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Dive Review of Sea Dwellers in
The Continental USA

Sea Dwellers: "Easy diving with friendly competent crew; reef not recovered", Nov, 2018,

by Samuel B Johnson, NC, US (Contributor Contributor 12 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 10677.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Sea Dwellers runs a very friendly operation in Key Largo. It has no accommodations, but it happily arranges rooms at the Holiday Inn across the street. Its boat departs and returns from the dock beside the Holiday Day, so one has a two minute walk across the lawn from one's room to the boat. Note: If one is diving on two or more days, one absolutely should take advantage of the "valet" service at Sea Dwellers, since that includes taking care of your gear, i.e., rinsing it, storing it at their shop, and bringing it back to the boat the next day. Hauling one's gear back to the hotel room after diving and hanging it in the bathroom, which is the only other option, is not pleasant. This valet service was only an additional $10 per dive day and also included breakfast at the Holiday Inn.

The one boat is satisfactory. Entry is by giant stride, and exit is up a ladder off the back. The crew is very helpful at exiting and removes one's tank while one is still standing on the back platform. As with most boats, if the water is choppy, exit needs to be done carefully, due to the pitching ladder. The boat supposedly will take up to 25 divers. We had no more than 15 on any of our trips; 25 would be a crowded boat. Tank fills were generous. The captain asks divers to be very strict about timing their dives out of courtesy to others, but the requested dive times were on the order of 70 to 75 minutes, which seemed appropriate. Newer divers were helped appropriately, and experienced divers were respected. Safety was appropriately stressed and monitored. Care for the reef was also stressed, although no crew was in the water to enforce that. The boat does have a head.

The boat captain and dive masters were very friendly and helpful. Generally dive masters do not go into the water as guides with divers, unless separate, additional arrangements have been made. The dive briefings, however, are clear and adequate, so there really is no need for dive guides, unless one is an anxious, novice diver.

I was particularly struck by the "extra mile" that one crew member went. My camera came off my wrist when I entered, and I didn't realize it until I was at depth. I began looking for it desperately. "Shorrie" from the crew saw it floating at the service, dove in and retrieved it and then, rather than just keeping it on the boat, did a free dive down to me to give it to me, saving the dive. This kind of friendly helpfulness seemed characteristic of Sea Dwellers.

The reefs visited by Sea Dwellers are still heavily damaged by recent hurricanes. Most of the diving, I think, is in Pennekamp Park. The hope is that the reefs are recovering, with coral life, fish life and critter life returning to its earlier state. For now, the reefs are disappointing for experienced divers, especially those who have dove the Keys at their best. For new divers the diving is quite nice and very undemanding. There can be currents, but we experienced none, and the depths are generally in the 35' to 40' range. We did visit a wreck, the bottom of which was below 100', but this reporter didn't go on that dive. The water temperature was quite mild, even in November.

The Holiday Day inn was quite pleasant. The pools and pool bar are great for relaxing, and meals can be had at the bar or in the hotel's restaurant. I understand from other guests that the food was good. Key Largo, of course, has a great variety of restaurants. I would recommend "The Conch House" and "Mrs. Mac's Kitchen II."
Websites Sea Dwellers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Almost all of my diving has been in the Caribbean and Florida. I've dived a half dozen times in California, and once each in North Carolina and the Mediterranean. Caribbean diving includes Dominica, Roatan, Utila, Curacao, Bonaire, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Saba, Cozumel and Grand Turk
Closest Airport Ft Lauderdale Getting There Dive operation is in Key Largo. Most people fly to Miami or Ft Lauderdale and drive a rent-a-car from there. Driving time is about 1.5 hours.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 78-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-70 Ft/ 15-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available?

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 1 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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