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Dive Review of Rainbow Reef Dive Center in
The Continental USA/Key Largo, FL

May, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Amy Dement, CT, US (2 reports)
Report Number 6095
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Australia, Caribbean, Belize, Bonaire, Turks Caicos, Grand Cayman, Palau,
Truk, Yap, Cozumel, Yucatan cenotes, Florida springs/rivers
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
81   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
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):
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
Just wanted to post a few words about my experience with this outfit.  Was
passing through Key Largo, solo, and decided to dive one of the wrecks that
I'd heard about.  This had some significance for me because about 25 years
ago I had been in Key Largo with my dad, who has since passed away, and my
first experience snorkeling was on a trip with him on one of those
glass-bottomed boats.  The moment I saw the reef and all the underwater
life my mind was completely blown and I knew in that moment that I would be
certified for scuba some day.  Now, 25 years and more than 200 dives all
over the world later, I was in Key Largo again.  I called Ocean Divers
first but they wanted $50 extra to put a divemaster in the water, otherwise
they would just "pair me up with someone on the boat."  I've had
some not-so-good experiences with that scenario, and while I don't
necessarily need babysitting underwater, as a solo diver I'd just as soon
be with the divemaster than with someone of uncertain ability/dive
attitude.  So I called Rainbow Reef, where the divemaster is

For the first dive, we dove the USS Bibb in a screaming current, which I am
led to understand is unusual for that area--about what I had encountered as
the norm when I dove the Yongala off Australia a number of years ago.  The
payoff was that for our second dive we got to do a drift dive, courtesy of
that same current, on Molasses Reef (what the guides nicknamed
"Slo-Mo"), also unusual as I understand.  I liked Rainbow Reef's
stellar customer service so much (no attitudes!; help with my tanks when I
needed it, content to let me do my own thing when I didn't)that I stayed an
extra day to dive with them again, a mellow reef dive this time, much like
that first snorkel with my dad. You know, Florida is not necessarily known
for its mind-blowing coral or gigantic pelagics or anything compared to
some of the South Pacific diving I've done, but it was a nice mellow dive
on French Reef, and a great reminder of why we get into scuba diving in the
first place.  I had a great time with these guys; Divemaster Madison is
very knowledgeable about the area and has made it a point to educate
herself about the reefs beyond the immediate area.  Owner Bill Findley
seems to really care about each customer's experience and about putting out
a quality operation and there is no "cattle boat" mentality.
Can't remember the names of the other crew but they were all great. Highly
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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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