Dive Duck Key FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Stacey asked: slow season
Q: I heard that it is slow in the fall. Do you guys still run dive trips daily?
Yes we do! We offer daily dive trips at 8am and 1pm. We do still recommend making advanced reservations to ensure that you get the dive time you want. When it slows down, as it does in the fall, we try to consolidate all of our divers onto one trip a day, either morning or afternoon. So the first to book decides which trip goes! We are usually busier on the weekends than the weekdays. We look forward to having you out diving with us!
Richard Schroder asked: scuba, 10 year boy
Q: we come to the keys November 2011, and my boy is then 10 1/2 years old. He is a good swimmer and we are often playing around in the pool with my scuba gear. Can he try scuba in the ocean, max 3-5 meters, like Padi bubble maker. Do you have any courses for kids, any experince with kids and scuba?
YES!!! He can try either of these adventures: SNUBA, which allows him to breath underwater without wearing full scuba gear. Instead he gets a breathing mouthpiece like the divers have, that is attached to a hose on the surface, and he follows a SNUBA Instructor around the reef underwater, max depth 6M. Half day experience. Age 8 & up Resort Course SCUBA, which lets him train with full SCUBA gear during a brief pool session, and then he goes out and does 2 scuba dives in full gear with an instructor on our coral reefs. Max depth is 9M. Full day experience. Age 10 & up Both options are great ways to allow kids to experience diving, without having to go through the full certification course. If he is interested in getting fully certified, he can do that at 10yrs old. It takes 3 full days.
LJ asked: age for snorkeling
Q: We are thinking of coming down during xmas week. Are there any water/underwater experiences for a 5 year old? LJ
Unfortunately, the minimum age for breathing underwater is 8 years old, however there is no age restrictions for snorkeling. We would love to have your family out for a SNUBA/snorkeling excursion while you are here visiting! Your 5 year old will love splashing above all the tropical fish...
Joan asked: water temp/SNUBA
Q: Hey, we are headed down between Christmas and New Year and booked a snuba tour - do we need wet suits if so are they provided?
While the water is still warmer here than most of the world, wetsuits are recommended for diving and SNUBA diving. If you are SNUBA diving with us, then the wetsuits are included in the price of the SNUBA trip. You just need to show up with bathing suit and towel!
Janet asked: availability
Q: Do you have any room on a boat next week?(for 2) If so what days. My husband will not be diving but will come for the ride. What sea sick med do you sell there? It worked real good for my friend last time we dove with you.
January is a slower time of year for us, so having room on the boat for two people is no problem! We do still recommend making advanced reservations however, because we often only run one trip a day, either our morning or our afternoon, depending on what the first person who books that day requests. Also, since weather can sometimes be a concern during our winter months, I also recommend planning your dive for the beginning of your stay here, so that if it is cancelled due to high winds, you will have some days to reschedule. Triptone would be the sea sick medicine your friend took while going out on the boat with us.
Janet asked: sea sickness med
Q: What sea sickness med do you sell at your dive shop?
We currently sell 3 different brands of anti seasickness medicine. Triptone is our preferred medicine that we recommend to our divers. We also carry CVS brand Motion Sickness Original Formula and Survitec Anti Motion Sickness Tablets. The main active ingredient in these medicines is Dimenhydrinate, which in our opinion is a lot more affective than the main ingredient in Bonine. The best way to maximize the affectiveness of any seasick medicine is to take it the night before, as well as the day of your boat trip. Taking the recommended dosages at the appropriate time intervals will ensure the medicine is good and in your system, without making you feel tired, as you do when you take the highest recommended dosage right before jumping onboard. While seasickness is always a concern when boating, whether you dive, snorkel or SNUBA, it should not prevent you from taking the boat trip out to our beautiful coral reefs. Dive Duck Key has some of the most active and colorful reefs in the Florida Keys and it would be a shame not to see them on your vacation!
Hough Family asked: diving and fishing
Q: We just booked our family vacation at Hawk's Cay for the week of Dec 16-22 and would like to schedule fishing and diving trips. There will be 7 of us, however only 3 are certified SCUBA. Only 4 of us are interested in fishing. Can you provide a recommended itinerary.
I can certainly give you some information on the diving! We run a charter dive boat out of Hawks Cay Resort's marina. We offer trips for certified divers, as well as for non certified divers that want to experience their first breath underwater. The 4 people that are not certified might want to check out our SNUBA program or our Resort Course Dive, the certified divers can dive along with them for the full family experience! Our trips are 4 hours from check in to back to dock, and leave at 8am or 1pm. Advanced reservations are recommended, and you would want to book your dive trip for the beginning of your stay down here, so that you have some flexibility if the weather isnt cooperating. Call or email if you have more questions or would like to book! As far as fishing goes, you can call the dock office at 305-743-3198. They book the fishing charters. Unfortunately, there are no charters here that offer both fishing and diving on the same trip.
Lisa Morris asked: diving
Q: We will be visiting the week of March 26th. Two divers age 16 and 18, and two adult snorkelers. What is the cost for a dive trip? What are the options?
The cost of a dive trip depends on what gear the divers will be renting from us. If they have all their own gear and just need tanks from us, it is $75 a diver for a two tank, 2 location reef trip. If they need to rent BC and Regulator, it is $95, and if they need to rent everything including mask, fins and wetsuit, the cost of the trip is $115. Snorkelers are $45 plus the cost of renting a wetsuit if you want one. Mask and fins are included for snorkelers if they need them. We run boat trips out to the coral reef morning and afternoon, at 8am or 1pm. Trips take about 4 hours total, from check in to back to dock. We have over 20 reef spots, so we can get you on different spots if you do multiple trips with us. We do recommend advanced reservations for that time of year. Please let me know if you have any more questions. Hope this information helps!
SW Travel asked: padi diving
Q: Is there a PADI Dive Program at the Resort? Thank you,
Yes, we do certify PADI divers, as well as NAUI divers. We offer dive classes ranging from a one day try SCUBA program called Discover SCUBA diving, to the full Open Water certification, and continuing dive education with the Advanced Open Water Course. We do recommend booking classes in advance to ensure availability, feel free to call or email to book! 305-289-4931 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sherry asked: resort course & eye glasses
Q: We will be at Hawk's Cay during Spring Break and my son is interested in the Resort Course (he did Snuba last year and can't wait to try diving)! Is it possible, if we pay additional fee, that he can go out on additional dives once he completes the pool course ? Also, my husband is interested as well, but wears prescription glasses - how do we handle that? thanks
Sherry, Your family is going to have a great time at Hawks Cay! The Resort course is the perfect next step after SNUBA diving. Yes, he can do as many dive trips as he wants after completing the pool course, for up to a year, as long as an instructor guide is hired each time to go with him. If you are going to be here for a decent amount of time, and he is as enthusiastic as he sounds about diving, you may want to consider enrolling him in a full certification course.... he would want to sign up now so we can mail him the books to read, but if getting certified is something he is interested in- why wait? We are able to work with most prescriptions. People who are far sighted (see better far away but cant read or see detail up close) are just fine with a regular mask because they see better at the distance where the fish are. Near sighted people, who cant see well farther away, are usually the divers who need a prescription mask, which we have in stock. We have a range of prescription masks, from a -1.0 to a -8.0, and if you are not sure what your prescription is, we play eye doctor and you hold each one up to your face until you find the one that works best. We do have them in rental at no additional charge if you are doing a dive class with us, and we also sell them, if you are looking to own your own. Now, more unique prescriptions, with stigmatisms and such, we may not always be able to accommodate, but we try. Your eye doctor can put your prescription in a mask if needed, although it does take time (and money). Keep in mind that a lot of people are comfortable diving in their contacts. I always wear mine when diving. If your husband has contacts, he could try using contacts in the pool, and try the prescription mask in the pool, and see what he prefers. Looking forward to diving with your family! Hope you decide to join them as well!
Teri asked: John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Q: hi! we're looking at a long weekend with family and grandparent .... my daughter is 7 and i'm liking the shallowness of the state park. do you go there from duck cay?
No, John Pennecamp is about an hour drive (towards Miami) by car to the state park, and would take several hours to get to by boat. Snorkelers at Hawks Cay Resort do go to another designated state park called Coffins Patch, which gets as shallow as 8 ft in the center, and as deep as 20 ft all around the edges. It is absolutely beautiful, and because it is not the 'first' state-designated reef that tourists in the Keys get to from the mainland, it is a LOT less crowded and in better shape. Our dive and SNUBA boat also goes to several reefs in the area that are not marked on a map. So instead of competing for reef space with everyone on a rental boat, we are diving and snorkeling reefs that you wouldnt find on your own, with lots of privacy and room to spread out and explore our gorgeous coral reefs. The "key" to good snorkeling and diving in the Keys is NOT go where everyone else goes, but to find lesser populated spots to enjoy the scenery! Give us a call and we can tell you all about our reef sites, as well as what adventures we can offer your family... 1-877-FUN-DIVE
TJ asked: snorkeling trip
Q: Can anyone go on a snorkeling trip? What are the chances of seeing a sea turtle while snorkeling?
Hello, Yes Anyone can go on a snorkeling trip. We also offer a great experiance for those that want to take snorkeling to the next level. It is called "SNUBA" SNUBA is for beginners that have never experianced what it is like to breath underwater. It is similar to SCUBA Diving but without all the equipment and you do not need to be certified to experiance this awesome look into our underwater world. The Florida Keys reef systems are the 3rd largest in the world, and there are over 1200 different species of marine life. Sea Turtles are a fairly common visitor to our reefs so the chances are good you will see one or two of them. Feel free to give us a call anytime and we will be happy to answer any of your questions about the marine life or diving for you 305-289-4931
Veronica asked: SNUBA and snorkeling
Q: We will stay att Hawks cay dec 26 to 28. Me and my two children. We would like to do reservations for snorkling and SNUBA. Do you have an email for reservations or do I have to call? My two sons, age 14 and 11 are like fishes in the water. They swim very well and the are very used to snorkling. I would like them to try SNUBA, but I will not! I am a little bit afraid of water, I prefer to snorkel. Will they be safe with you or do I have to do SNUBA too. I prefer to stay at the surface! BR Veronica
We are looking forward to your visit! Our SNUBA program is an excellent way for people to get introduced to diving. The SNUBA divers will be with an instructor the entire time they are underwater, and do not have to have parental supervision. We would love for you to join them on SNUBA, however you are more than welcome to come as a snorkeler. You an snorkel above your kids as they SNUBA with their instructor. You may book their SNUBA trip by phone (877-FUN-DIVE) or over email (email@example.com). Either way is great. SNUBA is a popular activity, so I do recommend advanced reservations.
Iori Eosso asked: SNUBA
Q: What is the cost? Is there a weight limit for someone?
SNUBA at Dive Duck Key is $99. The experience includes a 4 hr boat trip that goes to two locations on the reef, and you will SNUBA at one site and snorkel the other. All the gear is included. You must be at least 8 years old to participate, and there is no weight restriction. You do not have to be a strong swimmer, but you should be comfortable in water deeper than your height. There are some health restrictions, we cannot take anyone who has asthma, diabetes or epilepsy. Any guests who are unable to SNUBA are more than welcome to come out on the boat and snorkel both sites. We hope to have the opportunity to show you our beautiful coral reefs.
Alta asked: water temp
Q: We will be staying at your resort the last week in April. What is the current water temp and do we need wet suits? Is this included in the full rental gear
Water temperature right now is 78-80 degrees on the reef. We do still recommend wetsuits when diving. Wetsuits are included in our full gear package of $115 for a two tank/two location dive trip. We have a large selection of all sizes. We look forward to diving with you!
Mark asked: dive booking
Q: We plan to dive may 30,, 31 and june 1st 4 diver 3 x padi openwater diver 16 yrs old 40 dives 14 yrs old 30 dives 11 yrs old 10 dives 47 yrs bsac dive leader over 400 logged dives Only need tank and weight Can we make reservations ? Thanks
Mark, Thank you for your interest in Dive Duck Key, located in the heart of the Florida Keys at Hawks Cay Marina. We specialize in underwater adventures for the experienced and inexperienced alike! We hope to have the opportunity to show you our beautiful coral reefs. Please call (305-289-4931) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) us should you need any assistance in booking an activity with us. We are open every day from 8am-6pm. We will need the following information when booking: • Names • Cell Phone Number • Date of last dive • Arrival and Departure Dates for the Keys, Hotel staying at for vacation • Time of Reservation request (8am or 1pm) • Credit Card Number, Expiration Date, and V code The cost of a two tank, two location reef dive trip is $75 for divers needing only tanks and weights. Thanks again for your interest in Dive Duck Key!
Diane asked: prescription glasses
Q: Hi, I was a little thrown by your prescription glasses discussion - is there anyway to wear own glasses within mask? While I understand this is not the best, my husband has never been able to wear contacts, and he has a very strong prescription with an astigmatism. Thank you!
Unfortunately, there is not a way to wear your own glasses under a mask. The mask skirt that goes around your face creates a seal to keep water from leaking in, the ear pieces on your glasses would break that seal. You can get your doctor to put your prescription in a mask, or some doctors can get your prescription put in a sticky lens that you place in a mask. There is nothing I can do about a astigmatism, but we do have masks up to a -8.0 prescription, which is pretty strong. Water also magnatizes things, so you actually want a slightly weaker prescription than your own to counter that magnatism. Hope this helps!
John asked: SNUBA
Q: Hi - we will be staying at your resort in several weeks and are interested in SNUBA. I have terrible eyesight (w/ very bad astigmatism) - and I wear glasses all the time. I cannot wear contacts. Can I wear my glasses under the SNUBA goggles? Is this the same for Snorkeling?
Unfortunately, there is not a way to wear your own glasses under a mask. The mask skirt that goes around your face creates a seal to keep water from leaking in, the ear pieces on your glasses would break that seal. You can get your doctor to put your prescription in a mask, or some doctors can get your prescription put in a sticky lens that you place in a mask. There is nothing I can do about a astigmatism, but we do have masks up to a -8.0 prescription, which is pretty strong. Water also magnatizes things, so you actually want a slightly weaker prescription than your own to counter that magnatism. It is also perfectly safe to wear contacts while diving or snorkeling, if you own a pair, that may be your best solution. Hope this helps!
William asked: diving class
Q: We were looking into staying there the last week of June and were thinking of getting certified. Was wondering if we did the padi online course ahead of tim e(dont want to spend vacation with classwork:) what the coast would be to get certification for 2. We would also consider doing everything but open water dives at a local shop/school
William, Thanks for your interest in the PADI Open Water Course. Yes, you can do your bookwork and exam online, which would eliminate the lecture portion of the course. It would take 5 half days (2.5 full days) to complete the pool and boat work. The cost for that is $499. If you do all your pool work at home as well, then the boat work would take 2 half days and costs $350. The prices include all equipment rental, boat and registration fees. We hope to have the opportunity to show you our beautiful coral reefs!
Jim Gatacre - Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) asked: group dive trip for HSA
Q: For several years we conducted yearly group trips at Hawks Cay and would like to resume this activity for our members. The boat that is pictured on this site will work very well for our divers. I have talked to divers with disabilities that dove with you and they were very complimentary of how well you provided diving for them. I would like to speak to someone to organized a trip this year in October or November. Cheers Jim Gatacre
Jim, We would love to help you organize a trip with us. To ensure that we get all the details and can service you guys the best way possible, please call us to start the planning. Ask for Jessica, the shop manager, or Joe, the owner. We would be happy to assist! The fall is a great time to be diving in the Keys!