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

The Dive Shack's Wet Dream, Jul, 2006,

by Robert Cecil, SC, USA ( 2 reports). Report 2591.

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
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
UW Photo 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
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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