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Dive Review of South Florida Diving Headquarters in
The Continental USA

South Florida Diving Headquarters, Oct, 2011,

by Carol Sommers, IL, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6292.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Belize, Bonaire, Curacao, Cozumel, Cayman Islands, Grenada, North Carolina, Sea of Cortez, Lake Michigan, Yap, Palau, The Great Barrier Reef
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 72 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions There were time limits on deep dives, but on the reef you were given a flag and you dived your own profile and they picked you up when you surfaced.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

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

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I was diving with a beginner friend (17 dives) and now she feels very experienced. October has changeable weather and at times we got back onto the boat in 4 foot swells. Whenever possible this company goes out and even phoned us to let us know a dive was going out despite the rain. Wind and choppy seas are what determines whether a dive is possible or not. Wrecks were visited by going down a tied-on line and at one site (Captain Dan) the current (tide going out) was so strong I wrapped myself around the line with the current to my back so my regulator stayed in and arms wouldn't be pulled out at the sockets. The wreck (at 100 feet) was the best I ever saw even though there weren't many fish except a magnificent midnight parrot. The current on it was minimal. Non-wreck dives were drifts.

A calmer dive was Sunkist on the third reef where we floated with a mild current and saw a large school of spadefish. Grouper Bend had trunkfish, fireworms, a spotted drum and highhat among others. The Aqua Zoo wreck provided a five-foot long goliath grouper (highlight of trip) and a same-size barracuda, a swimming moray, and another massive one with his body half in the wreck.

Some other species seen over a period of 12 dives were Spanish hogfish, rock beauties, porcupine fish, honeycomb filefish, French Angels, porkfish, black margates, queen angels, scrawled filefish, spotted trunkfish, spotted moray, scorpionfish, lobsters (there were hunters with us since it was the season), balloonfish, lizardfish, viper moray and a massive Florida horse conch.

One problem is that unless you attach your own reel to it, it takes a long time to unwind the cord from your dive flag and if there is a strong current, you may not end up where you should be on the bottom. On one dive I was given a small tank (67) because an earlier research group had used up all the tanks. When I complained that I had to shorten my dive, the owner did not charge me for the dive. If you plan to do a two-tank morning dived followed by the two-tank afternoon one, you will need to stay by the dock. There's a restaurant nearby, but bringing a pack lunch is better. We were pretty exhausted at the end of that day; somehow, diving constantly on a liveaboard is easier than land-based.

With 16 pounds of integrated weights and being a senior citizen, the crew was very helpful in helping me up the ladder by pulling on the tank. Passing up weights or floating a bc is much too difficult for all concerned when the water is rough. An advantage of unpredictable weather is that there were no crowds and although they usually only go out with a 4-person minimum, the day that the other couple was a no-show day they took out the two of us,(especially since we had missed dives due to weather.) When picking us up from drift dives, the boat was expertly manoeuvered to put the ladder right in front of us. It certainly was a fun way to use up a timeshare week.
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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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