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Dive Review of SCUBA-Do & HMS Minnow/Holiday Isle in
The Continental USA

SCUBA-Do & HMS Minnow/Holiday Isle, Oct, 2003,

by Eric Lavonas, NC, USA . Report 807.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cayman, Provo, Australia, Bimini, Bermuda, USVI, BVI, Florida
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny,windy Seas choppy,surge
Water Temp 82 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions SCUBA-Do: 60 minutes & 500 PSI. Computer required on USS Spiegel Grove. HMS Minnow: 500 PSI.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Separate camera table & rinse bucket

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 2 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 3 days of diving in Key Largo - 2 with SCUBA-Do, 1 with HMS Minnow.

SCUBA-Do: Boat accomodates 16 divers but carries max 10. Excellent physical layout. Laurie is enthusiastic to a fault - make sure you have logbook w/ deep dives if you want to dive local wrecks with SCUBA-Do! Excellent site briefings. Tony and Laurie are quietly safety-conscious and do lots of little things to keep things smooth. Extremely professional outfit. Highly recommend diving on the Spiegel Grove, but get there early to avoid crowds. (SCUBA-Do leaves 30 mins earlier than other boats for this reason.)

HMS Minnow: Much smaller boat (6 divers max). Dove the Duane - an even better site than Spiegle Grove b/c it's upright. We had 4 divers - it would have been a little tight with a full boat. Jeff Jarvis is laid-back and efficient. Nice little touches like oranges between dives & beverages (water, soda, & beer) for the ride home.

We liked both operations a lot, and recommend both without hesitation. Definately good to avoid the cattle boats & dive with these guys.

Holiday Isle resort (Islamorada): Rooms OK, resort overall a bit shabby. Tiki-bar was loud and a bit of a meat-market. At least on the weekend, it's not the place to sip beers in peace. Ollie's restaurant mediocre food & service. Overall 2 stars.

Safety/courtesy problem observed: Another dive boat (Silent World) moored right on top of the bubbles of our divers doing their safety stop on the Spiegel Grove. When our captain politely pointed this out and asked Silent World to shorten their mooring line for the safety of his divers, the captain of Silent World refused and became visibly angry & profane. Would absolutely avoid Silent World.
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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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