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Dive Review of MV Makai in
The Continental USA/Dry Tortugas, Florida

MV Makai: "MV Makai Expedition to the Dry Tortugas", Oct, 2019,

by Carol D Cox, FL, US (Contributor Contributor 19 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 11219.

Photos Submitted with this Report


Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

Dive deck Sunrise over Fort Jefferson MV Makai
Cabin with 3 twin beds Blue Hamlet Yellowprow goby Barred hamlet
Red grouper

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

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments Friends wanted to dive the Dry Tortugas while the coral was still healthy. They are very big into photography and citizen science. Unfortunately, most of the liveaboards that go down to the Dry Tortugas go there for the purpose of spearfishing. Because of the protected areas in the Tortugas, these trips are limited on locations they can visit in the Tortugas. My friends didn’t let this deter them, and as a retirement gift to themselves they chartered the MV Makai out of Key West to take 10 divers to the Dry Tortugas for 6 days. My husband and I are very lucky to have such wonderful, generous friends to take us on this trip of a lifetime.

The MV Makai is not your normal liveaboard; the entire vessel must be chartered which is not particularly unusual for a Tortugas trip. However, it is usually chartered for scientific research and bird watching expeditions. This was the first time it had been chartered out for a recreational dive trip with some science thrown it.

It was clear from the beginning the owner/operator is very concerned about safety. Joe watched the weather prior to the trip and kept my friends updated on the conditions. If he didn’t feel it was safe to cross over to the Dry Tortugas, the vessel would remain at the marina.

We had dinner on shore, and then met at the wharf at 7pm to load up the ship. All the food, tanks, and weights had been loaded by the crew, so we formed a line to pass over dive gear and camera equipment. It was an interesting group of divers our friends had put together. We had 4 “citizen scientists” w ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
Websites MV Makai   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida, Turkey, Palau, Truk, Mexico, Red Sea, Cypress, Guam, Indonesia, Revillagigedo, Costa Rica
Closest Airport Miami Getting There Drive, or fly into Miami or Ft Lauderdale and take the shuttle

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas
Water Temp 81-83°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 15-80 Ft/ 5-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minutes, 500 PSI
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish For Subscribers Only
Small Critters For Subscribers Only Large Fish For Subscribers Only
Large Pelagics For Subscribers Only

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

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments See narrative above ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
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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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