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Dive Review of Quiescence in
The Continental USA/Florida Keys

Quiescence, May, 2007,

by Alexander Griffin, MD, USA . Report 3626.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Great Barrier Reef, St. Croix, Ireland, NC Outer Banks, Saba, St. Kitts
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 77 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 60-70 minutes per dive due to boat schedules
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Probably limited by the size and layout of the boat, a large freshwater rinse tank was the only missing amenity that would have kept this from being "5" for boat facilities.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments
Quiescence Dive Services located in Key Largo bills themselves as having
a "Personalized" scuba operation. Many companies use that word and it
means nothing. But after our group of five friends dove with them for a
full day of four dives in the beautiful Key Largo waters I have to say
that "Personalized" was no understatement!

Our experience began on a beautiful nearly cloudless spring day. Quiesence
had been recommended to us by a friend but otherwise we knew nothing about
them. Their main office was easy to find and very efficient, with all the
right questions and qualification checks I'd expect from a professional
organization. Within 20 minutes we had our tanks, weights, boat assignment
and were introduced to our captain for the day, Steve Campbell.

Their dive boats, although they look small at first glance, are roomy, comfortable
and extremely easy to get in and out of the water. As with every dive operator
I start looking for the small things before I jump in -- condition of the boats,
presence of emergency equipment especially oxygen, working radios and nav... no
concerns here, these boats are very well maintained. Our captain provided the
boat safety briefing efficiently and cheerily. As these words being his first
introduction to our group, I appreciated his enthusiasm as it made us feel welcome
and eager to dive.

We made no preference on dive sites and left it to Steve to choose for us.
He used his knowledge of the latest weather and radio reports from other
captains to choose us four different, colourful and diverse spots. I had
absolutely no complaint. At each site Steve would provide us a briefing
with landmarks to look for and a general profile of the reef system including
circuits we might want to try.

Our dives were roughly 60 minutes each, to depths
no more than about 60 feet and averaging probably 30 feet. On only one dive
did we encounter divers from another boat but as we were both small groups
there were no issues. On that same dive I also saw the most enormous grouper
I'd ever seen in the Caribbean... large enough he could have swallowed both
my arms in one bite. On surfacing I relayed my excitement and Steve gave a
knowing smile and said, "So Bruiser was out today, was he?" I had my camera
with me and got good pictures of Bruiser but I think even the best wide angle
lens wouldn't adequately capture Bruiser's full size and girth.

Fish life was somewhat sparse from what I'd hoped for, but the corals
were healthy with lots of diversity. In several areas we came across
huge gardens of sea fans. The pictures from our two photographers
came out great, but there is something peacefully mesmerizing about
watching hundreds of sea fans swaying in the current that still photography
just can't capture. Visibility on three of the four dives was quite good,
often exceeding 60 feet. Our 3rd dive of the day was during a strong tidal
flow which had us working harder to see less, but that didn't mar our
overall experience.

I would strongly recommend Quiescence and Key West to the experienced diver
who regularly dives or is ready to dive off a small boat without a divemaster.
If you've only had the cattle boat experience (15 or more divers) until now
and are ready to see how GOOD diving can be, I cannot recommend Quiescence
any higher. Four of the five divers in our group had been on liveaboards before
and the smooth flow of getting us from parking lot to dive site and back
again was as close as we'd ever experienced for a land based operation.



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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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