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Dive Review of The Dive Shack's Wet Dream in
The Continental USA/Pensacola, Fl

July, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Robert Cecil, SC, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 2591
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Carribean, Hawaii, Bahama's, 
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
cloudy  
Seas
choppy  
Water Temp
75   to 95    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
0   to 0    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
135 ft  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
None 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
1 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
Comments
A wash bucket
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
2 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
1 stars   
Advanced
2 stars    
Comments  
Undercurrent News Letter


The USS Oriskany, Pensacola, Florida
The Dive Shacks Wet Dream: July , 29-30 2006

Robert Cecil, 
Pauline, SC 50-100 dives.

Departed Greenville, South Carolina for Pensacola Florida with 20 other
local dive shop members.  Arrived after 7 hour drive to Days Inn,
Pensacola. Accommodations were budget travel. Adequate but less than
average. !970s needing remodeling, with little money to do so, based on
the lack of quality of sheets on the bed. You could watch TV through them
and felt like sand paper. Hotel rooms were assigned by the Dive Shacks Wet
Dream. I was not aware of the full name of the dive shop until I actually
arrived in Pensacola, and it left me feeling a little concerned about their
professional business like aptitude.

We arrived at the dive shop at 5:45am.We all brought our own tanks, gear
and food, so little or no preparations were required by The Dive Shacks
Wet Dream. They required everyone sign a waiver releasing us of any right
to sue and that we were on our own as far as any damages, regardless of the
cause on their boating and professional business trip. They required
everyone to show their C card, as well as rent or wear a safety sausage. 
Gene Ferguson was our Captain, and he gave us a brief after all the gear
was loaded. He told us about the reputation of this new wreck dive, that it
was considered dangerous by the non diving press, but assured us that it
was safe. He briefed us on the use of the last chance line, and that we
would descend the anchor line to the air craft carrier. There were to be
three Dive Masters to join us, and that our max depth would be around
120-130 feet on the first dive. It was to be a three tank dive. They
offered a video of the dive for an extra fee. The briefing went on to
discuss the rubber chicken and rubber cow hanging from the bridge of the
42(?) ft boat. They were hung as reminders to crew that no Whining was
allowed, and by whining, he meant, its hot, its cold, are we there yet, 
So, it was my impression that he was not the type for idle conversation and
general matter of fact discussions. Prior to the briefing, I over heard one
passenger ask how long he had owned to boat. His reply was that he had
owned it for 22 years, but that it had been in the shop or 25 years. The
wreck is located 20 miles off shore, and we were told that it would take
about 2:20 to arrive. Thus we began or departure out of the marina. Our 10
knot headway became tiresome with boats passing us left and right. After
forty minutes , we made open water, but the speed remained the same. At
this point I realized that it was going to really take the full 2:30 hours
to  reach the ship wreck site 20 miles off shore, after we reached open
water, not from the marina. About ten minutes into open water, the boat
stopped and the Captain said that something was wrong with the boat. He
said that he felt something shimmering up top, and sent a diver down to
look at the propeller. To keep a long story short, the problem  was never
resolved and he made the wise decision to return to the boat marina. 

Although it cannot be known when a mechanical malfunction will occur, it
appeared to me that this dive shop was running on a thin dime. It was
apparent that he knew his boat was not in top working order, and that we
are flying (or diving) on a wing and a prayer. He did not seem overly
apologetic, and that this some how seemed to be par for the coarse, another
cancelled dive trip. He did not have a back up plan, so the dive was
aborted and we packed up our gear and departed. A refund was given. We
stopped buy Vortex Springs for a nice dive prior to 7 hour return home
through driving rain through Atlanta.

Pensacola has not been a major dive destination until the placement of the
USS Oriskany. It is apparent that the dive community in this area has not
gotten itself up to speed with the requirements of  cattle boat diving. I
cannot speak on the behalf of other dive shops in the area, as I have not
used them, but I give Captain Ferguson and his screwed up Wet Dream two
thumbs down. 
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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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