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Dive Review of BlueWater Divers of Key Largo in
The Continental USA/Key Largo, FL

BlueWater Divers of Key Largo, Nov, 2005,

by Chuck Donaldson, OR, USA . Report 2157.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Blue Water Divers (BWD) is a two man operation which runs out of its berthing area at the Key Largo Marina next to the Holiday Inn. The “office” is a kiosk at parking lot level and can be found easily by its sign and proximity to the “African Queen” display.

Web savvy divers are well served by making contact with Brent Hilliard by email ( or the phone numbers listed on their web page ([ link]). We set up our trip and Nitrox instruction via email in advance and everything turned out exactly as promised.

BWD set up our accommodations at the Marina Del Mar which were provided at the agreed upon good price and proved to be exactly as advertised. Proximity to BWD’s boat was a plus, meaning that we didn’t have to drive to diving, but could get breakfast and walk to the boat conveniently.

The Diving: Because groups are small (nor more than 10 and more frequently 4-6 folks) where you go and what you dive can be both flexible and interesting. We dove with two other divers and were able to agree on where to go and what kind of dives we wanted very easily. Brent Hilliard dove with us, not as a divemaster, but as a fellow diver which made for great diving. Folks who have dived Key Largo before will find that a pleasant contrast with the general site brief, throw you off the boat, style practiced by some of the large operators. Brent’s site briefs were detailed and provided plenty of information for you to plan your dive. We met him on a couple of the wrecks we dove and he was able to point out interesting features (a pair of 7 foot Bull Sharks) on the fly. We came away from 3 days of diving with a very positive experience. We dove Spiegel Grove twice, Duane twice and Bibb.

My son and I wanted to qualify and dive Nitrox. We set up instruction in advance and were greeted on the first morning by an excellent instructor. After passing the required exam, we went down to Ocean Divers to pick up our tanks. The instructor walked us through testing and documenting our tanks. We rented our tanks and moved them to the boat. As the week progressed and all of us on the boat wanted to dive Nitrox, BWD made arrangements for us to pick up tanks at the Ocean Divers dock on the way out rather than having to get them on our own. That provided for cost savings and convenient access to Nitrox.

The Boat: BlueWater Diver is a Coast Guard inspected thirty foot custom open transom dive vessel. We found it comfortable and fast. The porta-pot is probably best saved for emergencies since some rigging is required. Electronics appear up to date and the boat briefing is well done. Captain Glen Marvel gets you to the dive site quickly and skillfully. Folks from the Pacific Northwest are sometimes surprised to find out that not every location is non-smoking. On BlueWater Diver, the Captain smoked on the boat as did other divers. It was not a big problem, but was certainly not what we were used to.

Summary: Good operator, dive where you want to dive, Highly Recommended.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Channel Islands, Hawaii, Roatan, Pacific Northwest
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 74-78°F / 23-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30-70 Ft/ 9-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We dived our computers. No other limits imposed
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Fresh water bucket for cameras
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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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