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Dive Review of Key Dives at Bud and Mary's Marina/N/A in
The Continental USA/Islamorada, Florida

Key Dives at Bud and Mary's Marina/N/A, Dec, 2006,

by Vern Svereika, NY, US . Report 3148.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Roatan, Honduras (CoCo View), Little Caymen (Pirates Point), Caymen Brac, Crystal River Florida, numerous wreck dives in the St Lawrence river, NY/Canada
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 77 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions As our dive sites were shallow, I'm not sure if there were any depth restrictions. You were only asked to surface with 500lbs air.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments A permanently mounted table on the boat allowed a place for divers to store their cameras. Two fresh water showers on the boat were available as well as rinse buckets for cameras.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Key Dives at Bud and Marys Marina, Islamorada, Florida, January 2007, Vern Svereika (diverdownunder@hotmail.com), Fulton NY. Experience: 101-250 dives. Vis: 50 Feet Water: 78F choppy. Michelle and I flew into Miami and drove down to Islamorada for a long weekend. I didnt expect to get much diving in so I left my gear at home. Michelle decided that she wanted to learn to dive so we called around a few of the local dive shops and found that Key Dives was offering a Resort Scuba course on Sunday morning. The plan would be for her to spend three hours in the pool with the dive master, and then head out to the reef for two afternoon dives. When we arrived Sunday morning, there was a couple from NJ also interested in the resort course. I cant say enough how great the staff of Key Dives was. For starters, it had been especially windy (25 knots) for the past five weeks and the waves were 5-7 feet. The forecast for Sunday seemed promising as the winds were supposed to subside but the Key Dives staff stressed prior to anyone signing up that the reef dives would be canceled unless the water settled down. They said they really didnt see that happening enough to take new divers out. Diver Safety was their number one priority. The three people opted to take the course with the hopes that the waves would flatten out. The course was run by Les, a 25 year dive veteran of Australia. Les was extremely helpful, patient and professional as he made the resort course fun and enjoyable. As luck would have it, the forecast proved wrong and the winds stayed strong. No afternoon dives. Key Dives did suggest an alternate site but said the visibility would be extremely poor. We decided to wait. The following day, the winds died down and Key Dives called us to say everything was a go. We rented gear from them and walked across the parking lot to their brand new 43 twin diesel dive boat. It was beautiful! The wide deck was lined with benches and tank racks, a fixed table and rinse buckets serviced those with cameras, two fresh water showers could be found aft and there was an enclosed head in the forward compartment. Key Dives staff took care of transporting and setting up the gear. The rental gear was Scuba Pro and in new condition. A 15 minute ride took us to our first dive site on Alligator reef. The second dive site was 5 minutes from the first. The NJ couple headed home that day so that left Les to work with Michelle. Key Dives offers many trips to deeper sites, however, there were four other divers on the boat (with their own Key Dives dive master) who needed to complete an open water dive for their PADI cert. I was never bothered by the PADI class as they held their dive briefs on the fly bridge and dove in the opposite direction from us. I was informed before signing up that due to the diver make up, this boat trip would be going to shallow dive sites. The reef dives were 17-20 feet, with clusters of coral. There was an abundance of sea life, Nurse sharks, Green Morays, a Goldentail Moray, many Spiny lobsters, a Spanish Lobster, Scorpion fish, Grouper, schools of Barracuda, Trunkfish, Arrow crabs, Yellowtail Jack and Parrotfish to name a few. Les was great guide as he pointed out and wrote on his slate the names of many of the undersea denizens. I thoroughly enjoyed these dives and look forward to another weekend trip to the Keys.
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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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