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Dive Review of Ocean Divers, Sea Dwellers, Conch Republic Divers/Bayside Resort in
The Continental USA

October, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by S.A. Harmer, CA, USA
Report Number 3063
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
0-25 dives
Where else diving
Southern California, Western Pacific, Caribbean,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, currents  
Water Temp
84   to 72    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
25   to 55    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Time (60 min) Wrecks (fat logbook or guide)  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 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):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
2 stars    
Key Largo: Bayside Resort: Ocean Divers, Sea Dwellers, and Conch Republic
Divers, September 30-October 10, 2006, Jay & Sheila Harmer
(, Burbank, CA Experience: >1000,  275 dives. vis
25-55 Feet, water 84 Fahrenheit, Currents 1-2 knots, except on wrecks.  All
these operators all have good boats w/t marine heads, fresh water showers,
oxygen, etc. and all provided full fills.  Ocean Divers had the friendliest
crew w/t complementary fruit drinks, and used steel tanks, Conch Republic
the best diver briefings, in fact sometimes to long and detailed, with Sea
Dwellers, the best overall.  We dove the reefs of Penekamp Park that are
all about 30-45 minutes from the dock to the moorings. All these operators
limited the reef dives 60 minuets with the bottom at 20-35 feet.  All good
dives but I was surprised the general lack of marine life in an area that
has been protected so long.  We were weathered out two days due to wind
and chop.  In addition, we dove three times on the Spiegel Grove, a
purposely-sunk U.S. warship that had been extensively prepped for diver
safety, at 70-110 ft and could have gone deeper.  These dive sites took
about an hour to reach and always had some current in the 2-4 kts. range
and once with a sharp thermo cline to 72 F. 

Bayside Resort was clean, well managed, reasonably priced, & diver
tolerant with tile floors & plenty of towels.  Not much room for gear
to dry but the outside railings were acceptable.  It has easy parking,
small pool to swim or test gear, small sand patio area and dock for sunset
celebrations and a good central location with several dive operators,
grocery, drugstore, laundry, & ATM all within four-block distance. 
Nice music & entertainment provided by waterfront restaurant next door.

Surprises:  To dive the wrecks (Grove, Duane, Bibb) you need a fat logbook
>100 dives (indicating a dive of 80ft or greater in the last 60 days) or
advanced diver certificates. If you do not meet the above requirements, you
must arrange for a guide at extra cost.  In addition, we were suppressed at
the $10 charge for a medallion permit to dive the wrecks.  While we believe
that dive operators and the wreck association have every right to set
unique conditions for their diving operations we wish these restrictions
were stated in their advertisements.  
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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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