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Dive Review of Rainbowreef/Ramada Inn in
The Continental USA/Islamorada, Florida Keys

Rainbowreef/Ramada Inn, Jul, 2008,

by Jon, MD, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 4289.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Bermuda, Morehead City, NC., Bahamas, Mexico, Ft. Lauderdale.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 84 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 1hr time limit, 500psi, no wet suit needed in summer months.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Boat provided a camera bucket, no dry table or recharging station. Understandable- day charter.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This is my third annual trip to the keys. I must say I love it. Good weather, good food, diving is above par and destination is still in USA. This is my second year with Rainbowreef dive center. They have a location in Key Largo and Islamorada. DJ runs a good business and nice website (rainbowreef.us). One of the only shops in town that provide a guide free of charge. Guide allows my group to concentrate on photos not navigation. Capt. Dan was a good host. We had a group of six and had chartered our own boat (Tropical Explorer) for 6 dives. Islamorda diving is all shallow. If you hit 40 feet you brought a shovel. Shallow dives allowed for bottom times to exceed 1hr. Capt. Dan and DM were cool since it was our own boat. Saw more sharks, eels, and turtles then ever before. We also saw twin squids, twin Ramora, sea spiders, scorpian fish, giant grouper, sting rays, southern sting rays, barcuda, and all the small reef fish you can name. My group saw more then six or seven nurse sharks, a reef shark, and a bull shark. Green and spotted eels and hawksbill turtles. One juveinle turtle let us photo him for more then 5 minutes. Sites included Hamerhead, Davis, Patch A, The Aquarium. Bigfoot, Camile/Rocky2, and Hens and Chickens. WE stayed at the Ramada Inn in Key Largo (set uo through Rainbowreef). Typical hotel with ok free continental breakfast. Pool and hot tub at the Holiday Inn (next door) are nice and available to Ramada guests. Company is laid back and sponsors an internship program. Air fills were 3000 psi most of the time. Boat offers bottled water and cookies during SI. Boat is equipted with O2, life jackets, marine radio, and coast guard approved. Cell Phones work from dive site as well. Food in the area is great not overpriced. Try Hobos and Chilly Willies- good sandwiches and wings. I prefer the summer months as opposed to the winter months in reference to diving. Can easily get blown out in the winter months. Vis. averaged 50-60 feet but on Hens and Chicken dropped to about 20 feet. Hens would be a really cool dive if it would have been better vis.
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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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