Diving the wrecks and reefs in Palm Beach, Florida offers a diverse view of the ocean world. Few places in the world can impress with the abundance of fish life, vibrant and colorful reefs, and out-of-this-world encounters. Today’s dives on the Danny McCauley Memorial Reef (wreck) and Shark Canyon are a great example of the amazing dives available in Palm Beach, Florida.
We headed north out the Lake Worth inlet across flat seas to the Danny McCauley Memorial Reef. This wreck was sunk back on February 22nd, 2013 but already the amount of life on it is staggering! Up until recently, this wreck was covered with more than fifty goliath groupers during the yearly goliath grouper spawning season in Palm Beach, Florida.
Although the season is behind us now and the goliath groupers have scattered, a few year-round residents remain. The wreck itself is already covered in an abundance of marine life. Many corals and sponges have colonized the wreck and fish can be found swimming throughout every nook and cranny of this wreck.
With over 50+ feet of visibility, no current, and warm 80 degree water temperature, the group of divers took their time exploring this wonderful wreck. After a while we headed slightly north-west in the direction of the tug and barge. Here, too, were a number of goliath groupers and numerous fish. Slightly east-northeast from this wreck is the Spud Barge. This beautiful barge is overgrown with corals and the inside of the wreck, with its crossbeams and its walls removed, is extremely picturesque.
For our second dive we headed north to Shark Canyon. A favorite amongst the divers, if you want to see sharks in West Palm Beach, Florida, this is the place to go. Before Florida banned the feeding of sharks while diving, this was an old shark feeding site. Luckily, the sharks still remain in the area and their natural fear of divers has abated enough that sometimes we see more than a tail view of the sharks.
While we hovered at the first amphitheater (a section of the reef which is horseshoe-shaped), the reef sharks swam around the group. Meanwhile, the reef was alive with numerous tropical fish swirling through a kaleidoscopic sponge-covered reef. We enjoyed the shark encounter for a while until a couple of turtles showed up. First a loggerhead gave Andrea a close encounter of the turtle kind. No doubt double checking that Andrea was writing down ALL the marine creatures she was encountering during her REEF Fish Count dive.
The one who took the show away for me was a very friendly green sea turtle who was busy scratching her shell on the side of the reef. Up for a quick breath and she was back down again. Apparently all the scratching opened up the turtle’s appetite as she began swimming along the top of Shark Canyon in search of any veggies to eat. Her favorite was apparent… Every time she swam across the green grape algae she would devour it. She would pass up on everything else but the green grape algae. For the rest of the dive I swam alongside this wonderful little turtle watching her go about her daily life.
From wrecks to reefs, sharks, turtles, and giant groupers, West Palm Beach, Florida has some amazing scuba diving opportunities. But don’t let our words be the ones to convince you… Check out today’s photos and judge it for yourself!
A very special HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jason! No doubt, today’s awesome dives were in part because of his birthday wishes.
Come join us on a scuba diving adventure in West Palm Beach, Florida. Call us today at (561) 840-8750.