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Dive Review of Underwater Explorers/Marriott Courtyard Boynton Beach in
The Continental USA/Boynton Beach, FL

Underwater Explorers/Marriott Courtyard Boynton Beach, May, 2010,

by Cameron Cole, GA, US ( 2 reports). Report 5467.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 0-25 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 73 to 75 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25 to 35 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Group was to surface when a diver reached 700 PSI. Before the dive we were given the option to surface with a buddy when one of us reached 700 PSI but we dove the boat as a single group.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments It is a real treat to dive with Kevin (the owner and dive master) from Underwater Explorers. He is quite well known by the locals that dive with frequency in Boynton Beach and his business is almost completely word of mouth and repeat customers. He has one boat that is very well laid out and quite roomy so you never feel like you are bumping into other divers while getting geared up. To exit the boat you can roll off or step off and getting on is easy with the very large ladder and helpful crew. They are a smaller team that customizes the dive experience to the skill level of the divers and will help you as much or as little as you need. Diving with Kevin feels like you are diving with a trusted friend more so than a babysitter.

Water conditions were poor for this time of year as was the chop and temperature at about 4-5 degrees colder than average. Kevin allowed us to make the decision to go or not each day as the sea was choppier than usual at around 2-4 feet. If you want to go, he will take you so long as he feels it is safe to do so.

Upon arrival at the dock, Kevin and crew helped load our gear on board as well as help with the setup. When we arrived another dive charter mentioned seeing a very rare in these waters great white that had been seen recently by others on a few occasions. Kevin mentioned it was probably the colder than average water temps bringing him in. The diving is drift diving and we stayed on two well known reefs at 60' on the first dive and 50' on the second. Right where we descended on the first dive we bumped into a turtle laying on the bottom seemingly unaware of the large divers circling it. As we progressed to the ridge an abundance of scroll coral, sponges, pagoda, etc were in abundance with the usual fish you expect to see in the area. Plenty of macro life including a variety of shrimp and some anemones. We didn't catch glimpse of any particularly larger fish either dive. Morays were in abundance and Kevin pointed out the unusual as we went along including one moray with a head easily as large as my own stuffed under a ledge. The second dive site was pretty but quite a bit of hair algae which is uncommon in the area and a recent visitor in this quantity. After we surfaced on each dive, the boat swung around and picked up the divers at their location so all-in-all about as relaxing as it can get. Between dives we saw plenty of dolphins breach and jump which was a nice treat.

The second day we planned to do a wreck dive where the goliath grouper is known to haunt. Due to rougher seas we opted not to go and instead sat at the local restaurant next door to Kevin's boat. Kevin and a diver from his morning dive joined us for several hours of good eating and story telling. They had a great hammerhead 10'-12' swim between them on the reef that we dove the day earlier and I was certainly a bit envious of missing that experience. Kevin pointed to a friends nose and stated that is how close he was to the shark.

Being a beginner diver, I can't really speak to the quality of the experienced diving but Kevin has been diving these reefs a long time and will likely show a quality experience regardless of the size of your log book.

For those that don't know Boynton Beach is about as good as it gets for continental US diving as the gulf stream comes around and hits that little section of Florida with some warmer than usual. This creates a nice section of reefs by comparison to the rest of the Florida coast and its only competition is probably Key Largo.
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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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