Safety Sausages And Dive Computers
In order for the boat to more easily spot you on the surface to pick you up after your dive, divers need a safety sausage . We require every diver on our boat to have a safety sausage and be knowledgeable in its use. If you donât own one, you may buy or rent one from us.
All divers need to have a dive computer and should understand how their computer works. If you are renting gear from us, a member of our crew can advise you if you arenât familiar with the brand.
Best 7 Dive Sites In West Palm Beach
With over 60 artificial reefs that are mostly less than 100 feet below and accessible natural coral reefs that are ideal for drift diving, theres not always enough time to explore the underwater realms of West Palm Beach. And this means another excuse to be back soon. Here are the top spots you might want to consider depending on your skill level.
What Makes Diving In Palm Beach Special
First off, huge thanks to Pura Vida Divers. They were consummate professionals, fun to dive with, and offered first-rate rental gear. A good dive shop can make and dive destination special, but Palm Beach goes beyond that. Palm Beach is the start of the South Atlantic Bight, a missive recess in the coastline that runs all the way to Cape Hatteras North Carolina. Its the easternmost point in Florida, the northern terminus of the Florida Reef Tract, and the other side of a 45-mile-wide straight opposite of Freeport Bahamas. All of this means a strong current and diverse ecology.
Turtles love Palm Beach because its so easy for their young to enter the Gulf Stream Current. Large schools of groupers aggregate here as well taking advantage of that underwater river. I cant wait to return to Palm Beach to try night diving at Blue Heron Bridge, grouper diving, wreck diving, or even a shore dive from Breakers Hotel. With so many dive options, I am sure that well be coming back again and again. Palm Beach County sits directly north of Broward County, home to many great Fort Lauderdale dive sites as well. So many great dive, so little time.
Disclosure: A big thank you to Pura Vida Divers for hosting us! For more diving inspiration check out their , , and accounts.
As always, the views and opinions expressed are entirely our own, and we only recommend brands and destinations that we 100% stand behind.
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Ed and Jenn
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The Inside Scoop On Scuba Diving In Florida
A diver exploring the Blue Heron Bridge in Singer Island, Florida.
Florida is no stranger to great diving, but many travelers are unaware that The Palm Beaches are home to hundreds of spectacular dives for every skill level. In fact, people come from all over the world to dive at Blue Heron Bridge at Phil Foster Park on Singer Island. It’s known as one of the best shore-dive sites in the world. The water here is full of amazing and colorful sea life.
Selected West Palm Beach Dive Sites
Zieglers Zoo: north of the inlet, 85-105 feet , west side ledge topping at 85 feet , rich in macro and larger marine life, not rich north of the site, usually a south to north drift, suitable for experienced level divers
100 Foot Caves: 84-102 feet , just south of Zeiglers Zoo, inside ledge topping at 102 feet , lots of deep undercutting caverns, small sea fans, schools of porkfish, snapper, and grunts, lots of reef tropicals, and macro life, possible south to north drift, suitable for experienced level divers
Amaryllis: 85 feet maximum depth, 440-foot Liberty ship that ran ashore in a storm in 1965, was cut apart, towed, and sunk to become an artificial reef in 1968, sitting upright in the sand oriented north/south, twisted and broken pieces, no superstructure remains, lots of fish, including angelfish, wrasses, glassy sweepers, and lobster, to the north is a sunken barge and field of concrete debris, suitable for all levels of diver
PC1170 and the Rock Pile: patrol boat scuttled to become an artificial reef in the 1960s, located between the Amaryllis and the Mizpah, not much of the boat left, huge rock pile just north of the wreck with loads of small tropicals, can continue north to the Amaryllis on the south to north drift, suitable for all levels of diver
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Phil Foster Park In Riviera Beach
Located about three hours down the coast from our dealership is Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach. This is a great spot for beginner divers who want to scope out sea life before diving in. From the shore, you can see all kinds of fish and sea creatures. After you get your bearings, go over to the site called Cable Crossings. Here, you can admire a natural reef that features mini caves.
Where To Stay When Visiting West Palm Beach In Florida
While thinking about Scuba Diving West Palm Beach in Florida, the first thing that one gets to visualize is the water bodies, green lushes, exotic beaches, and many other places that can bring peace to your eyes. A place like West Palm Beach has got innumerable options to stay and enjoy the bliss of West Palm Beach. Those who are seeking an adventurous trip, exploring the vast marine life, and visiting all tourist places can be the best choice for them to explore the place from the core.
This place has got a strange character in terms of surprising a newcomer. You must be thinking about what it can be? Well, a typical morning in the West Palm Beaches is great for trotting around the sea beaches, museums, gardens that surround the place. But, post-sunset the glittery nightlife, theatre shows, restaurants encourage the fun-loving spirit inside you to visit local bars and pubs of this West Palm area. You can even learn here how does a snorkel works under proper guidance and safety?
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The Princess Anne Wreck
Experienced divers love exploring the Princess Anne wreck. Infact, it is one of the top wreck dives in the United States. This 340-foot carand passenger ferry sits at the bottom of the ocean and is home to all sorts ofmarine life. It is located offshore from the Palm Beach Inlet. Trained diverscan explore the ferrys open rooms, intact staircases, and other open areas ofthe wreck.
Divers who arent trained in wreck diving can enjoy the sights ofthe nearby coral reef. You may see parrotfish, barracuda, Atlantic spadefish,and even a shark or two. With proper training, you can eventually venture intothe depths of the wreck.
Florida has some amazing scuba and snorkeling opportunities. Before exploring any of these sites, make sure you are properly trained and equipped to ensure your safety throughout the dive. Once youre all set, get ready to see some captivating ocean life.
Drift Diving In West Palm Beach
Drift Diving, also nicknamed “Valet Diving” is extremely popular. South Florida’s reef tract is linear and the warm Gulfstream current flows parallel to the shoreline creating perfect drift diving conditions. Unlike many dive destinations that make you swim out and back to the boat, in South Florida we simply drop you in with a flag and you drift until you are ready to surface, then we pick you up.
Advantages to Drift Diving
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When To Visit In West Palm Beach For Scuba Diving
Before you visit for scuba diving West Palm Beach, you must have a complete idea about its weather and what is the perfect season to visit here. There are mainly two kinds of weather dry season and wet season. The wet season roughly merges with the Hurricane season and includes months from June to September accompanying average rainfall. On the other hand, the dry season covers the entire winters.
The wet season carries a humidity range of 85% from June to November. However, the daily humidity levels reach up to 95%. You might not need a jacket during this time, since the average low temperature would be 75oF and can sometimes be around 60oF too. The average high temperatures surround in the 90s, which makes the environment a lot hotter.
In winters, the temperature in Florida rises to 76oF in between December to February. However, the average low temperature ranges within 57-60oF in those months. If we analyzed the records, it is evident that the temperature got down to 24oF in December, 26oF in January, and 27oF in February. But not to worry, as it is also claimed that the fall in temperature only occurs in the wee hours of the morning early morning and by mid-morning. Do not forget to carry a sweatshirt or light jacket, especially if you are planning to visit this place during the winter season.
Fishing And Lobster Season
Many Florida locals like to fish for their dinner, which is a healthy sustainable practice. To ensure safety of all our divers, spearfishers are always dropped at a good distance away from the other divers. Lionfish are an invasive species in Florida, so it assists the health of the ecosystem to hunt for Lionfish while diving. Lobster Season is very popular and runs from late July/early August through March. If you are hunting for fish or lobster, we ask that you show us your valid Florida fishing license. Visit myfwc.com for information on instant licensing.
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Second Dive The Fourth Window
We spend our surface interval parked offshore the magnificent Breaker Hotel. They have several reefs close to the shore that we could snorkel on, but our crew advised us not to dive down because it would affect the interval timing. Afterward, we lined up on the 4th window of the hotel. Our captain serenaded us was a round of Baby Shark because the radio reports were coming in about sharks on the reef less than an hour ago.
The reef section of 4th Window featured a spur-and-groove topology where large coral spurs get separated by sandy channels. These formations provided excellent habitats where animals, like giant schools of grunts or divers, could escape the current and rest. In addition to the tropical fish, we saw two sharks and six turtles.
Dreya and I managed 45 minutes of bottom time at 60 and surfaced perfectly. Our DM told us about a cave swim-through at the end of the reef, but nobody on the boat that day reached it. We bobbed by my perfectly inflated safety sausage waiting for the boat to come to get us with huge smiles on our faces.
A Quick Guide To The Scuba Diving West Palm Beach
Are you one of them who likes the ocean more than hills? The very first thing that generally comes to our mind after listening to the word sea is water sports. So, in case you are a water sports enthusiast, then you can try Scuba Diving West Palm Beach. The much energetic aqua sports here will help you to get some fresh oxygen in your dull life. Nobody can ever say no scuba diving or snorkeling. But finding out a proper place where a person can enjoy the thrill of water sports is not an easy task.
Gone are those days when travelers visited prominent tourist places. So, here comes the lesser-known place, West Palm Beach that can offer you a fantastic scuba diving experience. From heavenly scenic beauty to splendid scuba diving experience your upcoming trip to West Palm Beach will be beautiful. Lets try to understand why this place is known for the best place for scuba diving in the USA.
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A Visit To The Nature Park
Who doesnt want to spend some time in the middle of nature during their stay in the West Palm Beach area? Okeeheelee Park is situated in the hub of the city area. This 90-acre vast nature park is the perfect place to enjoy a break from the busy city life. You can visit there for a regular stroll or take your children to enjoy nature and play with them.
A Trip To The Botanical Garden
West Palm Beach has a very famous botanical garden situated within the city area. Mounts Botanical Garden has a varied collection of plants, orchids, and trees that will attract any botany enthusiast. Anyone who visits this West Palm Beach area must visit here to enjoy the greenery of this botanical garden.
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West Palm Beach Diving
The diving experience in West Palm Beach is on another level. Youll have your fill of underwater site exploration in varying depths, bottom formations, and structures. Here, divers get to hang out with more wild sea turtles inhabiting the area than anywhere else, especially in the summertime, when tens of thousands of them come to the shore. Aside from these bulky critters, you will run into other unique sea creatures that are fascinating to be around.
The Gulf Streams proximity strongly impacts every diving aspect along West Palm Beach. Thus, you get great underwater visibility averaging 60 feet on this side, and a rich marine environment that thrives continuously.
Although it varies daily, the offshore current is mostly conducive to drift diving, making a case for more lazy dives in the region. The constant water flow breathes life into reefs, serving as the oceanic highway for migratory fish and aquatic species ranging from lemon sharks to mackerel, manta rays, grunts, groupers, snappers, and so on. So the last thing youd want to happen is forget your underwater camera to capture the vibrant kaleidoscope beneath.
West Palm Beach reefs are not only highly decorated and vivid in color, but they also have a dual ledge setup that runs parallel to the coast. This system makes it easy for snorkelers and divers to maximize bottom time, taking in all the surrounding beauty undersea.
A Trip To The Zoo And Conservation Society
If you are a wildlife animal and plant lover, you shouldnt miss visiting Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society. Be it a child or an adult, the way the underwater life is present here for the visitors is bound to capture the attention. Getting a parking area in this place can be a difficult task, so plan your visit accordingly.
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A Small Visit To The Museum Of Art
Florida is famous for the unique art and culture of this place. So, being a prominent area of the state, West Palm Beach has lots of museums. Norton Museum of Art is the best among all the museums in this area. The history of Everglades and Seminole Native Americans are appropriately crafted here. Therefore, if you are a history fanatic, you now know what exactly you must do in West Palm Beach for both entertainment and learning purposes.
The Corridor Wreck Trek
Comprising six different wrecks just outside the Riviera Inlet, the Corridor Wreck Trek is a dive well-spent. When in the area, you would want to take advantage of this great opportunity to explore this trek in one day.
With the ocean current going towards the North, you will likely drift off to M/V Ana Cecilia first, which is fairly new, having been sunk in 2016 as an artificial reef. Nonetheless, many Goliath Groupers hang out in what used to be a 170-foot-long freight ship. It sits 85 feet below and has a prominent bow youre bound to see as you approach the site.
Next in line is the oldest artificial reef on the Palm Beach coast, Mizpah. It was a 185-foot Greek hull and was purposefully sunk in 1968. Only about 60 percent of it exists at the bottom of the sea, but given its age, it is heavily covered with corals and living sponges.
PC 1174 is a 165-foot military craft 100 yards away and sunk in the same year as the Mizpah. Although a good chunk of it has already broken into bits and pieces, the largest one lies under Mizpahs bow.
As you drift further, aided by the rock piles, the currents will bring you to the fourth wreck, Amaryllis. Once a behemoth 450-foot ship, its salvaged parts were sunk as an artificial reef after being washed ashore by a hurricane. Here, its almost certain that youll encounter sea turtles and perhaps reef sharks as well.
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Visit A Wildlife Sanctuary
The McCarthys Wildlife sanctuary takes care of the wildlife animals. This place is famous for another reason as well. Those who all are no longer intending to keep their pet with them come here for rehab. Authority keeps them in this place for a while and then released them in the forest. Please do not forget to make a reservation before coming here.
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
There are two primary sites certified divers can explore at Point Lobos: Whalers Cove and Bluefish Cove.
A must-dive, Whalers Cove is a narrow beach with a rocky bottom located in the northern part near Carmel. The kelp in this spot can be overwhelming, especially during summer and fall when it is thickest. Nonetheless, flora and fauna are flourishing, while the pristine reefs and coves are impressive, allowing you to swim under calm waters.
Theres also the Pit, an adjacent spot consisting of three caverns where unique invertebrates abound.
On the other hand, Bluefish Cove does not have a beach, but divers can use a boat dropoff to access it. It has two large pinnacles separated by a steep and narrow canyon around 90 feet deep. Aside from the great topography, you will find colorful fish, stony corals, encrusted sponges, and strawberry anemones, to name a few.
There is a limit of 10 teams who can dive the spots at a time hence you should make reservations in advance. In addition, a divers certification is required since the site is an advanced dive.
You can do many other things at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve if you cant dive. Theres the Whalers Cabin, hiking trails, a birdwatching spot, and a wildlife sanctuary where you can check out coyotes, foxes, mountain lions in their natural setting.
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