8 February 2020
Here is our Key Largo Dive Shop Troubleshooting Guide For Tours When Visiting The Florida Keys
Key Largo and the Florida Keys have many dive and snorkel operators. Troubleshooting the difference between costs of a tour with guide included or what going on a dive tour without a guide would mean, is what we hope to clear up for you.
We are not here to toot our horn by any means today, just simply troubleshoot the questions we get asked nearly every time we answer the phone at our shop.
What Is The Difference Between: Small Group Guided, Boat Guided, and Not Guided Dive Tours
Small Group Guided Tours
Small group guided tours is what we at Sail Fish Scuba provide and this is built right into our base price of $119, tanks/weights/ 6/1 guided ratio & Free tour photos.
These type of guided tours also means that the dive guide will request you provide to them the amount of air remaining in your scuba tank during the tour and is there to assist you quickly should any problems arise.
This professional guide also handles all the underwater navigation for the small group and can swing back by boat if a few are running short on air during the tour. Allowing the balance of the group a longer bottom time once these few folks are safely returned to the surface.
Boat Guide Tours – AKA: Opt-In Guided Tours
When a shop offers “Boat Guided Tours” or they mention that you are provided a boat guide in with the tour price, and you simply click “Opt-In” to be guided when signing up, this means that there is 1 person on the boat acting as underwater guide for entire boat load of divers. These tours are less expensive and range from $80 to $99 for tanks/weights/ guided as whole boat load of divers to 1 guide ( Guide normally not yet a professional, but a student in-training to become a professional ).
* At this point a prudent diver as yourself, should inquire to the shop as to how many total persons maybe in your underwater group following this boat guide.
*If the boat is rated for, let’s just say 30, then for sure you will be getting 1/30th of the guides attention. If this is the case, make sure to monitor your own air and have a way to signal this underwater guide when you are getting low on your air for safety.
* Lastly a boat guide is normally on a set “bottom time” schedule. This means from the time they do an “all down head count” and start the tour, they are normally back under the boat to do a “thumbs up head count” at a max 40 minutes later.
Not Guided Dive Tours
The Florida Keys has mostly shops offering “Not Guided Tours” and this means exactly what it sounds like.
These are those shops offering prices ranging from $80 to $99 for tanks/weights & a ride to the dive sites.
* When booking these type of tours you must make certain you have along your compass and underwater watch as they will tell you a time to have found your way back to the boat and be back on board. If you go on the boat solo you will just get paired up with another certified diver.
*Is adding a professional dive guide an option when booking onto a shop that offers “Not Guided Dive Tours”?
The answer is “sometimes.” These shops add $50 to $75 to each divers base price to be guided on tours off their boat.
How Do We Know This Is The Way It Works?
Because the owners of Sail Fish Scuba, before opening their own Key Largo small group guided dive shop in 2012, previously worked at some of these other shops.
Also, when writing this blog post today, we Googled it.
It is all right there folks so please do your own fact-checking before you book your next tour.
What We Did Today
We are all so thankful for this calm break in all the gusty winds and rainstorms we have been having.
Captain Chris (first day back post knee surgery) was at the helm of dive boat DEEPER and Captain Garret came along for an interview tour on the morning tour. PADI Dive Master Rick was our first mate and we welcomed Miami Dive shop Underwater Unlimited with all their students.
SSI Instructor Javier and SSI Divemaster Alana had a blast with their group of 16 divers.
This afternoon PADI Instructor Mike guided our group of 3 certified divers and we give thanks to
Pirates Cove Watersports for the seats on their boat.
Florida Keys islands are the sub-tropical Caribbean of the USA.
Dive Key Largo, Pennekamp State Park and the Upper Florida Keys with PADI 5 Star Dive and Snorkel center Sail Fish Scuba!
We are located just a short drive from South Beach, Miami, in the Upper Keys at Mile Marker 103 Bay Side.
Looking for today’s Key Largo, Florida Keys Reef and Weather Report? Here it is just for you.
Daily Keys Weather Report: Key Largo, Florida
Weather Link To Follow
East North East 68 degrees 14 – 16 knots
2.0’ to 3.0’ feet seas today due to the residual from this weeks windy days.
Light to moderate Current
35 – 45 feet viz due to wind/seas
64 F ~ Feels like: 68 F today with 70% humidity
AM Dives: Horseshoe South Reef & North Horseshoe Reef
Depth: 25 & 24 Feet
Bottom Time: 31 & 41 Min
Surface Interval: 12 Minutes
PM Dives : Molasses Reef – Permit Ledges & Aquarium Reef
Depth: 31′ & 29′ Feet
Bottom Time: 46 Min & 47 Min
Surface Interval: 11 Minutes
Where to go for Lunch/Dinner after your tour
Check out these coupons for local restaurants. Show the virtual coupon upon your arrival at each restaurant to get the great discounts. https://sailfishscuba.com/key-largo-information/coupons/