10 Best Dive Sites in Florida – Palm Beach County, Florida
The best dive sites in Florida can be found in Palm Beach County. This area offers world-class diving because the Gulf Stream brings warm, clear water and abundant marine life. In addition, the waters off Palm Beach, Florida are calm and there are some great reef and wreck diving there.
Your scuba yacht charter will know where these sites are located and will provide you with a fun and safe scuba experience. Let us set you up with a Florida yacht charter that will put you right in the middle of all this excitement.
4 Great Wreck Dives
There are so many great wreck dives along the ‘Treasure Coast’. Here are just a few of our favorites:
- Governor’s River Walk Reef — Lies in 55 to 90 feet of water just south of the Palm Beach Inlet. These 4 ships were turned over to the County by US Customs as part of Operation River Walk. The program was designed to eliminate drug smuggling operations. The names of the wrecks are the Shasha Boekanier, Gilbert Sea, St. Jacques, and Thozina. There is a great variety of tropical fish, turtles, and sharks to be seen here. There is a memorial placed by the Delray Beach police and firefighters at the northern tip of the Shasha Boekanier.
- Mizpah — This is definitely one of the best wrecks in Florida. She was sunk in 1968 and lies in 90 feet of water, just 10 minutes north of the inlet. The Mizpah is a 185 feet Greek luxury liner with 3 levels to explore. Soft corals cover the ship, and it is teeming with life. In late summer it becomes the home of spawning goliath groupers. It is a truly awesome sight to see dozens of these huge creatures on this wreck.
- Spearman’s Barge — Located on top of Awesome Alley (aka Mid—reef), on a section we call First Gully, this barge is covered with life. It sits in about 68 feet of water, the top rising to about 60 feet. Home to a resident hawksbill turtle and visited by loggerhead turtles, it has schools of silversides and copper sweepers inside and lots of brightly colored grunts and snappers covering the outside. It is also not uncommon to find a nice green moray eel living there as well. A great dive for photographers.
- Princess Anne – This 350-foot car ferry used to carry over 200 passengers and cars over the Chesapeake Bay. Sunk in the early 1990′s, this wreck sits in 100-110 feet of water and is home to large schools of jacks, barracudas, groupers, and the occasional bull shark. The last few hurricanes to hit Florida broke apart some of the superstructure on Princess Anne, but there’s still an amazing reef just north of the wreck that makes this site a must-see. Be prepared to fly through the water as this site usually has quite a strong current
6 Awesome Reef Dives
You can find awesome reef dives at all depths, from shallow to the very deep reefs at over 100ft of water.
- The Flower Garden — A gorgeous area with scattered patch reefs on the inside and a honeycombed reef on the outside, with plenty of area for the numerous species that live here to hide. Part of the reef is called The Fish Bowl, where there are so many fish that you can’t see the reef. Like the Breakers Reef, you can find just about anything here, including flying gurnards and batfish. This is a great place for pictures!
- The Breakers Reef — This is one of the prettiest reefs in the Palm Beach area. It gets its name from the famous Breakers Hotel, as it is directly offshore. It has a 4 to 8-foot ledge covered in barrel sponges and soft corals and is graced with a statue of King Neptune at the north end of the reef. Besides turtles, rays, eels, sharks and large schools of tropical fish, you can see spotted eagle rays and countless invertebrates. This is a dive you can do over and over and see something new each time. Photographers will have endless subjects, whether shooting wide angle or macro.
- Shark Canyon — The layout of this site makes for a very interesting and exciting dive. Home to resident Caribbean reef and nurse sharks, it’s definitely a favorite among divers! It is an inshore double ledge system with the deeper ledge in about 87 feet and the top ledge rising to 65 feet, with a plateau between them in 74 feet. Schools of spadefish, jacks and many other colorful tropical fish cover the reef. Loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles, as well as the very rare leatherback turtle, have all been spotted here.
- Double Ledges — Beautiful twin ledges that lie south of the inlet in 70—90 ft. of water. These sites should not be missed, as the amount of marine life on them is unbelievable! A friendly hawksbill turtle named Madeleine can usually be seen swimming up to divers to say hello!
- Lost Shaft — A 90 feet deep ledge, close to the inlet, with large ledges and lots of relief sometimes running as high as 14 feet. Large nurse sharks are usually seen here.
- Awesome Alley — This beautiful reef line, located close to the inlet, has lots of coves, gullies, and brightly colored sponges. During turtle mating and nesting season you can see as many as a dozen turtles on one dive! Moray eels, lobsters, and many other creatures live on this reef. It is a great dive when the current is strong because it is very long and easy to follow. Spearman’s Barge is located at the north end of the ledge in 65 feet of water.
Read More…Scuba Diving in Florida
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