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Dive Review of Subtropic Dive Center in
The Continental USA/Key West - Vandenberg

Subtropic Dive Center, Sep, 2009,

by Jack Kelly, FL, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 5186.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean. Hawaii, Mexico, Micronesia, etc., etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 82 to 89 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Varies depending on experience but generally stay under 120 feet. Back on deck with at least 500. Dive own profile with computer and Advanced certification.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Crew very protective of cameras and photographers. Camera tank on board.

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The Vandenberg is just one awesome wreck. Subtropic does a "double-dip" two-tank dive with a long surface interval to off-gas in-between. Plan on as many dives as you can do because you'll only see a tiny slice of this 524 foot wreck on each dive. The radar dishes are just incredible to see under water and the growth on the wreck is really quite amazing considering its just been down a couple of months. Subtropic has a very friendly and laid back dive crew while very professional and safety-conscious. Divemasters James, Randy, Jack, Jesse and captain Shane are all happy and friendly people and very competent and experienced. Divers without Advanced certifications have to take a guide with them but no age restrictions as with some other dive op's in Key West. And, frankly, taking a guide is advisable if it's your first or second dive on the wreck, regardless of certification level. Currents can be challenging but, when they are, use the wreck for a shield and the railings to pull yourself along. Great penetration access into holds and stairwells and always daylight to swim to once you're inside. Subtropic's loads are usually less than 8 or 10 people, so no cattle. It's going to be fun seeing this wreck get taken over by the sea.
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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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