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Dive Review of HMS Minnow/N/A in
The Continental USA/Key Largo, Florida

HMS Minnow/N/A, Jun, 2005,

by David Lindaman, MO, USA . Report 1923.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 20 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Back on the boat in one hour or at 500 psi, whichever comes first.
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 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This is the sixth year in a row that I have dove with the HMS Minnow. Owners/Operators Capt. Jeff Jarvis and his wife Betty run the nicest little six pack dive boat you could ask for. He has first aid and oxygen onboard, his electronics are up to date, his boat is in good shape, his motor is brand new this year and his aluminum 80s always have a good fill in them. The boat has a large canvass top that gives plenty of shade and a great tank bench in the center of the boat with room for six divers to gear up and drop in quickly. You enter the water with a back roll over the side. You exit the water via a fin ladder where Jeff will be waiting to take your tank and BC. This is not a spacious boat, there is no head or large camera table, but there are camera rinse buckets and a fresh water hose for rinsing equipment and divers. Jeff leaves the dock 30 minutes before most of the other boats and can usually get you to the site before the best mooring balls are gone. He is extremely safety oriented and will not take you out or charge you if conditions would put you at risk or make your dive unenjoyable. He works hard to get you to the sites you want, first to book usually get to choose. He will coordinate instruction through a local dive master if you desire it and he only uses dependable, quality instructors. He can also help you arrange local accomodations if you need them. He is docked at the Holiday Inn, so that is always a good choice, walk out of your room and onto the boat. He has good rental gear if you are traveling light. His prices are no more than the big boats and you get personal service. Be prepared to enjoy Jeff's dry sense of humor and exchange of tall tales (I didn't know whether to believe him or not when he said the USS Grove had been wrighted by a hurricane). Yes, there are other good dive operators in the Keys, but when I have to make long distance arrangements and count on them being correct when I get there, it is good knowing who I am dealing with. Even with the vis down on this trip due to a tropical storm moving through days before we arrived, Jeff made the best of things and got us to sites with decent enough vis while many of the big boats were dropping divers in near zero vis. We never had less than 20 and often Jeff was able to find us 50 to 60 feet of vis. Jeff will do night dives if you ask early and he can get a full boat. If you think I am overselling, just take a look at past editions of the Chapbook and you will see that others share my opinion. Check out Jeff's web site www.hmsminnow.com or e-mail him at hmsminnow@email.msn.com or call him toll free at 800-366-9301. Don't forget to pick up a HMS Minnow T-shirt.
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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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