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Dive Review of Subway Water Sports/Palmetto Bay in

Subway Water Sports/Palmetto Bay, Nov, 2006,

by Dennis Lewis, ca, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 3253.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments The rain (off and on) and wind kept us on the south side of the island. Over the week, we saw very few fish over a few inches. No sharks, rays or turtles. We did find at least one eel on each dive – two that were in the open.

Prince Albert (just off shore from CoCo View) is a beautiful wreck. Structurally, it is still in very good shape. That said, it has been down just long enough to get a nice layer of growth and a lot of crabs and fish to call it home. Many good macro opportunities. We had the site to ourselves for about 10 minutes. Then IT happened. I won’t say from where they came, but come they did. 15 or more divers hit all at once. Most had a camera in hand. We watched as they grabbed on to the wreck to steady for a shot of a shrimp or crab, full hands crushing what ever was there. Between the fin kicks, hand holds and simply rubbing up against the boat, the silt soon resembled a sand storm. If that were not bad enough, one of their dive leaders would not stop banging on his/her tank in an effort to herd the group around and around the site. In 15 minutes or so, they were gone. What had been teaming with life, now looked like a brown cloud. We surfaced to see their boat heading in. I guess they were late for lunch.

Mary’s Place is a must because it is so unique. However, Valley of the Kings also had a nice cut and much more fish life. Just watch out for all of the fire worms and hunting eels.

Subway Watersports is a tale of pros and cons. On the pro side, they have a fast, small boat that gets you out there quickly. Note that there is really no shade or place to put your camera on these boats. They let you dive your computer. The boat captain was friendly and always ready to lend a hand getting us geared up or to grab a weight pouch to help us back on the boat. The DM and three DM’s in training were all very friendly and helpful. We never had a “cattle boat” feeling.

As to the cons, well, safety was a concern. Of our group of 7, 3 were relatively new to the sport (for one, these were his first post-certified dives). The general rule was that the DM (or DM in training) would take us out along a wall or such, and then back to the area around the boat. This would cover maybe 30 minutes. A wave and then they were gone. For 4 of us, this was fine except then we became the leaders of the other 3. Since we were all one group, there was no complaint. What if we were not traveling together? A DM should at least be in the water to watch over divers who are at the location for the first time. Let us dive at our own slow pace so that we can enjoy the beauty of the sea, but for safety at least one DM should be down there. Liquid Blue of Cozumel and Dive Makai of Hawaii come to mind as great examples of small shops run by people who clearly love to dive and take the safety of their employers (the divers) seriously – a DM is always in the water. Subway has half of that equation solved. Of course it could always be worse. There is the alternative that many California dive boats take – we’ll get you there, but after that it’s up to you.

Lastly there was the issue of equipment. A couple in our group rented some equipment. In general, it was in poor shape. One BCD had a small leak in the inflator hose. They traded it out no problem. Except that the “new” one failed completely. Luckily it was near the end of the dive because the free flowing inflator drained his tank in short order. Again, luckily, his buddy was experienced and calm enough to share her air and do the safety stop.

We did one dive with Waihuka - a shark feed. Very safe. They get 4 stars.

Palmetto Bay is terrific eco friendly resort. These are single family homes, not hotel rooms. Each house on the property is different. My group split into two houses, each had three bedrooms, two baths, full kitchen, laundry and living area. A beautiful deck surrounded half the house. The furnishing and kitchen appliances were all first class. Each night we fell asleep to the sounds of the surf. Very, very reasonable prices. Note that the bar and restaurant always, and I mean always, had problems figuring out the tab. Don’t even try to pay as you go. Just let them add it all up at the end of your stay. Bar has a satellite TV. Very good food. They even brought in a turkey from Tampa Bay for Thanksgiving.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Cayman, Cozumel, Yap, Palau, Hawaii, California
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy Seas choppy
Water Temp 75-79°F / 24-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-80 Ft/ 9-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments No fresh water on boat or on shore.
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