Key Largo dive trip

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tkaelin

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Just got back from Key Largo a week and a 1/2 ago. Dove with Rainbow Reef for 3 days. All boats were running, some AOW check-out dives were cancelled due to high currents at the intended site, but all rec dives were a go.
How was the quality of the diving? Thinking of heading there as well next month and diving with Rainbow. My one and only Key Largo dive experience was 30 years ago and the diving was not great. From what I am reading on SB the quality of the reef and marine life has improved in thirty years.
 

gqllc007

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Has anyone dove with Pirates Cove Water Sports out of the Marriot in Key Largo?
 

Divin'Papaw

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How was the quality of the diving? Thinking of heading there as well next month and diving with Rainbow. My one and only Key Largo dive experience was 30 years ago and the diving was not great. From what I am reading on SB the quality of the reef and marine life has improved in thirty years.

What are your expectations? Those have a great deal to do with whether you’re pleased or not with any dive location.
 

Scuba-Blue-13

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How was the quality of the diving? Thinking of heading there as well next month and diving with Rainbow. My one and only Key Largo dive experience was 30 years ago and the diving was not great. From what I am reading on SB the quality of the reef and marine life has improved in thirty years.

This was my first time diving in the Keys so I don't have any history to compare it to but....

Overall I enjoyed all of the dives and dive sites. We did the Benwood, Duane, and Spiegel Grove wrecks, as well as Five Caves. If you like looking at fish the diving was AMAZING!!!!! If you like soft corals, then any of the sites we visited were enjoyable. I personally like to explore complex reef systems, for that (and I was amazed) the Spiegel Grove was the winner. Lots of coral, a barracuda, a few eels, and a couple Reef Sharks.

The dive to the Duane was intense - current was ridiculous. Letting go of the mooring line on decent or ascent would have ended as a drift dive to Cuba. Couldn't explore too much of the wreck as a result. Definitely just beyond our comfort level of diving - but a good dive none the less, both my wife and I came back feeling that we are definitely better divers because of it.

All in all I will go again, and probably soon. Rainbow Reef was top notch across the board, from booking the trip, to having our tanks on the boat when we arrived, to analyzing the Nitrox mix in front of us, to having guides that actually cared about ensuring all had a good time.

Coral.jpeg Angel Fan.jpeg Angel.jpeg Duane Top.jpeg Coral 2.jpeg
 

Capt Jim Wyatt

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Has anyone dove with Pirates Cove Water Sports out of the Marriot in Key Largo?

I have not dived with them, but I have heard good things.

Molasses Reef is a beautiful reef, hard corals with cool structure, soft corals, tons of fish and a large variety. It is common to see reef sharks, nurse sharks, moray eels. Depths from 15 to 35 feet.

French Reef is not as good, but some cool swim throughs.
 

tkaelin

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What are your expectations? Those have a great deal to do with whether you’re pleased or not with any dive location.
From thirty years ago I am not sure that I can accurately recollect today. At the time my warm water diving experience was Grand Cayman. I am certain I did not expect it to compare to GC and I am sure I had lower expections. What I recall was rubble strewn broken corals with very little in fish life. lots of shades of tan and brown and not alot of colors.

Booked a trip in May so I will have the chance to experience it again.
 

Divin'Papaw

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From thirty years ago I am not sure that I can accurately recollect today. At the time my warm water diving experience was Grand Cayman. I am certain I did not expect it to compare to GC and I am sure I had lower expections. What I recall was rubble strewn broken corals with very little in fish life. lots of shades of tan and brown and not alot of colors.

Booked a trip in May so I will have the chance to experience it again.

Well based upon your description from 30 years ago it should be better than that!
 

tkaelin

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I am looking forward to it. Flying into fll and driving down. Are the toll roads on the drive ezpass compatible?
 

homerdoc

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Has anyone dove with Pirates Cove Water Sports out of the Marriot in Key Largo?
Just dove a couple weeks ago. Boats will be full, but is a well run operation. Morning to me is when to go it seems to have less snorklers. We did do a really cool debris pick up dive - all the normal dives with them are off Molasses or Elbow reef. I thought both were fine. Saw the usual suspects morays, nurse sharks, and all the typical fish.

They basically ask for you to be back in 45 minutes. They are shallow enough you dont have to swap tanks between dives unless you want to.

The debris dive was adv only and you drift in about 80 feet of water collecting debris and hunting lionfish if you want to. It was really cool. We brought up 6 or so anchors. I brought up a bunch of line and a big hoop net that had been lost.

It is the definition of a cattle boat, just be warned. Excuse me Cattle pontoon.
 
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