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Dive Review of Olympus Dive Center in
The Continental USA/North Carolina

August, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Mary K Wicksten, TX, US
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6676
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Gulf of Mexico, Florida, greater Caribbean, Galapagos, western Mexico,
California, Hawaii, Fiji, south Australia, Yap, Palau, Papua/New Guinea
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
81   to 74    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
10   to 20    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Time limit: 1 hour including 3-minute safety stop  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
Small Critters
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
If you have a large camera set-up, it may not fit on the camera table. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Service and Attitude
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
1 stars   
4 stars    
I traveled to Morehead City, N.C. to join fellow photographers for
"Sharkfest". One of my buddies ruefully called the trip
"Rainfest", because for three days the weather prevented any boat
diving--horizontal rain, heavy winds, swell, lightning, the works. If you
come from a distance, try to set aside an extra day for diving to that you
don't get "skunked", as some of my fellow divers did. 

I dived on a purposely-sunk ship, the "Indra", and a World War II
wreck, the "Caribsea". Both wrecks were loaded with schools of
baitfish. It was difficult to get a photo without these silvery fish
getting into the picture and causing light flashes. Use a long strobe arm
or fiddle with "Photoshop" later to correct this problem. 

One dives off N.C. either to visit historic shipwrecks or see the schooling
sand tiger sharks. The sharks are on wrecks off shore. There were at least
two dozen sharks on or near the "Caribsea" during my trip.
Run-off from the rain made the water above about 65 feet murky, so it was
difficult to take a decent photo of these sharks at a distance. Below 65
feet the water was clearer but also about 5-7 degrees colder--be sure to
wear at least a 2 mm suit, hood, gloves and boots. The ship is falling
apart, with rusted metal all over the places. There was one dark chamber
near the bow. Five sharks cruised around in there but stayed near the
entrance. Why the entrance? My buddy and I saw the reason--the huge fanged
face of a whopping big goliath grouper. 

The "Indra" is covered with a low growth of cold-water coral and
one type of gorgonian. There are lots of spot-tail pinfish, also wrasses,
groupers, bluefish and barred sand bass. There isn't much diversity but
what is there is there in quantity. 

The boat leaves at 7 AM. There is no food on the boat and almost nothing is
open that early, so stock up on the previous day. Water and a head are
aboard. Be sure that your tanks are full and check the nitrox BEFORE the
boat leaves the dock. You can rest in the padded galley or up on the sun
deck between dives. There is a shaded dive deck. The system of down lines
from the boat makes it easy to find the wreck and return, even if a current
is running.

I stayed at the diver's lodge for a few days. Unless you are really short
on cash, I would not recommend it. There is no kitchen in the lodge, nor is
there a sink near the refrigerator and coffee maker. You must use water
from the bathroom unless you bring your own. The refrigerator is jammed
with stuff. There are four bunks to a room but they have no separate
overhead lights or curtains. If you need to get up early or want to hit the
hay, you can be sure that someone will object to the light or lack of it.
Noise carries.  My room temperature was Antarctic. At least the bathrooms
were spacious but I had trouble with no hot water in two showers. 

Would I go back? Maybe. I liked the dive operator and enjoyed the three
dives that I finally got in. I enjoyed going on trips out to the Cape
Lookout lighthouse, offshore banks, the Aquarium and the old historic fort
nearby but others in my group were badly disappointed.
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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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