How far north from Ft. Lauderdale to good day boat diving?

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highdesert

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Greetings all -

I tried to do this a few years back, didn't happen, trying again now. I have a relative, and a free bed, a mile south of Commercial Ave in Lauderdale, just off the Waterway. If I have a car and my dive gear, how far north do I need to go to find high-quality day boat diving in May? Deerfield? Boynton?

NOTE: I'm experienced, over 500 dives, but most of them in SE Asia and Eastern Pacific (Socorro and Malpelo), either from a resort or a liveaboard. So, lots of current and a few hairy dives. BUT I have zero experience with the US day boat scenario. I own no tank or weights, but have everything else. Looking for suggestions for a dive operation, and frankly would like to maybe meet up with some SB locals to steer me through the process there.

I'd welcome any suggestions, and thanks in advance!
 

Catito

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Greetings all -

I tried to do this a few years back, didn't happen, trying again now. I have a relative, and a free bed, a mile south of Commercial Ave in Lauderdale, just off the Waterway. If I have a car and my dive gear, how far north do I need to go to find high-quality day boat diving in May? Deerfield? Boynton?

NOTE: I'm experienced, over 500 dives, but most of them in SE Asia and Eastern Pacific (Socorro and Malpelo), either from a resort or a liveaboard. So, lots of current and a few hairy dives. BUT I have zero experience with the US day boat scenario. I own no tank or weights, but have everything else. Looking for suggestions for a dive operation, and frankly would like to maybe meet up with some SB locals to steer me through the process there.

I'd welcome any suggestions, and thanks in advance!

Pura Vida divers on Singer Island (just North of WPB). We were lucky enough to see a 9 to 10ft Great Hammerhead with them this past Saturday (3/6/21) at 50ft. Great dive operation. The best in the area in my opinion.
 

Ana

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There are several boats that go off the marinas on the north side of Atlantic blvd, east side of the intracoastal.
That would be about 10 minutes from your location.
 

Divin'Papaw

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You'll find good dive charters right in Ft Lauderdale as well as in Pompano Beach, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach, and Jupiter. It all depends upon what you want to see.

Why these locations you may ask? That’s where the inlets are. All marinas are on the intracoastal and they need an inlet to get out to the Atlantic.

As long as you're comfortable with drift diving I'd suggest Jupiter, Palm Beach and Boynton Beach charters for the best reefs and some decent wrecks. All drift diving there. If you want moored in wreck diving Pompano Beach south to Ft Lauderdale offers the most options in the area. All of these are within a 1 hr drive or less from Ft Lauderdale.

Pretty much any charter will rent you tanks either air or nitrox. All provide weights.

Some options include:
Sea Experience in Ft Lauderdale
South FL Diving HQ in Pompano
Starfish or Loggerhead in Boynton
Pura Vida or Narcosis in Palm Beach
Jupiter Dive Ctr or Jupiter Scuba Diving in Jupiter
 

KDAD

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Depending on how long you will be in town I would do all of the dive ops in the order that @JimBlay listed as the dives will generally get a bit more challenging and better as you go down the list. Mix a few LBTS shore dives in as that is right between you and Commercial as well as hitting Blue Heron Bridge a few times and you will get a good taste of the diving down there.
 

Catito

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Depending on how long you will be in town I would do all of the dive ops in the order that @JimBlay listed as the dives will generally get a bit more challenging and better as you go down the list. Mix a few LBTS shore dives in as that is right between you and Commercial as well as hitting Blue Heron Bridge a few times and you will get a good taste of the diving down there.
You'll find good dive charters right in Ft Lauderdale as well as in Pompano Beach, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach, and Jupiter. It all depends upon what you want to see.

Why these locations you may ask? That’s where the inlets are. All marinas are on the intracoastal and they need an inlet to get out to the Atlantic.

As long as you're comfortable with drift diving I'd suggest Jupiter, Palm Beach and Boynton Beach charters for the best reefs and some decent wrecks. All drift diving there. If you want moored in wreck diving Pompano Beach south to Ft Lauderdale offers the most options in the area. All of these are within a 1 hr drive or less from Ft Lauderdale.

Pretty much any charter will rent you tanks either air or nitrox. All provide weights.

Some options include:
Sea Experience in Ft Lauderdale
South FL Diving HQ in Pompano
Starfish or Loggerhead in Boynton
Pura Vida or Narcosis in Palm Beach
Jupiter Dive Ctr or Jupiter Scuba Diving in Jupiter

I agree with one exception... had a poor experience with South Fl Diving HQ. I would skip that op.
 

Divin'Papaw

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I agree with one exception... had a poor experience with South Fl Diving HQ. I would skip that op.

Access to the awesome dive sites off of Deerfield/Pompano, most of them wrecks, is challenging these days with the closure of Pompano Dive Center. They were my go-to Pompano charter and I was sad to see them close. I included South FL Dive HQ as they are currently the best option I'm aware of to dive those sites. Miss Conduct is supposed to be great but it's a 6-pack and only runs when he has enough divers. Not very convenient for an out-of-town single diver looking for a consistent boat to use. It is an option for groups of 4-6. I've personally had issues with Dixie Divers which is why I cannot recommend them. I have heard similar issues regarding Scubatyme (many times actually) which is why I don't recommend them. I've personally never used them. There is a new dive op in the area (AquaLife Divers) but I know absolutely zero about them and won't recommend them until I do. Just not alot of options even through there are some awesome sites in that area. The folks and shops I know that regularly dive that area all use South FL Dive HQ. I personally don't have much experience with them and the experience I have is pretty old. These days I'm doing all of my diving up in Palm Beach County between Boynton and Jupiter.
 
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