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Dive Review of Conch Republic/Ocean Pointe in
The Continental USA/Tavernier, Fla. Keys

Conch Republic/Ocean Pointe, Oct, 2009,

by Dawn Steedman, Fla, USA (Top Contributor Top Contributor 33 reports). Report 5135.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Palm Bch., Key Largo, Bonaire, Barbados, St. Thomas, Grand Turk, Cozumel, Hawaii, Belize, Caymans, Roatan.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 85 to 87 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Come back with 500 psi or at one hour.
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 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large rinse tank and table for cameras.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We drove over from the west coast of Fla, and were able to check into our room at the Ocean Pointe before noon due to the slow time of the year. Our room was an attractively decorated 2 bedrm/ 2 bath unit with a sofa sleeper in the living room, full kitchen, washer and dryer, and small balcony with a water view. We dove with Conch Republic Divers last year for the wreck trek - diving the Bibb, Eagle, & Spiegel Grove - and had a great time. These dives would be different. Our son, Quinn, came down from Atlanta with our 16 yr. old recently cert. grandson, Josh - also along was our 13 year old grandson, Christian, who has close to 50 dives. Josh had 30 minute dives logged in his book, so we hired a guide (they charge to put a crew member in the water). Jennifer turned out to be a great help, taking him back to the boat when he was low on air, while we completed our hour long dives both days.
The friendly, likeable, crew is as we remembered them. The roomy 46' Newton has fresh shower heads and shampoo on board. After helping us on with the gear, a roll call was taken, and a boat and safety briefing given. The five of us were the only divers on the 46' boat the first day, and we headed out to Alligator Reef,(which we had requested when we made the reservation) for the first dive, and Patch AB for the 2nd.(AB Patch had a line you could follow from the first patch reef to the second.) Both were prolific sites with large green and spotted morays,Blue striped grunts, angels, lobsters, mating nurse sharks under a ledge, midnight and rainbow parrots, and all the rest of the gang. Fans, gorgonians, and sponges are everywhere here. The second site had the addition of a green turtle and 3 nurse sharks cruising by. We handed our fins up to the crew, and they welcomed everyone back, helped them to their seats, and made sure everyone had a good dive. There is fresh drinking water, but no snacks on board, so we brought fruit and peanut crackers along. The crew helps take gear off the boat, and there are 2 large fresh water rinse tanks for gear. There are large rolling racks complete with wetsuit and BC hangers to hang the gear overnight, and the gear bags can be stored inside. We headed back to the Ocean Pointe unencumbered, and enjoyed there large swimming pool for the next hour and a half. We then headed to Islamorada for dinner at Lazy Days. The restaurant has good food and overlooks the water (make a res. for an outside table before sunset). The following morning we headed over to Molasses Reef with a total of 13 divers, but the current was too strong, so we diverted North to French's Reef- the site was Xmas Tree Caves. This is a well developed spur and groove area with large boulder corals, arches, and caves to swim through. This, and the next spot are probably my favorite sites in the Keys. The fans, soft gorgonians, and sponges are the back drop to the large black groupers, parrots, scrawled files,chromis and creole wrasse schools, cudas, and angels.Two large snook were hanging out in one of the caves. We headed back to Molasses for our second dive;luckily the current had calmed down. This is another well developed spur and groove area, with sandy patches dividing the boulder corals. We found three nurse sharks here, snappers, grunts, graysbys, angels, and a school of Atlantis spades. The highlight of this dive was a spotted eagle ray cruising down a sand channel. We were sorry to leave this beautiful site and great dive operation.
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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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