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Dive Review of Silent World/Bayside Inn in
The Continental USA/Florida Keys - Key Largo

July, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Pat Sinclair, FL, USA
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 3596
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Grand Cayman, Roatan, Jamaica, N Bimini (Bahamas), Curacao, Statia, Cozumel
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
84   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
none - reefs are too shallow for this to be a concern  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 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
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
On boat, tank for cameras not specified to divers, so divers dropping masks
on top cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
3 stars    
I had a couple of days off from work after working 70 hour weeks for the
last month.  I decided to head down to the Florida Keys and get in some
relaxation time and some diving.  I did not manage to get anyone to go with
me as a dive buddy, as my sister Shirley was busy with her husband (imagine
that) and my friend Nancy wanted to spend time with her boyfriend (whats
up with that?) and my husband couldnt get time off to come in from Texas. 
So, I went anyway by myself, determined to dive and have a quiet time.  I
left Tampa at 10AM on Wednesday, July 4th, knowing the traffic would be
light going into the Keys (everyone would have headed there on Wednesday
and I knew I would avoid the horrible traffic jams on US1 thru the
Homestead to Key Largo area.)  I made the drive in 6 hours in pouring down
rain through the Alligator Alley portion of I-75.  Due to the rain, I was
not able to see any gators on the drive down, but I knew the area on
either side of the freeway is full of them.  I arrived in Key Largo and
found my hotel, after stopping off at Divers Direct to purchase an
optional cable for my camera strobe (the other one broke during my last
trip to Roatan.)  I checked into the hotel (Bayside Resort) and found a
place to purchase dinner (a Japanese restaurant located on the hotel
grounds.)  Food was acceptable, nothing I would recommend, but not bad
either.  I called the Dive Shop (Silent World) and confirmed my dives for
the following day, 2 morning and 2 afternoon dives.  
All dives were in less than 35 feet of water and the viz on the reefs was
between 25 and 40 feet on a good day and less than 20 when I dove the
Christ of the Abyss site.  Of course, the dive shop was talking up the viz
as being well over 50 feet, which I knew meant it was less.  As I had no
dive buddy, I ended up having to tag along with others, usually with
someone else who was interested in photography and did not mind a 4th in
their group or a 3rd.  This worked well for all but one dive, and since
that pair was more interested in seeing how fast and far they could go,
rather than slowly cruising the reef, I turned back and joined the dive
instructor who was doing certification dives for two students.  Really glad
I made the choice to do that, since I got to see and interesting thing on
that dive.  In all I did 10 dives in 3 days and thoroughly enjoyed the
peace and quiet of the evenings.  The hotel was not the greatest, and
lacked the old Keys charm  but it was clean and neat, which since I spent
all non-diving time, napping and reading, was pretty important. 
My conclusion  while the reefs in Key Largo are fine, they are not as good
as was my experience in Marathon, further to the south.  On the other hand,
I only saw a small part of the reef system in the Largo area.  I found
Captain Bob to be extremely personable, knowledgeable and helpful.  Kim the
DI was a very likeable young lady who had had the chance to work with the
Discovery Channel when they were filming the Dirty Jobs: episode for Shark
Week that was filmed in the Keys.  I truly enjoyed the diving, it was
peaceful and relaxing and as always you just never know what you will see
or find.

The drive back to Tampa was fairly uneventful and took 5.5 hours.  No rain!
 I saw many, many alligators in the waters on the side of the highway,
referred to as Alligator Alley (I-75 where it goes from Naples to Miami.) 

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