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Dive Review of Ocean Divers/m/v Santana in
The Continental USA/Key Largo, Florida

Ocean Divers/m/v Santana, Aug, 2008,

by David Schwab, AE, USA (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4309.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Pensacola, Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Scotland, England, Ireland, Norway, Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Red Sea, Cyprus, Malta, Germany, Croatia, Thailand
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20 to 40 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth limits
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 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 Fresh water bucket and table space available for cameras; crew asked non-photographers to respect photo equipment, etc.

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 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Ocean Divers runs a solid operation; good safety briefings, crew looks after divers. Plenty of room on the boat during the week; gets a bit crowded on weekends . . . but I've seen worse. First dive on a wreck, second on a shallow reef. Dived USS Spiegel Grove (she's back on her keel!!) & USCGC Duane. Both wrecks were excellent, adventureous dives . . . but they are not for novice divers. The decks of both are at about 30m, ambient light isn't great but sufficient for photos. There was a strong current on each; the captain recommended not taking large cameras with strobes, since divers have to hold on to the shotline while decending (or risk going on a drift dive); I took mine and had no difficulty. Plenty to see on both wrecks; the only downside is wasting air on decent . . . waiting for inexperienced divers in front of you to decend. On one dive my buddy and I had to climb over divers returning to the boat . . . they had either changed their minds or forgotten something!! Shallow dives, m/v Benwood and Molasses Reef were enjoyable; French Reef was boring and in bad shape (divers should stay off it!).
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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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