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Dive Review of Scuba-Do Dive Charters/Best Western Suites in
The Continental USA/Key Largo

Scuba-Do Dive Charters/Best Western Suites, Oct, 2004,

by Curt & Kathy Hofer, MI, USA . Report 1878.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Grand Cayman Island, Belize, Curacao, Catalina Island
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

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

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We are quite surprised that we haven’t seen more reviews for Scuba-Do Dive Charters in the Chap Book. Perhaps those that have gone before us have decided to make sure it remains their little secret.

Scuba-Do is essentially a two-person operation. Tony Stewart is the boat’s captain and Laurie Volpe is the first mate. They conduct business right from the boat. Laurie is the point of contact for scheduling your dives and she can make reservations for you at a variety of local hotels at discounted rates. Quality gear is available for rent.

The Best Western Suites, recommended by Laurie after a discussion of our lodging preferences, was a good value. The rooms are townhouse style with a common area, full bath, kitchenette, and balcony downstairs, and a good-sized bedroom with full bath upstairs. There was adequate closet space in which to stash our clothes and dive gear. They have a small pool that was well kept. The room rate includes a continental breakfast.

The Scuba-Do is outfitted specifically for diving. It has both open and covered areas with a reasonable amount of space to move around in. It has a camera table and a good-sized fresh water rinse bucket. The boat has a head and a rinse hose is available with a limited supply of warm water. One feature we really liked was the tank retention clips that held the tanks securely in place by the bottom 1/3 of the cylinder. This allows a double strap BC to be slipped over the top and secured without the risks and inconvenience associated with dislodging the tank – a blessing on rougher days. Ten divers can be accommodated conveniently but during October business can be slow and we went out each day with 3 to 5 divers. Entry was a giant stride off a platform at the stern; return to the boat was via a stem ladder back up to the platform. In general we loaded and set-up our own gear.

The Scuba-Do policy regarding site selection is the first group to book the boat chooses the dive sites, subject to water conditions. They are one of the first boats out to the dive sights each morning so they are usually able to get the prime moorings. Safety and dive briefings, given by Tony, are thorough and both Tony and Laurie are up to date on the latest interesting critter sightings: our first trip into the water yielded a visiting reef shark that had been discussed during the briefing.

The number and variety of fish, coral, sponges, and other reef creatures found throughout the Pennekamp Marine park is outstanding. Color and abundance are the watchwords. Most dives do not exceed 40 feet in depth so long bottom times are the rule.
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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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