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Dive Review of SCUBA-Do & HMS Minnow/Holiday Isle in
The Continental USA

October, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Eric Lavonas, NC, USA
Report Number 807
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Cayman, Provo, Australia, Bimini, Bermuda, USVI, BVI, Florida
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
SCUBA-Do: 60 minutes & 500 PSI. Computer required on USS Spiegel Grove.
HMS Minnow: 500 PSI.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Separate camera table & rinse bucket
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
3 days of diving in Key Largo - 2 with SCUBA-Do, 1 with HMS Minnow.

SCUBA-Do: Boat accomodates 16 divers but carries max 10. Excellent physical
layout. Laurie is enthusiastic to a fault - make sure you have logbook w/
deep dives if you want to dive local wrecks with SCUBA-Do! Excellent site
briefings. Tony and Laurie are quietly safety-conscious and do lots of
little things to keep things smooth. Extremely professional outfit. Highly
recommend diving on the Spiegel Grove, but get there early to avoid crowds.
(SCUBA-Do leaves 30 mins earlier than other boats for this reason.)

HMS Minnow: Much smaller boat (6 divers max). Dove the Duane - an even
better site than Spiegle Grove b/c it's upright. We had 4 divers - it would
have been a little tight with a full boat. Jeff Jarvis is laid-back and
efficient. Nice little touches like oranges between dives & beverages
(water, soda, & beer) for the ride home.

We liked both operations a lot, and recommend both without hesitation.
Definately good to avoid the cattle boats & dive with these guys.

Holiday Isle resort (Islamorada): Rooms OK, resort overall a bit shabby.
Tiki-bar was loud and a bit of a meat-market. At least on the weekend, it's
not the place to sip beers in peace. Ollie's restaurant mediocre food &
service. Overall 2 stars.

Safety/courtesy problem observed: Another dive boat (Silent World) moored
right on top of the bubbles of our divers doing their safety stop on the
Spiegel Grove. When our captain politely pointed this out and asked Silent
World to shorten their mooring line for the safety of his divers, the
captain of Silent World refused and became visibly angry & profane.
Would absolutely avoid Silent World.
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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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