Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys
, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

We checked in at Dive Key West – now Captain Hook’s Dive Key West– on the day before my first dive to confirm dive locations, weather conditions, boat loading times, and get a new battery installed in my Suunto dive computer. We were on a dive trip to the Florida Keys!

Dive Key West – The Shop

Captain Hook’s Dive Key West is removed from downtown Key West, so, there’s plenty of free parking and time to drop in, check out their up-to-date gear, and get a feel for their routine.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

The store stocks a bit of everything you might need. They recently remodeled the shop and added a lot more merchandise. Although I had checked my dive computer a week and then again a day before the drive, it needed a new battery upon arrival. Captain Hook’s Key West had it in stock, and had it swapped out on the spot.

It’s always nice to meet everyone when you’re not in a rush, look around in case there’s anything you forgot. Plus, then you can pick up a couple shirts to take back to your local dive club for the next meeting! Also, they are the only dive shop in Key West that performs equipment repairs.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

Responsible Stewards of the Ocean

They are a “Blue Star Operator,” which means they are committed to coral conservation and preservation. The “new as of April 2019” owners, Bob and Kim Roney, also operate Captain Hook’s dive centers on Marathon and Big Pine Keys that have been offering dives for over 60 years.

Over the past 44 years, the previous co-owners Bob Holston and Cece Roycroft were involved in many preservation initiatives. They even went before Congress to request that the Florida Keys be designated as a National Marine Sanctuary.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

We learned that the former owner of the shop conducted a lot of training for Naval operations for Naval Air Station Key West. I believe we saw some of their tanks in use down at Truman Annex while watching some Naval divers conducting practice operations.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

We didn’t sign any paperwork until the day of the dive. They told us that sometimes, in Key West, divers have too much fun the evening before and change their minds about diving the next morning. So, they wait until the day of the dive to fill out paperwork.

What They Offer

They not only rent tanks, but also rent full snorkel and SCUBA equipment for children and adults with daily and weekly rates. They offer “curbside service” for your rented air and Nitrox tanks!

Captain Hook’s Dive Key West offers diving, and also instruction through SSI, PADI, and NAUI. They are able to lead anything from refresher to advanced classes.

With three other locations, they are able to offer not only diving and snorkeling, but also rental boats, paddle sports, fishing charters and even specialty cruises. They charter sunset or theme cruises on three boats in operation. They can even perform burials at sea.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

Dive Key West – The Boat

When possible, I like to check out the boat we will be diving on, preferably a bit before jumping in and leaving the dock. As a boat captain, there’s a few things for which I’m looking. I won’t bore you with that list now, but here it is for later: Danger Signs of an Unsafe Dive Boat.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

We left the shop with our amenities passes in hand, and we headed over to the Key West Harbour Yacht Club and Marina to check out the boat, “Easy Diver.” We wanted to get an idea of how long a drive it would be in the morning to make it for the check-in. It takes about fifteen minutes with traffic.

I wanted to take look at the boat and familiarize myself, from the dock, with all the visible safety gear and features.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

“Easy Diver” is a custom-built 45 foot dive boat. You can see here the walk-through transom. The entries and exits were very easy, with plenty of space for more than one diver on the platform.

Captain Hook’s Dive Key West offers inner reef, outer reef, wrecks, and even night dives. Also, all dives are led by a guide at no additional expense.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

Everything on the boat looked well-maintained, clean, and ready to go. There were plenty of tank racks on the aft, and seating in the shade.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

Boat Familiarization Time

I looked around to get familiar with where my gear would be staged, where to store my empty bag, and all those details, rather than scrambling last-minute right before the dive. I like to envision all the steps in advance when possible. That saves me fumbling around on the dive site, when the clock is ticking.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

A quick visual check revealed the location of the oxygen – green box far right, a fire extinguisher – red, far right, a gratuity chest, trashcan, water cooler with paper cups. Hooray! Between dives, were offered fresh fruit for snacking.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys
Dive Master Max and Captain Nate on the pre-dive briefing.

Although the Easy Diver is U.S. Coast Guard inspected to hold 22 passengers, they limit trips to 15. I lucked out, and there were only four of us plus two divers from the shop.

The boat’s captain records every entry and exit time for each passenger, and all the records are kept in a large ledger back at the shop. They are accessible to all the divers after the dive for entry into log books and log apps.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

Added Amenities

Because we were diving with Captain Hook’s Dive Key West, we received day passes to the Key West Harbour Yacht Club and Marina. This included their gym, small beach, and pool, as well as club and restaurant. What a great perk to diving with Dive Key West! Free parking everywhere and a yacht club pass!

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

If you were staying somewhere without a pool; this is a great added bonus for your post-dive socializing! Plenty of space to relax and unwind, grab a bite to eat, even have a swim.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

The Key West Harbour Yacht Club and Marina also offers sauna and showers – great for post-dive, or take a dip in the pool and watch the boat traffic come and go.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

On the far right of the map is the dive shop, on the far left is the boat.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

The entrance to the marina faces East. The small beach has an entry to the water, and several loungers. There also are lounges and a few chairs and end tables in the shade under the trees.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

Responsible Sun Care

When I was at Captain Hook’s Dive Key West, they had a sunscreen display in the shop with a brand name something like “Really Reef Safe Stuff.” Companies can put just about whatever they wish on the front label. I looked, and the back labels all showed those twin chemicals – oxybenzone and octinoxate – toxic ingredients banned in several vacation destinations.

I left a pile of Stream2Sea toxic ingredients to avoid cards with them. They checked with Mote’s International Center for Coral Reef Research and the Coral Restoration Foundation and could not confirm the safety of the reef with that brand.

So, they switched over to Stream2Sea mineral, non-nano, actually reef-safe and plus packaged in biodegradable containers sunscreens! If you want to order truly reef-safe sunscreen and products, Stream2Sea has generously given me a discount code “KimW” for you to use at the checkout at checkout to save 10%.

AND they have a Stream2Sea leave-in conditioner dispenser on the “Easy Diver” now! Hooray! I can’t wait to get back to the Keys and dive with them again.

Captain Hook’s Dive Key West 3128 N. Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040, (305) 296-3823.

, Captain Hook’s Dive Key West // Scuba Diving Charters in the Florida Keys

What to Read Next:

 7 Items for Dive Boat Survival – The Prepared Diver

Danger Signs of an Unsafe Dive Boat

Dive Boat Etiquette – Do’s and Don’ts

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