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Dive Review of Aquanut's/Kelly's On The Bay in
The Continental USA/Key Large

Aquanut's/Kelly's On The Bay, Jan, 2004,

by Leslie and Michael Bardelli, CT, USA . Report 1351.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Kelly’s on the Bay in Key Largo Florida is a Motel that is no frills. The rooms are small but fully functional. Each room has a small fridge, coffee pot and microwave. All their rooms are different, each with a different bed configuration. Some have kitchens, a few have porches and a couple overlook the bay. They offer a continental breakfast each morning. There are 2 grocery stores close by and plenty of great restaurants in the area.
We stayed at Kelly’s for 6 nights while diving with Aquanut’s and were fully satisfied with the accommodations. No bells and whistles, but clean, comfortable rooms. We were happy enough that we have booked another trip to Key Largo and will be staying with them again.

Aquanut’s is a very well run, safety conscious organization. They use the DAN tag system to keep track of the divers on board the boats. You set up your gear on the dock and they load your BC and tank on the boat while you wait on the shore. You bring the rest of your gear on board during roll call. They do a verbal roll call between the 2 dives and then the final roll call involves returning the DAN Tag. All tags must be back in the box before the boat leaves for shore.

They have 2 boats that are large and open with a rinse tank for cameras. There is a dry storage area up front, but it does not stay dry in the rain. Boats have a marine head as well as fresh water showers. Platform on the back for Giant Stride entries and 2 ladders to get back on board. The boats also have a jug with fresh water for drinking and a cooler that you are free to put drinks or snack in.

They do a general briefing prior to departure. A briefing about the boat and it operation during your ride out and then a site briefing on arrival. The Captain and DM stay on board the boat. Site briefing includes max depth and time to be back on the boat. They do The Duane and Spiegel Grove each once a week. You must be advanced certified, have a dive computer and go no deeper than 100 Ft on the wrecks. The rest of the diving is shallow reefs, 30 – 40 Ft. The boats generally leave for 2 tank boat dives twice a day, 8 AM and 1 PM. The morning dives seem to be more popular when we were there. Beware, there is a minimum number of divers for the boats to run and we did see the afternoon dive get cancelled because of not enough divers. The boat ride to sites is generally 45 minutes. Surface Interval is usually short even after a deep dive. On the second dive you are shallow enough that you are really not limited by NDL, but by the time they set. You can do both AM and PM dives. The boats are back in time and they bring a cell phone and a menu of Hobo’s Restaurant so that those who are doing both dives can order lunch and once back at the dock, just walk out a grab your meal and pay at the restaurant. (Hobo’s is a great restaurant that is just outside the Motel complex.)

Overall, we had a great experience. We enjoyed the diving as well as the staff. Everyone was very helpful. Steve (Instructor/DM) was always happy to give us restaurant suggestions as well as advice on places to go and things to see.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Jamacia, Grand Cayman, Roatan x5, Northern US Coast
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 70-72°F / 21-22°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30-60 Ft/ 9-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth, Time limit and back with 500 PSI.
On wreck dives must ascend and descend using mooring line due to possible current.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Each boat has a rinse tank for cameras only. Otherwise nothing special for photographers. Boats open, no real dry place for battery or film changes.
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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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