Visited Jupiter, Florida to do some mid-winter diving and for a chance to see some Lemon sharks. Found Jupiter Dive Center (JDC) on the web along with a few other dive charters. Due to my schedule, JDC was the only shop with boats going out 7 days a week. I arranged to dive two days (two tanks each day) with JDC.
Shop/Dock: The full service dive shop is located in a small business complex off the A1A. It has ample car parking and its own dock, which is located right behind the shop. The parking lot to the boat is estimated at less than 50 yards. JDC has a complete retail showroom and in the back, a tank checking station JDC had several employees working both the front counter and the tank station. All employees were friendly, efficient and professional.
Dive Boat: JDC operates two dive boats. Both boats, held appx 20 divers and were equipped with dive platforms and easy to use ladder (to board after the dive). There was a typical safety brief by the captain and one by the divemaster with a detailed description of the area where we would be diving. The boat was well stocked with both hot and cold water, snacks and cold drinks. A separate heated fresh water hose was also available to rise if needed. The head was clean and the boat appeared to be in good/very good condition.
Customer service: No complaints or changes needed. Once you filled out the liability paperwork and paid, you walked over and assigned two tanks. An employee would assist you in checking the mixture (I was diving NITROX) then took the tanks down to the boat. You could haul your gear down the 20 yard pier or if needed, a JDC employee would assist you.
Dive(s): There were appx 12 divers on the boat. A DM was assigned to the group of 8. 2 were doing OW certification and 2 other were diving for lobster. A DM lead the dive but allowed you to do "your thing" (coordinate with them). Jupiter is known for "large animal encounters", if you are looking for shallow, pretty reef dives, keep driving south. My four dives were in the 70' to 90' range and during which, I was able to see several Lemons and a few reef sharks.
Overall: Dives change every day if not every hour, so I did not concentrate on the fish or specific site, just customer service, equipment or anything that might help plan a great trip. I would recommend JDC to any solo, couple or group diving.
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