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Dive Review of Juliet in
The Continental USA/Dry Tortugas

Juliet, May, 2010,

by David Bader, NC, US (Contributor Contributor 18 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 5506.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 79 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 4
Water Visibility 30 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Buddy system enforced.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 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 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No camera table but more than adequate space in the salon for working on cameras. Entry is by giant stride but with a four ft. drop, camera's need to be handed in.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was my fifth trip with John and the crew of the Juliet. I think that speaks for itself. The vessel is a 104 ft three-masted schooner, limited to 12 divers and 5 crew. The crew is very personable and spend much of their time with the guests. Cabins are small with limited storage so you spend little of your time there. The crew will put up awnings on deck to provide shade during the day. Generally, there are three day dives and one night dive. Gear is set up in the center of the boat and tanks are filled in place. A small storage locker is behind each dive station. Depending on location, surface intervals may be spent under sail or fishing. A great way to pass the time! This trip left out of Key West.

Food was excellent and plentiful. Snacks are put out between lunch and dinner. Chips, cookies, crackers, and canned sodas are always available. Beer, wine and a limited supply of liquor is available after the diving is done.

Diving in the Dry Tortugas was not as pristine as I had expected. Juliet is new to this region so they don't have a list of good dives sites yet. Many of our dives on this trip were to new sites so we never knew what to expect. At least we got to name them at the end of the dive! One site was expected to be coral heads rising 20 ft off the sand. When we started looking around we found significant ship wreckage including a large pile of chain, a rudder, and various mechanical parts. Most of the dives were in the 50-60ft range with visibility affected by particulates in the water column. There was usually some current to deal with so it was a must to dive into the current. There was significant algae growth on many of the reefs we dove. There was not a lot of color on the reef either. Mostly greens and browns. On the plus side, we saw a number of goliath groupers, two nurse sharks, a reef shark, spotted and green moreys, hogfish, snappers, wrasse and plenty of crabs and lobsters. I even had three dolphin check me out while making a safety stop on the hang bar. We also spent one afternoon at Fort Jefferson. An amazing historical treasure in the middle of nowhere.

As an added bonus, we hit the Vandenberg on the way back to Key West. This was my first opportunity to dive on the Vandenberg and I really enjoyed it. At 300ft long, it took a good 20 minutes at 80ft to circumnavigate the whole ship. Overall, it was a fun trip and I look forward to my next adventure on the Juliet.
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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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