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Dive Review of Splashdown Divers in
The Continental USA/Boynton Beach, FL

May, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Monty Chandler, NC, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 4141
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Great Barrier Reef, Belize, Hawaii, Curacoa, Roatan, St. Vincent, St.
Kitts, Saba, Cozumel
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
75   to 77    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
60 minute dive time  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
There is a dry spot to put your camera for the 10 minute boat ride out to
the reefs, but nothing needed other than that.  Crew handled the camera
hand-offs very well.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
4 stars    
Am I in the Caribbean?? Well, no I guess not - but it sure seems like it.
In fact I'm about a mile off the beaches of Boynton Beach Florida diving
with Splashdown Divers. 

With our next Caribbean trip scheduled for June to Bonaire, we decided to
take a drive down to Florida and dive the reefs we had heard about around
West Palm Beach. Based purely on feedback that the reefs were a little
shallower on the southern end, we decided on Boynton Beach. The scuba
boards had positive things to say about Splashdown Divers, so we booked our
two days of diving with them. 

The scubaboard contributors were spot on - once again. Splashdown Divers
run a smooth, professional operation. It is fair to say that the boat feels
crowded if it's booked full (which over Memorial Day weekend it was). Turns
out this really isn't an issue - let me explain. You set up your gear while
the boat is at the dock. You get ready while the boat is at the dock.
There's about a 10-15 minute boat ride out to the reef. The diving is drift
diving and you go in groups of about 4-5 people. You float a dive flag for
each group so the boat captain knows where you are and you do your own
dive. They ask that you keep the dive to an hour maximum so the groups can
be picked up in a timely manner - this also limits the distance separation
between the groups. As the dive depths were in the 15-18 meter range, an
hour was about the right time. If a couple of you need to surface a little
earlier than the rest of the group - no problem, just follow the line up to
the flag. I highly recommend that you have a safety sausage with you
because if you get separated from the person holding the flag, you'll want
a way to insure that the boat captain sees you when you surface and there's
a bit of chop in the water! (Not to mention the fishing boats) So other
than the few minutes you're on the boat there really isn't much of a crowd.
I found the diving to be very relaxing. Another observation is that
Splashdown appears to have a significant local business. This translated
into experienced divers who knew the boats routine. I didn't see the usual
caribbean "tourist diver".

What truly surprised me was the health of the reef and the abundance of
marine life. When I look at my photo's I see the same types of life that I
see from my Caribbean trips. The reef was amazingly healthy with
brilliantly colored sponges, sea plumes/rods and healthy coral formations.
There were schools of diverse fish life. There was also abundant
macro-life. Everything from Jawfish to Slender Filefish to cleaner shrimp
to tobaccofish. Many of the species often seen throughout the caribbean
destinations were plentiful. 

We also saw a 300 pound loggerhead turtle taking a snooze (a first for me)
and we saw a 12 foot Sawfish resting in the sand next to the reef (also a
first for me)!!! Since I was shooting with a 100mm macro lens this trip the
photo's of these two are limited - but they exist. Proof of the Sawfish was
a must!! I took two and had to stitch them together - just to get a
headshot! What a sight..

We'll definitely be back to this area to do some more diving. Next trip
we'll probably go towards Jupiter to see the northern part of the reef -
but no doubt we'll also be back to Boynton Beach and we'll dive with
Splashdown Divers again.
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