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Thumbs Up for Olympus Dive Center

Raleigh, NC
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321 posts
7 reviews
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Thumbs Up for Olympus Dive Center

A couple of weeks ago I completed my PADI wreck diving certification and my Nitrox certification through Olympus Dive Center. They are a A-1 organization. The boat was probably the best I've ever dove from. Capacity seemed to be around 30ish, but there were only about 20 something divers, so we had plenty of room. There were ropes draped throughout the ship, which really helped walking around when the seas got a bit rough.

The salon was roomy, and the bathroom was the nicest I've seen on a dive boat - an actual toilet, sink w/soap, mirror, window....

The upstairs portion of the boat had 3 huge bean bags. They were phenomenal for catching a few winks while headed out to the dive site or on your way back (it took about 2 hours each way). They also provided fresh fruit after our dives and frozen popsicles. You had to bring your own food/drinks otherwise, but there was plenty of room for a cooler and for dry bags.

The diving was very good, as well. The Shipwreck Cemetery of the Atlantic. We dove 3 WWII wrecks, including the U-352 and a sunken Coast Guard ship. The wildlife was amazing. Loads of sharks - I saw a fairly big sand tiger shark, and you would not believe the size of the barricudas!!! Like 4 ft.long. There were lots of angelfish, lion fish. We even had a school of dolphins come up to our boat when we were anchoring at the U-352.

Also, the Olympus Dive Lodge is very convenient, clean, and super-cheap, only $25/night. It's also fun to exchange dive stories there at the end of the day. They have several rooms w/bunkbeds, so bring a sleeping bag or sheets/blankets/towels. It is pretty spartan, but considering the little amount of time spent there and the comraderie, it's definitely the way to go.

North Carolina coast is supposed to be the 2nd best wreck diving destination in the world - second to Palau. I was very impressed. The visibility wasn't that good when I went, but a hurricane had just been there one week prior, so it probably does have better visibility if it's not hurricane season.

Anyway, I just wanted to put a good word in for this organization. If you're interested in diving NC, this is the shop to use.

Happy Travels,


South Carolina
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61 posts
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1. Re: Thumbs Up for Olympus Dive Center

And In case You didn't know; the owner George Purifoy passed away in mid-September. A fine man has left this world for a better place.

Raleigh, NC
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321 posts
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2. Re: Thumbs Up for Olympus Dive Center

It was very sad to see the passing of George Purifoy.

The weekend I went diving with Olympus Divers was the weekend George died. That Sunday, we were able to dive the U-352 (George's favorite - as he did discover it). I remember when he was dropping the anchor, a school of dolphins came right up to the boat where he was standing and raised their heads out of the water. He mentioned that seeing the dolphins this close to the boat was extremely rare. It was kind of like the dolphins knew this would be the last time they would see George.

I learned the next day, that when we returned to the dive shop, later that day, George had a fatal heart attack. I just feel very fortunate to have met the man and been in his presence.

steger, illinois
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3. Re: Thumbs Up for Olympus Dive Center

hello christine, i am sandy purifoy, george purifoy's daughter. were you on the boat the day my dad passed away? i am in chicago illinois, and it has been hard for me to come to terms with my dads passing. i was just wondering, if you wouldnt mind, telling me what happened. i have heard stories about trying to get to other divers in trouble and he just fell. i was hoping that someone could talk about what happened next. i guess i need some kind of closure. i havent gotten the courage to talk to bud daniels. he and my dad were best friends since they were kids, and i understand that he isnt doing so great with what happened. bobby, my brother cant really talk about it either. i just wanted to know what happened.. if he suffered, etc. i would appreciate a email or something, and i will give you my phone number so i could talk to you if you would. it would be a great christmas gift to me, being that this holiday is going to be hard enough without my dad. my e mail is cackalacky1@comcast.net.

thank you, and im hoping to hear from you soon. sandy purifoy maschmeyer

4. Re: Thumbs Up for Olympus Dive Center

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