Every dive magazine you pick up, or look at on line, will inevitably have a story about “The Best Places to Dive”….well blah, blah, blah! If you follow the money trail, you’ll see that either that place is sponsoring the story or buying ads in the magazine, or the writer was too lazy to actually go forth and research on their own. Well seeing is believing, and before Indian Valley Scuba recommends a place, they go out there and make sure that expectations will be met or exceeded. One of those places, so close to home and easy to get to, is the southeast corner of Florida, and specifically, the Blue Heron Bridge. Ranked as one of the top shore diving sites in the U.S., the waters that flow under the bridge provide homes for an amazing variety of critters, large, small and tiny. While more tending to be towards the smaller side (no Goliath Groupers or Whale Sharks here!) the array of colors, shapes, and designs will truly blow you away. Tropicals of all sorts, juveniles, crustaceans, nudibranchs, squid, octopus, rays, – you name it, you have a great chance of finding it here. Along with a few dozen shopping carts and the other inevitable bits of man-made reef structures that somehow manage to fall into the water, but today they are providing homes and hideaways for all sorts of critters. With a maximum depth of about 20 feet, you’ll get about two hours of bottom time off an 80 CF tank, so you certainly won’t run out of time on your dives. Entry is as easy as walking down the beach, parking is nearby, and the locals tend to be pretty friendly and helpful.
And while we are in the area, we’ll dive with two local operators in the waters offshore. First we visit Jupiter Dive Center, and head out to dive some of the healthy reefs and wrecks that litter the area near the Jupiter Inlet. We have a full day of dives planned with them, so it will be a long but fun day in the water, with a short lunch break back at the dock in between runs.
On Sunday, our plans are to ramp it up a bit by heading offshore with the every colorful Randy Jordan and Emerald Charters. If you like to see big animals, this is the operator to go with. Randy will drop us right on wrecks literally teeming with huge Goliath Groupers, and then he’ll pull out the bait buckets and watch the action action! Sharks of number of varieties have grown accustomed to the dinner bell of Randy’s boat, so they come a’running when his anchor drops in. Make sure the batteries are charged and there’s room on the SD card, because you are going to need it!
Our accommodations for this trip will be in one of several local hotels that are conveniently located in the center of our diving activities. Breakfast is included, lunches can be picked up for each day locally, and there are plenty of options for great dinners and drinks at reasonable prices. Fly into Fort Lauderdale, Miami or West Palm Beach, where ever you get the best airfare, and join us for this fun, laid back and excitingly different diving opportunity!