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Dive Review of Splashdown Divers in
The Continental USA/Boynton Beach, FL

Splashdown Divers, May, 2008,

by Monty Chandler, NC, USA ( 2 reports). Report 4141.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Am I in the Caribbean?? Well, no I guess not - but it sure seems like it. In fact I'm about a mile off the beaches of Boynton Beach Florida diving with Splashdown Divers.

With our next Caribbean trip scheduled for June to Bonaire, we decided to take a drive down to Florida and dive the reefs we had heard about around West Palm Beach. Based purely on feedback that the reefs were a little shallower on the southern end, we decided on Boynton Beach. The scuba boards had positive things to say about Splashdown Divers, so we booked our two days of diving with them.

The scubaboard contributors were spot on - once again. Splashdown Divers run a smooth, professional operation. It is fair to say that the boat feels crowded if it's booked full (which over Memorial Day weekend it was). Turns out this really isn't an issue - let me explain. You set up your gear while the boat is at the dock. You get ready while the boat is at the dock. There's about a 10-15 minute boat ride out to the reef. The diving is drift diving and you go in groups of about 4-5 people. You float a dive flag for each group so the boat captain knows where you are and you do your own dive. They ask that you keep the dive to an hour maximum so the groups can be picked up in a timely manner - this also limits the distance separation between the groups. As the dive depths were in the 15-18 meter range, an hour was about the right time. If a couple of you need to surface a little earlier than the rest of the group - no problem, just follow the line up to the flag. I highly recommend that you have a safety sausage with you because if you get separated from the person holding the flag, you'll want a way to insure that the boat captain sees you when you surface and there's a bit of chop in the water! (Not to mention the fishing boats) So other than the few minutes you're on the boat there really isn't much of a crowd. I found the diving to be very relaxing. Another observation is that Splashdown appears to have a significant local business. This translated into experienced divers who knew the boats routine. I didn't see the usual caribbean "tourist diver".

What truly surprised me was the health of the reef and the abundance of marine life. When I look at my photo's I see the same types of life that I see from my Caribbean trips. The reef was amazingly healthy with brilliantly colored sponges, sea plumes/rods and healthy coral formations. There were schools of diverse fish life. There was also abundant macro-life. Everything from Jawfish to Slender Filefish to cleaner shrimp to tobaccofish. Many of the species often seen throughout the caribbean destinations were plentiful.

We also saw a 300 pound loggerhead turtle taking a snooze (a first for me) and we saw a 12 foot Sawfish resting in the sand next to the reef (also a first for me)!!! Since I was shooting with a 100mm macro lens this trip the photo's of these two are limited - but they exist. Proof of the Sawfish was a must!! I took two and had to stitch them together - just to get a headshot! What a sight..

We'll definitely be back to this area to do some more diving. Next trip we'll probably go towards Jupiter to see the northern part of the reef - but no doubt we'll also be back to Boynton Beach and we'll dive with Splashdown Divers again.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Great Barrier Reef, Belize, Hawaii, Curacoa, Roatan, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, Saba, Cozumel
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 75-77°F / 24-25°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-60 Ft/ 12-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minute dive time
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There is a dry spot to put your camera for the 10 minute boat ride out to the reefs, but nothing needed other than that. Crew handled the camera hand-offs very well.
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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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