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

Silent World/Bayside Inn, Jul, 2007,

by Pat Sinclair, FL, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 3596.

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

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 84 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
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
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments On boat, tank for cameras not specified to divers, so divers dropping masks on top cameras.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 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 3 stars
Comments 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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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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