
would have been a hell ride.
This dive was ok. I learned how to communicate with people who had no idea
how to handle an HSA (no pre-dive day discussions either), a very high
transom and unfavorable currents. If I had my choice of dive shops in the
area I would go back to Jupiter Dive Center.
(To note  I am a diver in a wheelchair. For pictures that could help
others in a chair, see
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