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Dive Review of Olympus Dive Center/Hampton Inn in Morehead City in
The Continental USA/Morehead City, NC

Olympus Dive Center/Hampton Inn in Morehead City: "Excellent NC Diving with Olympus Dive Center", Aug, 2015,

by Richard J Lunsford Jr, KY, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 12 Helpful votes). Report 8338.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Did 9 dives over 5 days out of Morehead City, NC, with Olympus Dive Center, Aug. 9-13, 2015. With a choice of operating out of Hatteras, Morehead City or Wilmington, M.C. was recommended to me as offering the most wrecks with the highest amount of success (per DVanKirk on Scubaboard). ODC had a strong reputation. I found them to be very safety conscious, give excellent briefings, run a smooth operation with personable staff and have a nice, large dive shop. $35/day to use a guide was money well-spent for a newcomer. Rental gear was mainly ScubaPro. EAN 30 is often used & nearly all divers dove nitrox. They offer some big tanks; I dove Faber HP steel 120 cf tanks all week. Lots of people dive 100 cf tanks.

It's wreck diving. The preferred diving is the offshore wrecks, which take ~ 1 1/2 - 2 hours to reach for dive 1. They are deep & tend to have warmer water & better viz. If conditions are rough or for whatever other reasons, they may dive inshore wrecks - closer to shore, shallower, cooler, lower viz. Out of 10 dives offered, 3 would've been inshore my 5 days of diving (I skipped 1 due to illness). Conditions are very season-dependent (see my extended report on ScubaBoard for details - [ link]); early to mid. August is a good target for warm water & nice seas.

My Dive Stat.s (rounded)

Dive 1. Caribsea. Max. depth 85', average depth 50', 45:30 time. Viz. ~ 25-30'.
Dive 2. U-352. Max. depth 108', average depth 70', 30:30 time.Viz. ~ 25'.
Dive 3. Spar. Max. depth 105', average depth 65', 32:30 time. Viz. ~ 30'.
Dive 4. Aeolus. Max. depth 99', average depth 70', 35:30 time. Viz. ~ 30-40'.
Dive 5. Suloide. Max. depth 62', average depth 47', 43:00 time. Viz. ~ 15'.
Dive 6. Papoose. Max. depth 113', average depth 74', 33:00 time.Viz. ~ 60'.
Dive 7. U-352. Max. depth 105', average depth 67', 32:30 time. Viz. ~ 50'.
Dive 8. Aeolus. Max. depth 110', average depth 73', 36:30 time. Viz. ~ 40'.
Dive 9. Indra. Max. depth 65', average depth 43', 61:30 time. Viz. ~ 25'.

So, long rides out & back, be at dive shop the 1st day ~ 6 a.m. & try to head out by 7 a.m., back around 2:30 - 3 p.m. or thereabouts, offshore dives are apt to be NDL limited (dive brief might be 120' to the sand, much of the dive in the 80 - 110' range), run ~ 35 minutes. Current was minimal to moderate on my dives. You should have AOW & nitrox cert.s & be comfortable diving deep (but within recreational limits).

The glory of NC diving is close up diving with sand tiger sharks without resorting to shark feeding, and they delivered! Also saw stingrays, amberjack, Atlantic spade fish, an oyster toadfish, several starfish & you can count on big barracuda hanging out out under the boat & down aways. Saw no dolphins during dives, but a pod went by the stern while we were all aboard.

Very glad I went.

Websites Olympus Dive Center   Hampton Inn in Morehead City

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bonaire (> 150 dives), Key Largo (20 dives), Jupiter, Fl (10 dives), Belize via live-aboard (26 dives), several on Caribbean cruise stops.
Closest Airport Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN - New Bern) Getting There Fly to New Bern & get a rental car to Morehead City.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm
Water Temp 73-86°F / 23-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 15-60 Ft/ 5-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco. diving. Spear fishing okay but not on wrecks with sharks present.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 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 There was a fairly small dedicated rinse bucket & a camera table.
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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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