Palm Beach Dive Sites
1. Snapper Reef – This beautiful 25 feet deep reef is known for an abundance of snapper and many juvenile tropical fish.
2. Ballentine’s Reef – This unique 25 feet deep reef is made up of three holes of 30 to 40 feet in diameter. A 2 to 3 feet ledge lines the perimeter of the holes. There is a lot of marine life!
3. Cable Crossing – An excellent 25 feet deep reef. Communication cables cross the reef at the north and south end. Large numbers of tropical species can be found here and other unique creatures such as guitarfish and sharp—tail eels. This spot is commonly used for open water training dives as well. It’s not just a great first dive but a spot to be enjoyed anytime.
4. Pink House – This 15 feet deep reef is a great place to spend time snorkeling while off gassing between dives. It frequently has large nurse sharks and schooling fish.
These sites are used primarily for training dives so we do not visit them on a regular basis. They are smaller reef sites, so we cannot visit them with large groups of people, although we occasionally snorkel there on our surface intervals.
1. 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.
2. The Trench — This reef has a 12 feet wide trench cut through the reef east to west. This provides all kinds of animals a place to hide and escape the current. Located at the very south end of the Breakers Reef, you can drift out of the Trench and onto the reef to finish the dive. This is one of our favorite night dive spots. You can see lobsters and crabs, and turtles and sharks like to sleep under its large ledge.
3. 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!
4. Turtle Mound — This dome shaped patch reef rises 12 to 15 feet above the sand. On the west side sleeping and feeding turtles, large stingrays and cobia can almost always be found. Turtle Mound will usually be the last leg of your dive on Breakers Reef; it’s just a short swim NNW across the sand, and well worth it! Bring your camera.
5. Tear Drop and Ron’s Rock — Another beautiful 45 to 60 feet reef, this area is well known for turtles, lobsters and tropical fish. It is a beautiful patch reef until you get to the north end, where you find Ron’s Rock. This is a section of reef that is completely separate from the main section, and deserves some exploring. Yellowhead jawfish are abundant in the sand, and goliath groupers, sharks and turtles are often found here!
6. Janine’s Ravine — This reef is very impressive, and shouldn’t be missed. This is a favorite shallow reef dive, because it is always loaded with marine life. Honeycomb holes make it a wonderful lobster spot.
7. Playpen — An artificial reef just south of the inlet made of large concrete culverts and concrete telephone poles. Schools of barracuda, sharks, eels, grouper and spotted eagle rays can be seen here.
8. 60′ Rock Piles — Just south of the inlet is an artificial reef, which was formed when the Palm Beach Inlet was made. This site is known for its large variety of marine life and shells. It is also a favorite for lobster hunters.
9. Bath & Tennis — A long reef line with 6 feet ledges, where you can see beautiful southern stingrays, tropical fish and lots of lobsters. This reef is one of our guests’ favorites. It has a nice easy edge to follow and you just never know what you might see
10. Paul’s Reef — A local favorite, this beautiful 8 feet ledge runs SE to NW and is decorated with lots of colorful soft corals, barrel sponges and rock crevices. Loaded with turtles, eels, southern stingrays, spotted eagle rays and even sharks, you will not be disappointed!
1. The Fingers — This reef has beautiful rocky ledges that are shaped like fingers. It is located on the outside of The Breakers Reef. The ledges get bigger the further north you dive ranging 50 to 80 feet. It’s a favorite among loggerhead turtles and nurse sharks.
2. Larson’s Valley — A white sandy road with a ledge on the right and a reef of the left side. An abundance of turtles, nurse sharks and lobsters can be found here. It is usually dived with Yellowtail reef since they basically run into each other.
3. Yellowtail Reef — Within 10 minutes of the inlet, this beautiful 5 feet ledge was named after the abundance of yellowtail snapper which are found everywhere on the ledge. This is also a great place for turtles, nurse sharks and lobsters.
4. 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.
5. Jolly Jack’s — This reef has a nice 6 to 8 feet ledge. Under the ledge you can find sleeping nurse sharks and turtles. At least one goliath grouper calls this reef home. There are numerous species of fish such as grunts, spadefish, parrotfish, and horse-eye jacks (which the reef is named for), and there are plenty of invertebrates. Lobster can be found in the cracks and crevices. A very pretty dive site, great for photos and video!
1. 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.
2. Juno Ledge — This 15 to 20 feet ledge is in 65 to 90 feet of water. Large rocks and cave formations can be seen in addition to numerous parrot fish, sharks and turtles. There are large schools of spade fish and other tropical fish, goliath groupers and moray eels as well. This is a local favorite and for good reason.
3. The Chimney — This reef line is one of the few ledges that starts as a huge ledge and then gets smaller as you go north. It is a 15 feet ledge, in 110 feet of water, so it is considered an advanced dive.
4. The Playground — An artificial reef made up of 1500 tons of concrete, was sunk intentionally for fisherman, however, divers frequent the spot. With a depth of 130 feet, it’s a great place to see large fish and sharks. This is considered an advanced dive.
5. 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!
6. Shark Canyon — This is one of our favorite sites. 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.
1. 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, a program to eliminate drug smuggling operations on the Miami River. 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 statue placed by the Delray Beach police and firefighters at the northern tip of the Shasha Boekanier.
2. 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.
3. The PC1170 — This patrol craft is split into two pieces below the Mizpah’s bow. The PC1170 is 160 feet long. It was scuttled in 1968 by the Palm Beach County artificial reef committee.
4. Palm Beach Triangle — This site has 3 wrecks, the Eidsvaag Freighter (aka the Owens), the Phillips Barge and the Rolls Royce. The marine life here is amazing. There are so many animals to see, including green moray eels, sharks, goliath grouper, turtles and schooling fish. This site is just 10 minutes south of the inlet.
5. The Amaryllis — The Amaryllis is a 441 feet long banana freighter, and lies in 80 feet of water. Only its hull, lower deck and helm remain. Here you can find schools of tarpon and sweepers, turtles, sharks, and goliath groupers.
6. The Corridor — A 1700 feet drift dive encompassing the Mizpah, PC117o, Amaryllis, China Barge, Brazilian Docks and rock rubble connecting them all together. It’s an excellent site with lots of fish life, including southern stingrays, eels, turtles, groupers, and much more. Many corals and colorful sponges grow here, and frogfish can be found in the rock piles. You’ll never be disappointed with this exciting dive
7. The Spiny Oyster Barge — This large barge lies in 110 feet of water about 20 minutes north of the inlet. It is a photographers dream because of the beautiful corals that cover the entire wreck. There are several pictures featuring this barge in the Pieces Book – The Divers Guide to Southeast Florida by S&S Cummins.
8. The Princess Anne — Sunk in 1993, this 350 feet car ferry used to carry 800 people and some 200 automobiles across the Chesapeake Bay. The top of the wreck rises to about 70 feet with the propeller in about 100 feet of water. You can see schools of barracuda and jacks, large goliath groupers, and the occasional bull or hammerhead shark.
9. 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.