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

September, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Jack Kelly, FL, USA
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 5186
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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

choppy, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 89    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
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
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
Crew very protective of cameras and photographers.  Camera tank on board.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
1 stars   
5 stars    
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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Diving Guide to The Continental USA
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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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