List of US mainland ocean shore dives?

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

Eric Sedletzky

Contributor
Messages
7,528
Reaction score
6,250
Location
California
# of dives
500 - 999
I want to start a thread about the best US mainland coastal shore dives.
This would include any salt water shore dives from Maine on down to Florida and around the south to Texas. Then California, Oregon, Washington.
It will include any exposed open ocean beach, tidal bays or estuaries that are directly associated with the ocean and have salt water influence. It can be ANY Shore based ocean dive as outlined above including a boat dock if you feel it’s worthy.

This is for SHORE DIVING only, no boats or kayaks.

Please Describe in detail:
Underwater terrain and typography.
Depths.
Hazards.
Water temps.
Swell and current conditions (average)
Average visibility.
Unique animals or features.
Any other relevant information.
You can rate the dive site from 1-5 for conditions. 1 being the bunny Hill to 5 being the most advanced.

You can also include any info on diving infrastructure or support (dive shops in the area) plus any local services like lodgings, stores, gas, food, etc.

I want to get an idea of what the rest of the nation is like for ocean shore dives. Where do you dive?
What’s it like?
Even the most boring dives I want to hear about, they don’t need to be glamorous. If you have a spot that’s glamorous then it’s a bonus.
Show some pics if you have any either topside or U/W or both, I’d love to see them.

..start
 

nolatom

Contributor
Messages
1,301
Reaction score
746
Location
New Orleans
# of dives
200 - 499
Well, I haven't done many, except a couple in New England. Fort Wetherill in Rhode Island is a good dive, basically a big rock wall, and a good beach to walk in and out on.

Summer temps around 70F, vis decent, say around 20-30'. Good to dive with a buddy, which I would recommend anyway.

And the park itself is green and part rocky, nice picnic spot
 

wetb4igetinthewater

Instructor
ScubaBoard Supporter
Scuba Instructor
Divemaster
Messages
6,586
Reaction score
5,113
Location
Seattle
# of dives
500 - 999
No scooters I take it too.
 

Jaan

Ask me about DRYFOB
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
135
Reaction score
191
Location
Aventura
# of dives
200 - 499
Great idea for a thread.

A few from South Florida

Blue Heron Bridge
Bunny Dive (1) LOL.
Dive at slack high tide to avoid current risk
Shallow muck dive (15-20 ft), Temp 72 (Low) in Jan/Feb and 88 (high) in Aug or so
Luck of the draw we've had 5ft viz and 50ft viz or more.
Amazing sightings from Manatees, to Squid/octopus, sea horses, pipefish, blennies, .. we are always surprised.
Rates as one of the best shore dives .. (ok lets not start that, haha, but !!)
Scuba Diving Break at the Blue Heron Bridge

Lauderdale by the sea
Shallow reef dive, easy(1). Temp 70 (Low) in Jan/Feb and 85 (high) in Aug or so
Some cannons and and anchor in the snorkeling area before the reef
20-30 ft on first reef but you can head out to the 2nd or 3rd reef lines also which get to 60-90 ft
Usually 30-50 ft viz or more. Reef has a nice swiss cheese look in places with nurse sharks, large rays, cornet fish. Also lots of nice macro
Shore Diving in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea

Yellow Brick Road
Easy (1) Shallow dive but watch the wind/wave forecast to entry / exit.
Temp 70 (Low) in Jan/Feb and 85 (high) in Aug or so
Site is over an old outfall structure of bricks, with lots of cool macro stuff between the bricks
Usually 30-50 ft viz or more
Yellow Brick Road Dive Site off Hollywood Beach
 

TMHeimer

Contributor
Divemaster
Messages
15,374
Reaction score
4,428
Location
Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
# of dives
500 - 999
The best of the places I've dived in the U.S. have been on the FL panhandle. I would imagine further South is better. Not as good would be NY (L.I.), MA, CT, RI, SC, TX.,AL, MS.

Panhandle dives I've done include Destin, Panama City Beach and surrounding Gulf and Bay areas.
Best was St. Andrews Jetty in PCB. Depths to 70'. Viz was poor 2 out of my 3 times, but I hear it is usually good. Current in the inlet means dive at slack (preferably high) tide. Nice selection of shells to collect.
Next would be the Thumb Jetty & Bridge dives in Destin. Same idea, but usually great viz. Same slack tide advice (for any of those inlets in the area). Currents can be wicked with water coming in & out of the bays.
 

Catito

Contributor
Messages
495
Reaction score
405
Location
Palm Beach County, Fl
# of dives
100 - 199
Great idea for a thread.

A few from South Florida

Blue Heron Bridge
Bunny Dive (1) LOL.
Dive at slack high tide to avoid current risk
Shallow muck dive (15-20 ft), Temp 72 (Low) in Jan/Feb and 88 (high) in Aug or so
Luck of the draw we've had 5ft viz and 50ft viz or more.
Amazing sightings from Manatees, to Squid/octopus, sea horses, pipefish, blennies, .. we are always surprised.
Rates as one of the best shore dives .. (ok lets not start that, haha, but !!)
Scuba Diving Break at the Blue Heron Bridge

Lauderdale by the sea
Shallow reef dive, easy(1). Temp 70 (Low) in Jan/Feb and 85 (high) in Aug or so
Some cannons and and anchor in the snorkeling area before the reef
20-30 ft on first reef but you can head out to the 2nd or 3rd reef lines also which get to 60-90 ft
Usually 30-50 ft viz or more. Reef has a nice swiss cheese look in places with nurse sharks, large rays, cornet fish. Also lots of nice macro
Shore Diving in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea

Yellow Brick Road
Easy (1) Shallow dive but watch the wind/wave forecast to entry / exit.
Temp 70 (Low) in Jan/Feb and 85 (high) in Aug or so
Site is over an old outfall structure of bricks, with lots of cool macro stuff between the bricks
Usually 30-50 ft viz or more
Yellow Brick Road Dive Site off Hollywood Beach

Totally agree.
 
OP
Eric Sedletzky

Eric Sedletzky

Contributor
Messages
7,528
Reaction score
6,250
Location
California
# of dives
500 - 999
Starting in Tomales Bay, Marin County, California.

Tomales Bay was formed by the San Andreas Fault. The long thin bay is the faultline and from the air you can follow the line from north to south.
I’ve dived from Lawson’s landing which is on the north side headland. Across the inlet to the bay would be Point Reyes National Seashore which is a federal preserve.
There was nothing really special to see. A lot of sand and a lot of shells around some abandoned pilings. A few crabs, etc. I was diving there just out of curiosity just to see what critters I could find underwater. Tomales Bay is known for many oyster farms and is the biggest producers of oysters on the west coast.
Water temp was in the upper 50’s because of being inside the bay the water was a bit warmer. Depths to about 20’ max. Vis about 8-10 feet. Nice sunny day.


Next one north, Bodega Bay, Sonoma County, California.
The jetties.
Dived the jetties both the outside jetty and the inside jetty.
Free parking is in Campbell cove on the north west side at the end of Bay Flat Rd.
Gear up in the parking lot and make your way down a short trail to the beach. Wade through the water about waist deep to the right side and stay by the hillside. Once you reach the outer jetty, rock crawl over the jetty boulders a ways out until you think the water is deep enough and flop in. You will be on the outside. The idea is to submerge at the base of the jetty wall and head out to the end, round the corner, and come back in on the inside back to the lagoon and Campbell cove beach. This site must be dived on an incoming tide so that the trip back in becomes a drift dive.
There are Volkswagen size boulders that make up the jetty with lots of mini caves and crevices. If you are looking for lingcod you can find them hiding around in the crevices waiting to ambush their prey. Don’t attempt to dive this site on a bad day, pick a day when it’s pretty flat otherwise the vis will be crap and you will be tossed in and out of the rock wall. Depths are only 10-15 feet depending ride height.
Once you round the corner and start coming back in don’t come up! There is a sea lion rookery out on the end and they get irritated when divers pop up in their territory. Also the USCG can get their panties up in a wad if they see divers on the inside in the boating channel so just stay down and by the rocks until you hit the beach and you’ll be fine. There isn’t really any law that I’m aware of prohibiting diving inside the channel, they just don’t like it. Once on the inside of the wall coming back in, I saw a huge angel shark laying in the mud about 6’ long. There are numerous rock crabs and Dungeness crabs along the wall plus other small things. The Outside is a rough ride with a sandy bottom and wave dunes formed by the swells, but the inside is very peaceful and smooth ride with a mud bottom. Stay off the bottom too so you don’t destroy the vis.

Hazards: lot’s of fishing line and derelict crab traps. Bring a couple cutting tools and keep your eyes open. Big bull male sea lions.
Possible sharks.
Water temps in the mid to low 50’s
Skill level about 2-3
9807FCDB-3C32-49CD-9F1F-CD2DB0FA92F1.jpeg

The jetties. The outside jetty is on the far right side.
C3A5DE86-6030-45C5-A725-733B05598909.jpeg

Lawson’s Landing
 
OP
Eric Sedletzky

Eric Sedletzky

Contributor
Messages
7,528
Reaction score
6,250
Location
California
# of dives
500 - 999
I changed the title because some of the stuff I’m posting is not necessarily the best.
Instead I’d like to come up with a comprehensive shore diving list of spots that scubaboarders can contribute that can be used as a resource.
My hope is that if it grows big enough maybe we can get a new forum on shore diving spots listed by state.
 
OP
Eric Sedletzky

Eric Sedletzky

Contributor
Messages
7,528
Reaction score
6,250
Location
California
# of dives
500 - 999
Well, I haven't done many, except a couple in New England. Fort Wetherill in Rhode Island is a good dive, basically a big rock wall, and a good beach to walk in and out on.

Summer temps around 70F, vis decent, say around 20-30'. Good to dive with a buddy, which I would recommend anyway.

And the park itself is green and part rocky, nice picnic spot
https://images.app.goo.gl/hi2CcYryFQ1ajEKa6
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

Top Bottom