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Dive Review of Olympus Dive Center in
The Continental USA/Outer Banks, NC

Olympus Dive Center, Jun, 2007,

by George Connaughton, GA, USA ( 1 report with 1 Helpful vote). Report 3427 has 1 Helpful vote.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Austrailia, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, USVI, Aruba, Playa Del Carmen, Cabo San Lucas, Key West, Mexican Cenotes
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 72 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 1 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 1 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 1 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments I'll lead off by saying that this was probably my worst diving experience in the 12 years since I've been certified - so much so that I felt compelled to write my first-ever review to warn others of this dive operation.
We dove with Olympus Dive Center in Morehead City, NC hoping to see the much-hyped U-352 (a German U-Boat that was sunk off the coast here during WWII). The original (possibly still current) owner of Olympus is actually the person that discovered and first dove this wreck dive of local fame a few decades ago. In the dive shop, there is no shortage of U-352 t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, stickers, posters, and other such items for sale advertising the U-boat. There are several display cases in the store with items salvaged from the wreck - Nazi china, old pictures of sailors and families, and other Nazi WWII artifacts. Needless to say, I was there to see the U-boat. When I booked the 2-tank dive (for which I was charged $155.56), I asked the person manning the desk (also a diver and part of the crew depending on the day) if the itinerary for the day I was booking was to include U-352 for sure. He said "well, it probably does, but there was no way to know for sure beforehand". I was a little surprised, as the U-boat seemed to be the big tourist drawing factor around there, so I asked what the chances were that I would see the U-boat for $155. He said that because it looks like the boat would be light on divers (only about half full of the approx 25 total capacity), that we could talk to the crew in the morning and "just all decide together on where we would go".
Well, that was dead wrong. When we boarded the boat in the morning, I asked one of the crew members if we would be diving the U-boat. He informed me that the itinerary was already planned, and we would NOT be diving the U-Boat. No discussion. No vote. No matter than we were only a small number of passengers. And no matter that we would almost pass directly OVER the damn U-Boat on the way to one of the lame wrecks we were scheduled to dive. I was understandably disappointed, but assumed we would dive interesting wrecks regardless.
Not the case.
Even worse, the boat ride to the sites was a VERY WET TWO HOURS EACH WAY. Long, but not horrible if the boat ride is pleasant. But this had to be the most uncomfortable and WETTEST boat ride I've ever experienced. We had sunny skies, and a nice top deck that would have been great for enjoying the ride. However, in only mildly choppy waters, there was absolutely nowhere you could sit or stand on this boat (even on the top deck) that was safe from intense water-soakings every 10 seconds. Not mild misting. Think of an amusement park water-log ride that splashes you when you come down the hill - then repeat that every 10 seconds for 2 hours. Both ways. The only dry place was down below.
And to top it all off, at least half of the divers on the boat (crew included) were spear-fishing during the dives. No one told me that I would be diving on a spear-fishing trip. On a dive trip where I was cheated out of seeing the "main attraction" for which I paid dearly, endured a 2-hour soak fest on an uncomfortable tug-boat, and then treated to two rather boring wreck dives with a very limited amount interesting fish to begin with, I was not happy to see the few interesting fish there were skewered right in front of me. I have nothing against spear-fishing per se, but having people spear fish all around you (especially when you were not informed prior to booking the trip) really takes the enjoyment out of it if you're looking to experience underwater nature and the scenic aspect of the dive. Combining divers who are there to experience underwater life and scenery with spear fishers - without any sort of courtesy warning - is disrespectful of your clients...especially when you're charging them over $150 for a 2-tank dive. I now know to ask this question on every future dive.
In summary, if you want to see the U-Boat 352 in Morehead city (and have an enjoyable dive in the process), I would highly advise avoiding Olympus Dive Center. And for whichever other dive shop you may choose, I would definitely ask questions up-front to confirm that you will for CERTAIN see the U-Boat (if that's what you're there to see). Also ask about spear fishing by fellow divers on your boat, as well how "wet" the 2-hour boat ride is in their particular boat. Hopefully your trip will be better than mine was.
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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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