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"Ocean Quest Scuba" or "Pura Vida Divers" ?

Discussion in 'Florida Diving' started by Nivek Llekots, May 17, 2012.

  1. Nivek Llekots

    Nivek Llekots Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives:
    Location: Curacao, Caribbean
    Hi All,

    Well I've got my accommodation, flight and hire car booked for my dive holiday in South Florida, and I will be arriving on August 20th.:)!!

    So now all I need to do is pick a dive op, close to where I'll be staying, which is on "Singer Island".

    I've found these two on the web "Ocean Quest Scuba" & "Pura Vida Divers", does anyone have experience with either of these ops, and if so which would you recommend, or perhaps you have your own recommendation?

    What I really like is more advanced diving, with long dive times, and not too many people :)!

  2. jimw

    jimw Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port St Lucie, Florida
    Pura Vida will be the closest dive store with Force E a little further across Blue Heron Bridge. The boats mostly will run out of Lake Park Marina across the Indian River Lagoon and north a short distance, or other nearby locations. Force E sells trips on various boats, so you may find what you're interested in in 1 stop.

    A must muck dive is Blue Heron Bridge around high tide. Google it or see either store for lots of info.
  3. AceszHigh

    AceszHigh Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Delray Beach
    I have been on both boats. I'd say ocean quest ("sandy's sunday") had friendlier staff, aside from that there wasn't much difference. The trip I went on with them was specifically a hunting trip for lobster. Both were larger boats and not really advanced dives. Anyway, if you have a way to get up to Jupiter, you might like that diving a little better. A charter like emerald dive charters in Jupiter caters more to advanced divers and you'd have the chance to see some larger sea life in Jupiter.
  4. scuba70

    scuba70 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cary, NC
    I've been out with both. Overall I would recommend Oceanquest. She is out of the Riviera Beach Marina, where you don't have to pay to park. The staff is great. There is no guarantee on how many divers there will be on the boat, but she does have a max of 11 plus the crew. I've been on with a full boat and it's a bit tight as she sets up for the drop, but otherwise not too bad. She allows you on the fly bridge as well. She will also let you stay down as long as your air holds out, provided that you don't go into deco. She also doesn't mind if you break off from the group and look at something else. Her guides are great and know where to look for critters. If you let her know what you are looking for when you book, she might be able to place you with a like minded group. I also second the vote for Jupiter if you're looking for more advanced dives. Where ever you go, it will be some great diving. I'll be there the first week in June and will dive with Sandy. Have fun, you can't really go wrong.
  5. idive2

    idive2 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Palm Beach County
    I was just at pura vida this afternoon. They are running a two tank trip friday and I may
    do this trip. I've been wanting to try both of these charters but lately caught up on a
    bridge dive, shore dive, bridge dive, shore dive kinda thing. Maybe time to break the cycle...
    or maybe not ! Anyway, ditto on the comments on jupiter for some deeper reef diving but
    boynton and west palm beach have some excellent diving as well !
  6. mscott556

    mscott556 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Palm Beach, FL
    Pura Vida and JDC are my favorites and you can get back on their boats without taking your fins off.
  7. Nivek Llekots

    Nivek Llekots Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives:
    Location: Curacao, Caribbean
    Hi Guy's,

    Thanks for all the great feedback!

    As I will be staying only a couple of blocks from the Pura Vida shop on Singer Island, does anyone know if they provide transportation from the shop to the boat and back, and a place to store my gear overnight?


    ---------- Post added May 18th, 2012 at 11:20 AM ----------

    Oh! one last question, I'm not really into spear fishing or hunting, do the operators specifically run non "hunting" trips, or is anyone just allowed to take a spear gun with them?
  8. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
    Pura vida is an excellent operation, both the shop and the boat. There is not alot of spearfishing on most diveboats in Palm Beach...there are a couple of boats where it is frequentm but this is the exception. Pura Vida is not a spearfishing operation. They are great for sightseeing, for photography or video, or even for classes.....

    Even on the boats in Palm Beach that do spearfish, the typical scenario is for the spearfisherman to be dropped far from the main groups of divers, usually out on the offshore ledge, which the main groups dive the inshore ledge or crown areas--so no intersecting courses occur. If the spearfishing action bothers you--seeing Bambi brought up :) , then the best course of action on any boat is to ask about this on the phone, when you call to book. If you don't like the answer, there will be a boat with the answer you like.

    For your situation, definately go with Pura vida. As to transport to marina...if you were at the Hilton on singer Island, they would transport you....if at one of the Marriott Time shares, while they don't do transport, you may be able to get the concierge from the Hilton to arrange transport to and from the boats, as they do for their guests...they benefit from tips, whether from Hilton guests or Marriott guests, and they are already transporting Hilton divers.

    Pura Vida has been known to store gear over night for divers, and help with transport in a pinch. They are very accomodating, and will be able to come up with a solution for you :)
    floridanewbe likes this.

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