Trip Report Key Largo with Quienscence Divers

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Catito

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Flat water with a great operator makes for fantastic dives. We dove with Quienscence (5 divers). First Elbow reef on Friday—the Southern end was prettier (second dive), and the Spiegel Grove and “the Spurs” on Saturday. The viz both days = so-so. Viz improved by the second dive on Saturday. The Spiegel had some current. Combined with the poor viz it was an okay dive. Super flat on top. Reef sharks and big jacks.

“The Spurs” was a fantastic dive. A slow drift dive on a reef not used by the big operators—so still in good shape with no broken sea fans, lots of colorful sponges, and some healthy coral.

Water was 78F so used a 3mm, skin, and a vest. The 5mm on Friday was too much.

I highly recommend Quienscence—but you need your own party. 4 to 6 (max) divers make it a reasonable cost. $449 1/2 day plus tip (at least $20 per diver for two dives) and taxes. Tanks are extra.

We plan to use them again because it was so nice to have so much room on the boat and to be able to tell the Cpt where you wanted to dive. Next time I may see if Jim Blay wants to join us!
 

Skeptic14

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Have you used other operators in that area, if so what were the biggest differences (positive and negative)?

Did you get to select sites or did you rely on the operator to choose based on conditions?

How easy is getting over the transom, particularly when re-boarding?

Thanks
 

Wookie

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Have you used other operators in that area, if so what were the biggest differences (positive and negative)?

Did you get to select sites or did you rely on the operator to choose based on conditions?

How easy is getting over the transom, particularly when re-boarding?

Thanks
Those boats don’t have that much transom. Knee high is all.
 

gamon

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What do you mean “Tips at least $20 per diver?”.

Please correct me if I’m wrong but it has always been my understanding that tipping is optional and the amount, if any, is at the discretion of the diver.

I’d only tip $10 per tank if they provided exceptional service or fixed a piece of my gear that failed. If they don’t do so much as load my gear and tanks onboard I’ll typically tip $5 per tank.
 

drrich2

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Glad you had a good trip! Quiescence Diving Services of Key Largo is often mentioned on the forum as a reputable option for divers seeking a '6-pack' boat, albeit they don't provide a no-added-cost dive guide as part of the standard service. Looking at their FAQ, it states:

"Do you have trip minimums?
We have no trip minimums, however we will not allow divers to dive alone. Therefore, a single diver will need to hire a private guide."
 

gamon

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Forget about double dips on wrecks with Quiescence.

They just don't do it.
 

Trace Malinowski

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I don't know if Quiescence has new owners, but whoever took over after Paul died lost my business forever.

It was a really rough day and only one other operator was going out. I wanted to talk to the captain about what he thought our chances were of finding decent visibility somewhere. For example, the wreck of the Benwood could have 3 feet of visibility, but the deep ball off the Elbow could be clear. The woman in the shop wouldn't let me talk to the captain who was standing on the dock behind the shop. We decided to go diving without knowing what are chances were of enjoying it.

When they found out we didn't have computers, but used UWATEC digital depth gauges/bottom timers, they made us rent dive computers because they were afraid we would dive too long without a computer. Nevermind my logic that a square profile would most likely be a shorter run time, and if I could read the bottom time on a computer, I could read the bottom time on a table. In fact, I rattled off the No-Deco limits on the dive table.

We rented the computers and went to get our tanks. When they saw we had double AL80's, they told us they didn't allow doubles on board. We had planned a week in the Keys, but at that point we checked out of a luxury hotel and drove up to High Springs to go cave diving.
 

Wookie

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I don't know if Quiescence has new owners, but whoever took over after Paul died lost my business forever.

It was a really rough day and only one other operator was going out. I wanted to talk to the captain about what he thought our chances were of finding decent visibility somewhere. For example, the wreck of the Benwood could have 3 feet of visibility, but the deep ball off the Elbow could be clear. The woman in the shop wouldn't let me talk to the captain who was standing on the dock behind the shop. We decided to go diving without knowing what are chances were of enjoying it.

When they found out we didn't have computers, but used UWATEC digital depth gauges/bottom timers, they made us rent dive computers because they were afraid we would dive too long without a computer. Nevermind my logic that a square profile would most likely be a shorter run time, and if I could read the bottom time on a computer, I could read the bottom time on a table. In fact, I rattled off the No-Deco limits on the dive table.

We rented the computers and went to get our tanks. When they saw we had double AL80's, they told us they didn't allow doubles on board. We had planned a week in the Keys, but at that point we checked out of a luxury hotel and drove up to High Springs to go cave diving.
Rob was Paul’s partner from the beginning.

As far as I know, they never allowed doubles or rebreathers. Neither Paul nor Rob would have allowed that.

I knew them in the late 80’s.
 

scubadada

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@Trace Malinowski

Couldn't you have known this by talking to them before your trip?

As an example, I always ask if I would be allowed to solo dive with certification and equipment. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it is no.
 

drrich2

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When they saw we had double AL80's, they told us they didn't allow doubles on board.
Minor tangent on my part, but somewhat relevant; how common is it for mainstream recreational dive operators in that region to balk at someone showing up with doubles? I'm guessing they may think the doubles are intended to allow really extended dive times and/or deco. diving.

I don't think they're unique in objecting to doubles (I'm not supporting or opposing such a position), but I'd like to hear whether this is common or rare.
 
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https://xf2.scubaboard.com/community/forums/cave-diving.45/

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