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Dive Review of Islamorada Dive Center/Postcard Inn in
The Continental USA/Islamorada, FL

Islamorada Dive Center/Postcard Inn, Mar, 2014,

by Michael L Lewis, TN, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 7569.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 1 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 1 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Bottomline: great service, fairly safe operation (they allow spearfishing on the same boats as diving/snorkeling). Bad environmental practices--the divemasters pick-up various marine life to show the patrons. That shouldn't be allowed, anywhere, and especially since I'm pretty sure they dive in a Marine Sanctuary.

My wife and I are fairly experienced divers (200+ and 400+). We did a couple of afternoon dives with IDC in late March in preparation for an upcoming live aboard trip. The reservation process and talking with the office staff over the phone prior to our arrival was great. Eric was particularly helpful in trying to get a response from the Postcard Inn where they booked us as part of the dive/hotel package. (Wouldn't stay there again; we've never paid more for less, but it is walking distance to the dive shop/boat). Not sure why they recommend them.

They are a valet type dive shop. But they don't supply towels, so take your own. They will set up your gear for you, and rinse and store it if you're diving multiple days. They change your gear to new tanks between dives if you agree. They do shallow dives in the afternoon, our deepest was around 35ft. You must follow a guide which got pretty confusing on the fairly crowded boat. They give the safety and dive briefings, and stress being ready to jump in the water immediately upon arrival at the dive site. They plan 45 minute dives. It's a pretty long walk in your fins to get to the dive deck. I fell onto one knee before one dive, so be careful. At the end of the dive they have you surface several feet away from the boat, grab the line, and remove your fins. They're worried about you getting hit by the boat or ladder in rough weather, which I understand but…… On the really calm day, the line became detached so my wife briefly drifted away with no fins. I think they should re-think this procedure, since an inexperienced diver might have panicked in that situation. On the next day, it was pretty rough, and one of the divers lost his fin trying to re-board. One of the female crew members jumped in and swam after it, which was really nice.

The dives were okay, and there was a good bit of fish life to see. We saw healthy schools of fish, green moray eels, a spotted eel, 6+ foot nurse shark, porcupine fish, coronet fish, lobsters, crabs, scorpionfish, and unfortunately a couple of lion fish. The coral was in pretty good shape considering the number of inexperienced divers, including lots of kids that dive these waters. One day the dive master got us lost. He prarrie-dogged twice. I'm not sure we ever really saw Aquarium. He also helped the spear fishermen find lobsters. They were way too close to us. We don't really want to be hit by a mis-directed spear, and I don't really want to see the predators that could be attracted to the blood in the water. They should have their own boat dedicated to spearfishing.

The diver masters picked-up arrow crabs, conchs and even a scorpionfish to show the patrons. This is obviously disruptive to the marine life. I guess they think they'll get bigger tips. We are opposed to harassing the marine life, so they got much less tip that we normally leave. You can just as easily point something out without touching it. This could be an excellent Dive Shop with just a few easy changes.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cayman Islands, Belize, Galapagos, Bonaire, Hawaii, Tobago, Turks & Caicos, Aruba
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 72-74°F / 22-23°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 25-35 Ft/ 8-11 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Must dive with guide. 45 minutes.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

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

By David R Reid in MI, US at Apr 27, 2014 00:29 EST  
Thank you for the excellent review!
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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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