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Thread: Keys Dives: 4/16 - 4/24

  1. #1
    Richie Burr diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb's Avatar
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    Keys Dives: 4/16 - 4/24

    I just returned from our annual start of season Keys trip. Ted Green, O.C. Diver Captain, puts this one together every April. This year the group was about half the typical size from previous years, which is to be expected with the slow economy.

    We dove with Conch Republic Divers ( CONCH REPUBLIC DIVERS VOTED #1 DIVE SHOP IN FLORIDA KEYS..2006 & 2007 ), and as usual they couldn't have been any more accommodating. They took the big Newton out every day, even with as few as four divers on one day. It's a lot more comfortable to dive that boat than the smaller Island Hopper, especially if the seas are a little bumpy.

    Gary, Brenda, Dean, Jorge, Clint, & Jason all did a super job of making our dives fun and safe.

    We did the standard reefs ( Conch Wall, Conch Reef, Molasses, Secret Garden, Snapper, Crocker, Davis, Pickles) & wrecks (Spiegel, Duane, Eagle, Benwood) with the Spiegel Grove being the deepest.

    For the most part the seas were calm & the vis was wonderful. The exception was the fist day down when we hit the Eagle.... It was the worst vis I've ever had in the Keys... It was like a bad dive off Delaware.. Maybe 15' of vis. Things got much better after that. We hit the Eagle again a few days later and had a solid 100' of vis. The water was consistently in the upper 70's, and I was very comfortable in a 3 mil suit.

    We saw Goliath Grouper on a number of dives and lot's of Nurse Sharks...

    The Marine Life on the shallow reefs was extraordinary. Very diverse and plentiful.

    The boats are not more than 15' from the shop and big rolling racks are waiting after each dive so post rinse you just hang your gear up and by the next morning it's all dry and ready to go for the next day's adventure.

    Three of our group of eight divers were on Breathers. Conch has all that is necessary to fill O2 & Dil bottles. They also carry Sorb & EAC's. Gary has an in line Haskel in his fill system and banks O2 at around 3200 psi. He also has Helium onsite.

    One morning a large Manatee came back into the Marina and hung around for a while. That was cool...

    The other unusual sighting came as we were loading up one morning... I looked out over the back of the boat and saw what looked like a large black rag floating on top of the water... something didn't look right though... After we all looked a little closer it had undulating wigs and a defined neck & head to it. It was about two feet long and maybe a foot wide and jet black in color. Gary identified it as a Sea Slug of some sort said it had been hanging around the Marina for a few days apparently eating algae off the rocks. I have yet to find any info on it on the Net... I've never seen anything like it.

    We ate well, drank well, and had a blast. I'm already looking forward to my next visit...

    Richie

  2. #2
    RBW Member diverchris is an unknown quantity at this point diverchris's Avatar
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    Inspiration with Vision

    Re: Keys Dives: 4/16 - 4/24

    As always, the best shop in the Keys gets great reviews

  3. #3
    Never E nuff Mike Costanzo is a jewel in the rough Mike Costanzo is a jewel in the rough Mike Costanzo is a jewel in the rough Mike Costanzo is a jewel in the rough Mike Costanzo is a jewel in the rough Mike Costanzo is a jewel in the rough Mike Costanzo is a jewel in the rough Mike Costanzo is a jewel in the rough Mike Costanzo's Avatar
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    Re: Keys Dives: 4/16 - 4/24

    Good report Rich. I also would like to add my thanks to Gary, Brenda and crew for everything they do to ensure we all have a fun and safe experience diving with Conch Republic Divers.

    Again Thanks
    Mike

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    Supporting Member Capt Gary is an unknown quantity at this point Capt Gary's Avatar
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    Re: Keys Dives: 4/16 - 4/24

    Thanks Ted for bringing down a great group who love to dive. Richie / Mike. Great to see you again. It always a pleasure having you guys and gals dive with us. We look forward to the next time and maybe then I won't be so busy and I can actually go diving with you.

    Who was it that said, "If you own a dive shop you'll get to dive more"......yea right.

    Good Diving,

  5. #5
    Helium Addict O.C.Diver is a glorious beacon of light O.C.Diver is a glorious beacon of light O.C.Diver is a glorious beacon of light O.C.Diver is a glorious beacon of light O.C.Diver is a glorious beacon of light O.C.Diver is a glorious beacon of light O.C.Diver is a glorious beacon of light O.C.Diver is a glorious beacon of light O.C.Diver is a glorious beacon of light O.C.Diver is a glorious beacon of light O.C.Diver is a glorious beacon of light O.C.Diver's Avatar
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    Re: Keys Dives: 4/16 - 4/24

    Year after year Conch Republic has always taken good care of my groups large and small. Of sad note were the "out of business" signs at a few of our favorite dining places. Other businesses in the Keys seem to be hanging on, only barely. In these tough economic times, it's important to vote with your wallet to keep your favorite dive operators in business. The next 12 months will likely be the make or break for many of them.

    Ted

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