Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
Join Undercurrent on Facebook
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
 

Dive Review of Ocean Divers/Holiday Inn Key Largo Resort in
The Continental USA/Key Largo, Florida

Ocean Divers/Holiday Inn Key Largo Resort, Dec, 2006,

by Craig Wood, PA, USA (Contributor Contributor 16 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 3114.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Bonaire, Cozumel, Costa Rica, Key Largo, Maui/Lanai/Molokini, Oahu
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, cloudy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 76 to 77 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco, back with 500 psi, safety stop on deep dives, dive to MOD with nitrox (pO2 1.4), 1 hr on shallow dives. Not enforced as no dive master in water.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 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 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Dry table, large camera tub

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My first opportunity to dive in Key Largo came in September 2004, preceding a business trip to Miami. Based on Undercurrent reviews, I had planned to dive with Captain Jeff Jarvis on the HMS Minnow. As he was going to be vacationing the week of my visit, he suggested I dive with Ocean Divers. I have been diving with them ever since and have now dived with them seven times/43 dives, including a visit in September as well as this current trip. Ocean Divers has a very informative website and communicates well by email and phone.
Ocean Divers has two 50 foot boats, the Ocean Diver and Santana. They go to one deep wreck site and one reef site every morning and 2 reef sites every afternoon Monday through Friday. On Saturday, they give a choice of wreck/reef or 2 reef dives in the morning and on Sunday they do wreck/reef or reef/reef both morning and afternoon. I try to make Sunday on all my visits due to the enhanced wreck diving opportunities. They do a night dive on Wednesday and Saturday. The boats are quite comfortable and include fresh water showers, a dry table and camera tub, and a marine head. Deep wrecks require AOW training or equivalent or 2 dives of 80 feet or greater in the last 12 months. The deep wreck dives also require the purchase of an Upper Keys Artificial Reef Medallion ($10 annually). Ocean Divers uses 80 cu ft steel tanks, the buoyancy characteristics allow for elimination of about 4 pounds of weight relative to aluminum tanks. 32% nitrox is readily available for $6/tank. There is substantial savings in buying a multi-charter card versus purchasing individual dive trips. I have found Ocean Divers willing to attempt sites in less than optimum weather conditions and to go out with a minimum number of divers. To their credit, they take safety very seriously and abandon a dive when the surface conditions and current dictate. The dive masters do not generally dive but are very helpful for all on deck activities.
The gems of Key Largo diving are the two deep wrecks, the Duane and the Spiegel Grove. The Duane is a 327 foot long, 41 foot wide US Coast Guard Cutter built at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia and launched in 1936. The Duane gained notoriety in 1943 when, in conjunction with its sister ship, the Spencer, it sank the German submarine U-177 and rescued 22 of its crew members. The Duane went on to serve in the Mediterranean, France, and Vietnam in addition to the US. The Duane was decommissioned in 1985 as the oldest active US military vessel and was sunk in 1987. It rests upright in about 120 feet of water. The Spiegel Grove is a 510 foot long, 84 foot wide Landing Ship Dock. It was built in Mississippi and launched in 1955. The Spiegel Grove was decommissioned in 1989 and was sunk in 2002. It rested on its starboard side in approximately 130 feet of water until it was set upright during Hurricane Dennis in July 2005. Both the Duane and the Spiegel Grove have numerous excellent swim-throughs. The majority of shallow dives are on Molasses and French Reefs and on the wreck of the Benwood, a 360 foot Norwegian freighter sunk in a collision in 1942, during WWII.
The sea life in Key Largo is quite prolific. I have occasionally seen Reef and Hammerhead Sharks. Nurse Sharks, Barracuda, Green and Spotted Morays, lobster, turtles, and an abundance of Caribbean reef fish are all quite common. The water temperature varies considerably. I have had dives in September in 85-86 degree water and dives in December in 75-76 degree water. There is a link to NOAA and the buoy at Molasses Reef with air and water temperatures and wind speed on the Ocean Divers website.
The Holiday Inn Key Largo Resort & Marina is a comfortable hotel. The rooms have refrigerators, coffee makers, and free wireless internet access. I have become fond of the marina-view rooms. The hotel has a small exercise facility and the breakfast buffet starts early enough to make the morning boats. I often eat lunch and/or dinner at the Galley Restaurant, upstairs and next to Ocean Divers. It has very good, inexpensive food and good service by nice people.
Key Largo/Ocean Divers/Holiday Inn is a great diving destination in the US. I'm currently scheming on my return for an eighth visit.
Was this report helpful to you?
Bookmark and Share
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here
 

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 558 dive reviews of The Continental USA and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Bookmark and Share

Want to assemble your own collection of The Continental USA reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Undercurrent Home


Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!



Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |


Copyright © 1996-2017 Undercurrent (www.undercurrent.org)
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page displayed in 0.07 seconds