West Palm Beach Diving - Recommendations

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Reidster

Contributor
Messages
97
Reaction score
25
Location
Macomb, Michigan
# of dives
200 - 499
Hello! Looking for recommendations for a dive shop to use in the West Palm Beach area, as well as modest hotel accommodations. My understanding is that West Palm Beach diving is drift diving. My wife & I are both advanced & nitrox certified. We've been to both the Keys & Cozumel several times, Grand Cayman (4), the Bahamas (2), Roatan (3) & Bonaire once. We are looking at the last week of July & wondering what type of conditions we should expect: visibility, temperatures, reef conditions, etc.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

Diverlady13

Contributor
Messages
252
Reaction score
170
Location
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
# of dives
50 - 99
Hello! Looking for recommendations for a dive shop to use in the West Palm Beach area, as well as modest hotel accommodations. My understanding is that West Palm Beach diving is drift diving. My wife & I are both advanced & nitrox certified. We've been to both the Keys & Cozumel several times, Grand Cayman (4), the Bahamas (2), Roatan (3) & Bonaire once. We are looking at the last week of July & wondering what type of conditions we should expect: visibility, temperatures, reef conditions, etc.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

We stayed on Singer Island last fall. We had booked with Pura Vida divers. Unfortunately our diving was canceled due to weather, but we did hire a guide from the shop to dive the Blue Heron Bridge. (We didn't have many dives at the time or we would have just done that ourselves.) I can't speak for the boat diving portion, but the shop staff were very organized and helpful despite how busy it was at the time. We'll be going back soon and are planning to book with them again. Hopefully the weather won't thwart us this time!

Hopefully someone will come along with hotel recommendations. We rented a condo through VRBO. It was pretty reasonable. We prefer to do that over staying at a hotel so that we don't have to eat out or get take out every meal. We always have great ambitions about dinners overlooking the ocean, but after diving we are usually happy to toss a frozen pizza in the oven and call it good.
 
OP
R

Reidster

Contributor
Messages
97
Reaction score
25
Location
Macomb, Michigan
# of dives
200 - 499
We stayed on Singer Island last fall. We had booked with Pura Vida divers. Unfortunately our diving was canceled due to weather, but we did hire a guide from the shop to dive the Blue Heron Bridge. (We didn't have many dives at the time or we would have just done that ourselves.) I can't speak for the boat diving portion, but the shop staff were very organized and helpful despite how busy it was at the time. We'll be going back soon and are planning to book with them again. Hopefully the weather won't thwart us this time!

Hopefully someone will come along with hotel recommendations. We rented a condo through VRBO. It was pretty reasonable. We prefer to do that over staying at a hotel so that we don't have to eat out or get take out every meal. We always have great ambitions about dinners overlooking the ocean, but after diving we are usually happy to toss a frozen pizza in the oven and call it good.
How did hiring the guide to dive Blue Heron Bridge go? How did you like the dive(s) there?
 

Diverlady13

Contributor
Messages
252
Reaction score
170
Location
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
# of dives
50 - 99
How did hiring the guide to dive Blue Heron Bridge go? How did you like the dive(s) there?

Our guide was wonderful! Both she and the shop were definitely happy to pick up some business since the entire week of boat diving was canceled. (The hurricane season lasted about 2 weeks longer than "normal" last year.) We had brand new gear, so that was our acclimation dive to sort out any issues. Our guide was very knowledgable and so helpful with that....even noticed that my BC had a piece incorrectly set up and fixed that for me. We only had (IIRC) 21 dives at the time, so were really new and appreciated the extra help.

Unfortunately our dive wasn't fantastic, but I hear the BHB is supposed to be a really good dive normally. The high winds had contributed to stirring up all the silt and sand, so vis was down to under 5 feet within 10 minutes of us getting in the water. Plus, since none of the boats went out, I think every diver in WPB headed to the bridge that day. It was crowded. We didn't see a tremendous amount of sea life due to the low vis, but did see a batfish and a huge starfish. We'll go back to West Palm and try the bridge again in better conditions. I've been told that usually the visibility is very very good, so we just picked a bad time of year to go. Fortunately, even though our diving was canceled, we still had a good time. Lots of other things to do. Plus we have friends who live in Stuart, FL (near Jupiter), so we had extra time to spend with them.
 

Snoweman

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Location
Atlanta, GA
# of dives
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My dive buddy and I stayed in Palm Beach Gardens at the Hilton Garden Inn in Feb/March this year. They were sold out. Rental cars were pricey, too. Don't expect concierge service like you get in Coz or other Caribbean destinations, and expect to pay more money for your dives. Tank and weight rentals are not included in the dive price.
 

Johnoly

Contributor
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2,849
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... We are looking at the last week of July & wondering what type of conditions we should expect: visibility, temperatures, reef conditions, etc.!
Many of the dive boats are already sold out for the AM dives that week. It's the 2nd largest annual dive holiday in Florida and all the good divers take off of work to go diving that week. Hope you already have your 1st choice in dive boats booked, or you should call them quickly to get the seats.

If you can't get on a boat, then I'd recommend bringing some folding chairs to any local boat ramp at 7am with a video camera and enjoy the show complete with yelling, screaming and laughter!
 

hilljo88

Contributor
Messages
614
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472
Location
nyc
# of dives
500 - 999
We use Pura Vida. Give them a call. Active shop, full service. Friendly staff. They can advise on place to stay, too.
 
OP
R

Reidster

Contributor
Messages
97
Reaction score
25
Location
Macomb, Michigan
# of dives
200 - 499
Our guide was wonderful! Both she and the shop were definitely happy to pick up some business since the entire week of boat diving was canceled. (The hurricane season lasted about 2 weeks longer than "normal" last year.) We had brand new gear, so that was our acclimation dive to sort out any issues. Our guide was very knowledgable and so helpful with that....even noticed that my BC had a piece incorrectly set up and fixed that for me. We only had (IIRC) 21 dives at the time, so were really new and appreciated the extra help.

Unfortunately our dive wasn't fantastic, but I hear the BHB is supposed to be a really good dive normally. The high winds had contributed to stirring up all the silt and sand, so vis was down to under 5 feet within 10 minutes of us getting in the water. Plus, since none of the boats went out, I think every diver in WPB headed to the bridge that day. It was crowded. We didn't see a tremendous amount of sea life due to the low vis, but did see a batfish and a huge starfish. We'll go back to West Palm and try the bridge again in better conditions. I've been told that usually the visibility is very very good, so we just picked a bad time of year to go. Fortunately, even though our diving was canceled, we still had a good time. Lots of other things to do. Plus we have friends who live in Stuart, FL (near Jupiter), so we had extra time to spend with them.
Thank you!
 
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