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Dive Review of Quiescence Diving Services/Holiday Inn in
The Continental USA/Key Largo, Florida

Quiescence Diving Services/Holiday Inn, Nov, 2011,

by Eric A Frick, IL, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 29 reports with 9 Helpful votes). Report 6363.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Great Lakes, Caribbean, Hawaii
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy, dry Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 77 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20 to 30 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 1-hour time limit. Return to the boat with 500 p.s.i. or more.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Friends and I planned a dive trip to the Florida Keys for a few days in November. When a too-inexpensive-to-ignore airfare popped up as I searched for transportation down there, I grabbed it despite the fact that I had to extend my time down there in order to qualify for the lower airfare. This report covers the days I spent with my buddies in Key Largo after a few days on my own in Islamorada.

Five friends and I booked a diving/hotel package with Quiescence (www.keylargodiving.com), staying at the Holiday Inn in Key Largo. Quiescence offers charter service that might not be comprehensive enough for some divers but we find that it is just right for us. Their three 25-foot boats have tank racks arrayed along the sides and a large padded seat in the middle of the boat. Appropriate oxygen and first aid equipment is aboard but the boats do not have heads. Each boat accommodates up to six divers. Quiescence captains get you settled on board, get you out to the dive site, assist you with gear and get you into and out of the water but they do not dive with you. Boat trips from their dock to the dive sites take up to an hour.

Days of wind and unsettled sea conditions reduced visibility on the reefs but a wide variety of fish species were present in good numbers. The size of the fish still seems to be on the small side. Jellyfish remained a constant presence over the reefs, having remained in the area later than they do in most years. They hung out from the surface to a depth of about 12 feet. Surfacing was a bit challenging but most of us were wearing wetsuits that covered most of our exposed skin. After surfacing from our second morning dive on Saturday, I felt the call of nature, stripped off the wetsuit and stepped over the transom onto the swim platform at the rear of the boat since Quiescences boats do not have heads. The 5 to 6-foot waves made moving about the boat a bit of a challenge and that challenge was too much for me as I stood on the platform. One of the larger waves came along and bumped the stern of the boat up a few feet and flipped me off of the platform and into the jellyfish-filled waters with nothing but a bathing suit to protect me. The humor/horror of the situation hit me immediately, as did the stings of the jellyfish. I was laughing at my clumsiness and yelping in discomfort as I felt the jellyfish stings all the while setting a speed record for getting on the ladder and exiting the water. I felt the stings for the next 45 minutes or so but the pain subsided almost entirely after by the time we got back to the dock.

Visibility on the wrecks was excellent at more than 50 feet. The Spiegel Grove is a fine wreck but the Duane remains the top dive in the area in my opinion. Depths, current and swells can make these deeper wreck dives a challenge and on this trip we had all of these factors except current stacked against us.

The Holiday Inn is a very decent choice in this area but it is not within walking distance of Quiescence. The diving/hotel package is convenient since you book it all through Quiescence and it represents a decent value. We were told by Quiescence that they are considering dropping the dive/hotel package since the hotel rates vary from day to day and it is evidently sometimes confusing to have to explain that to customers. When we checked out at Quiescence after our trip, it did take a while to calculate each of our bills since we were all paying separately and they had us in their system in pairs since the rooms were double occupancy. There is a wide variety of restaurants in Key Largo from which to choose.
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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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