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

June, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by George Connaughton, GA, USA (1 report)
Report Number 3427
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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

Water Temp
72   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
1 stars
1 stars
Service and Attitude
1 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
1 stars    
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
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
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
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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