Dive Duck Key FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Marlene & Brad Noonan asked: thank you
Q: Hi Wendy and Gang! What a fantastic new site and enjoyed seeing the video. You made us smile from ear to ear. We are planning our trip for 2009 and look forward to seeing you after the Labor Day rush. Happy New Year! Marlene & Brad Noonan PS Let us know if you would like to have a testimonial for your new website. We love your shop and espcially love the diving in Duck Key.
So good to hear from you!!! Can't wait to see you in the future. Would love to have more time with you next time. It's people like you that make doing our job more rewarding.
Sally asked: what time are your reef trips?
Q: Do you have both morning and afternoon trips? What times do they check in and return?
Yes we do. Our morning trip checks in at 8am and returns to the dock around noon. The afternoon trip checks in at the Dive shop at 1pm and returns around 5pm. We run dive trips 7 days a week, 365 days a year!
Mike asked: SNUBA age
Q: How old do you have to be to do SNUBA? Is there an age limit?
Yes there is an age limit. You have to be at least 8 years old to do SNUBA here at Dive Duck Key. There is no age limit on the other end of the spectrum, all adults are encouraged to SNUBA as well! SNUBA is a great activity for the whole family here in the Florida Keys. If you have family or friends that aren't interested in diving they can still join you on the dive trip as snorkeler or riders.
Louise asked: how old do you need to be to scuba dive in the Florida Keys?
Q: I wanted to know if my 11 year old son could Scuba Dive?
Yes, you only need to be 10 years old to Scuba Dive here in the Florida Keys. If you have family members that aren't quite 10 consider doing SNUBA, which you can participate in at age 8.
Denise Spencer asked: finishing scuba certification
Q: I started my open water scuba certification 4 months ago. I didn't want to dive in Lake Michigan and haven't done any of the open water dives. Can I complete the certification at Dive Duck Key while I'm staying at Hawks Cay Resort?
Yes, many people join us at Dive Duck Key to complete their Open Water Certification. You will simply bring your paperwork from your original dive shop and we'll finish the course. You will need 2 half days to complete the open water course. If it's been a while since you've been in the pool, we may suggest that you do a quick pool tune up with us here at Dive Duck Key. This is a really nice option for people who live in those colder landlocked places as the Florida Keys are a perfect destination for beginning divers.
Robert Frome asked: how long does it take to get certified?
Q: How long does it take to get certified? Is there anything I can do ahead to get the Open Water Scuba diving course done more quickly at Dive Duck Key? I'll be at Hawks Cay resort for about 4 days.
It takes 6 half day sessions to complete the full Open Water Scuba course here at Dive Duck Key. If you complete your books before your arrival, it is possible to finish the whole course in 3 days. We suggest you plan for at least 4 days, just in case we have a weather delay. Remember, you can't fly after scuba diving for 24 hours so, you'll need to finish your last check out dive with dry time afterwards. If you don't have that much time you can either complete your pool/classroom portion of the open water course at home and do referral check out dives with us or there is an online option for the classroom session. Check out dives only take 2 half days. Hope to hear from you soon!!!
Hanah Apuah asked: what do you see there?
Q: I'm from Maui and I wanted to know what species of fish I would see if I went diving with you at Dive Duck Key?
Well, you're in for a treat here at Dive Duck Key. The Florida Keys are known for being home to well over 1200 different species of fish. You won't be seeing the same species as you do at home and many of our guests that have experience diving in Hawaii say that we do have more fish here. The water is also warmer here so make sure to consult our crew at Dive Duck Key as to which wetsuit you'll need to bring. Can't wait to introduce you to some new species!!!!
Tina Pierce asked: lobstering
Q: I've seen some pictures on the Dive Duck Key Facebook page with people catching lobster. Do you allow lobstering on the Seafari? When is the season? How many can I take?
Yes, we love to catch lobster here at Dive Duck Key. Lobster season is open from August 6th until the end of March here in the Florida Keys. There is also a "Mini Season" the last Wednesday and Thursday of July. Each person is entitled to 6 lobsters per person, per day. If you're staying here at Hawks Cay, they'll prepare your catch at Tom's Harbor House in a variety of recipes. If you've never been lobstering before, hire a professional lobster guide to increase your chances for dinner. We have a great supply of lobster gear here in our shop.
Ronnie Smythe asked: wreck dives
Q: Do you have any wrecks to dive at Dive Duck Key in the Florida Keys? Is the an additional charge for doing the wreck?
Yes, we dive the R.V. Thunderbolt Wreck here at Dive Duck Key, Hawks Cay Resort. The Thunderbolt was purposely sunk in 1986 for divers. Dive Duck Key does provide a dive instructor as an in water guide on this dive. The maximum depth is 120 ft, although where you'll spend most of your dive is closer to 100ft or less. There is an additional fee of $10 per person for this trip. Nitrox tanks are available for rent if you'd like to extend your visit on the Thunderbolt. You must be at least 15 years of age to make this dive.
Sandy Johannsen asked: SNUBA trips
Q: I see that you offer 2 different trip prices for SNUBA at Dive Duck Key. What is the difference between a 1 site SNUBA for $99 and a 2 site SNUBA for $185? I can't wait to be there in the Florida Keys!!!!
All of our dive trips at Dive Duck Key go to 2 reefs for about an hour. For $99 you will be SNUBA diving with an instructor on one reef and given gear to swim on the other reef. If you want to SNUBA dive on both reefs the fee is $185. Dive Duck Key at Hawks Cay Resort is one of only 3 operators for SNUBA in the continental US. Make your reservations soon as there are only 12 spots per trip for SNUBA divers. Remember, you're whole party doesn't have to SNUBA dive. They can ride, snorkel or scuba dive along with you.
Jon Romble asked: can I spearfish on your boat?
Q: I have a speargun and wanted to know if you allow Spearfishing in the Florida Keys at Dive Duck Key?
Yes, Dive Duck Key at Hawks Cay resort is one of the few commercial dive operators that allow spearfishing. Most of the reefs that we frequent are outside of the "No-take Zones." We have a recreational license for every passenger, so no need to purchase a fishing license. You must have your own equipment and either have or hire a buddy that is willing to dive with you. Hunting guides and courses are available here at Dive Duck Key. Make sure to tell us that you plan to spearfish when you make your reservation.
Patti asked: do I need a refresher course?
Q: I have about 10 dives in my log book, but my last dive was in April of 2006. Do you think I need or require a refresher course? How long will your refresher course take at Dive Duck Key?
Yes, if it's been over a year or so since you've been diving Dive Duck Key will require that you complete a refresher course for your safety. This course is very reasonable ($225 including all gear/dive trip)and only takes a half day in the pool/classroom. Then you will be guided by a dive instructor on the reef for 2 pleasure dives. So, in one day your skills will be renewed and you'll be logged back in as a current diver. Divers with extensive experience and a lapse in diving may be entitled to hiring a guide rather than the traditional refresher course. This is determined by the crew at Dive Duck Key based on the individual's experience.
Shelly Reisen asked: do you have to have experience to scuba/SNUBA dive?
Q: I've always wanted to dive but, haven't taken the time to become certified. If I'm going to be in Duck Key FL, for a couple of days do I have time to try Scuba or SNUBA diving?
Yes, you have plenty of time to try either Scuba Diving or SNUBA while you're staying here at Hawks Cay resort. Dive Duck Key has a one day "resort scuba course." We spend a half day learning in the pool and classroom and then another half day diving on 2 reefs. If you only have a half day in the Florida Keys, we can take you SNUBA diving. Either choice is a good one to see the 1200 species of fish that frequent the reefs off of Duck Key, Florida. Join us!!!
Nervous Nelly asked: sharks
Q: I'm really afraid of sharks. I'm a great swimmer and really want to learn to dive or do SNUBA, but I'm terrified. Too much shark week I'm sure... Can you tell me what sharks we might see?
Yes, we're swimming in their home, the ocean, but let us help you with your fears. The sharks that you routinely see here are Nurse Sharks. They sleep on the bottom and are more like big sting rays than sharks. Out of the thousands of dives that I've done here at Duck Key, I've only seen a hand full of other species while I was diving. I spearfish and have never had any problems with Sharks here in the Florida Keys. Where you'll see the most incidents for shark interactions with humans are... the beach. Even at the beach, fewer people are killed by sharks each year than by Christmas Tree Lights. Scuba divers also tend not to be the targets as we swim close to the bottom as opposed to swimmers on the surface. Rest assured that scuba diving here in the Florida Keys, and especially here at Dive Duck Key, that sharks are not a problem.
Recent Guest asked: Dive Duck Key is the Best!!!
Q: My family and I stayed at Hawks Cay Resort and we'll never stay anywhere else. We've been diving all over the world and Dive Duck Key has absolutely the best crew and boat we've been on. Although the visibility wasn't 100ft we still saw more fish than you can imagine. Our sons did SNUBA and they will be getting certified at Dive Duck Key next year. Take it from a person with 100's of dives, Dive Duck Key is one of the finest operators in the industry. They run a tight ship and still make it tons of fun. If it's your first experience or one of many, you won't forget the service and experience that Dive Duck Key has to offer. I can't say enough!!!!
Well, I certainly wish we could thank you personally for the very nice compliments... We love what we do and sure hope it shows. Can't wait to get your son's certified. Let us know when you're coming down and we'll get you the books in advance. Thanks again for the great blog!!!
Coming in March/April asked: do I need reservations?
Q: My family is coming down the end of March beginning of April. Do I need to make reservations for diving/SNUBA and snorkeling at Dive Duck Key? Or... does the hotel have spots reserved for their guests??
YES!!! Reservations for Spring Break are booking very quickly. SNUBA is an instructor guided activity and there are a maximum of 12 SNUBA spots per trip. We can also accommodate snorkelers and divers in addition to the 12 SNUBA divers. Dive Duck Key is open to the public and is booked on a first come first serve basis. We hope to hear from you soon!!!
Zachary Gottesman asked: certification dives and cost
Q: My 11 y/o daughter and I are arriving on 3/27. We will have completed PADI course work and pool dives for open water. What arrangements should I make for getting out check out dives with your operation. Also what is the cost for dive trips?
You definitely want to make your reservations soon. You need to book your check out dives with us. That is two half days on the boat. PADI does not allow them to be on the same day. The cost for the checkout dives is $350, and that includes the boat trips, the equipment, the paperwork and the registration fees. Our trips are at 8am and 1pm daily. Our instructors book up fast so call us soon! We can be reached at 305-289-4931 from 8am to 6pm daily. I strongly recommend arranging your dive trips towards the beginning of your vacation so that if we have any foul weather we will have time to reschedule while you are here. Once you have completed your certification dives, you can join as on trips as a diver. The cost for a two tank trip is between $60-$115 depending on what gear you need to rent. Hope to hear from you soon!!!
Tim Steiner asked: certification referral
Q: do you do referrals for ssi in june? if so what are the costs? we will be at hawks cay june 14th-21st.
Yes we take referrals from PADI, NAUI, and SSI, among others. And we complete referral dives year round! Our summer months are very busy down here though, so I do recommend booking your dives early. Assumming your book work and pool work are completed, it is $350 to complete your check out dives and that includes 2 boat trips, 5 dives, all your equipment, paperwork and registration fees. Feel free to email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (305-289-4931) if you have more questions or are ready to book! We look forward to diving with you this summer!!!
Cheryl asked: diving
Q: do you offer a full dive package with room, diving and meals. We have our own equiptment.
Unfortunately we do not currently have an all inclusive package with meals and accomodations. We do have great prices for rooms at Hawks Cay. The dives are $60 per person if you have all of your own equipment. Let us know if there's anything else we can do for you.
Really Embarassed asked: is there any time that women shouldn't dive?
Q: This is gross... but is it safe to dive for women all month long? You know what I'm asking???
This is not an uncommon question. Yes, women are safe to dive 365 days a year. There is no corelation between that time of the month and shark incidents. The blood is deoxygenated and does not trigger the sharks ability to sense it in the water. So, if you're comfortable swimming at that time, you can certainly dive. Good Question and don't be embarassed.