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Dive Review of So. Florida Diving Headquarters/Sands Marina Hotel in
The Continental USA/Pampano Beach, FL

March, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Marjorie Griffing, GA, USA
Reviewer   (6 reports)
Report Number 3966
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Great Lakes, Bermuda, Cozumel, Bonaire, Florida Keys,
St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Grand Cayman
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, surge  
Water Temp
75   to 75    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
25   to 35    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
45 minutes max, depths to 35 feet  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
1 stars    
We booked a boat that could hold no more than 12 divers and was to go to a
wreck to 60 feet and then to a 30-40 ft drift dive.  We showed up at their
offices at the Sands Marina and were asked if we planned do dive.  When we
said yes, we were told the afternoon boats left from another location.  No
one told us this when we booked.  When we arrived at the other location,
they told us there were not enough divers to run the trip we had booked. 
Instead, we were assigned to a boat holding about 40 people, 30 of whom
were snorkelers.  There was no attempt to contact us before hand (we have
VOIP - there is no record of a call.)  The divers were assigned to spots in
the back in the corners where it was impossible to set up gear and get
geared up.  The first dive was to 35 feet.  We came up with 1800 PSI after
45 minutes - the max time limit.  The second dive averaged about 11 feet. 
We had 2000 PSI left.  Had we known this was the profile, we would have
only needed one tank each, not the two we paid for.  They charged for
weights.  The crew was no help.  They rushed us off the boat, rushed us to
switch over our tanks between dives because we "only have 5
minutes."  Dive briefings were of no use - no description of the
topography or suggestions of where to look for things or how to navigate
the site.  The only reason to book with this outfit is that they are the
only outfit going out on a Friday afternoon.  The bait and switch tactic
was not appreciated.  If you book with them, be aware that you likely will
not get what is advertised.  We've confirmed with others that this is a
common practice of this operation.

We did see two nurse sharks and a large eel, but that didn't make up for
the lack of consideration for the divers.
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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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