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October 2009    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 24, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Palm Beach Diving

from the October, 2009 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

While our drifting diver only got four dives in with Jim Abernethy before he started bobbing on his own, other Undercurrent readers have sung Abernethy’s praises and found the diving about at good as it gets in Florida – many say better than the Caribbean. Mort Rolleston (Washington, DC) says, “The Gulf Stream comes up to the beach in Palm Beach, bringing with it clearer water, healthy reefs, lots of Caribbean reef fish, and big pelagics such as manta rays, sharks (including whale sharks, hammerheads, lemons, spinners, and bulls), sailfish, and turtles (including huge loggerheads and leatherbacks). Drift diving attracts more advanced divers to Abernethy, known for the tiger shark-diving liveaboard trips to the Bahamas. The conditions were perfect in May; the fish life was, well, fishy; the coral was healthy; and we did see sharks, a huge loggerhead turtle, large rays, a goliath grouper, and a hawksbill turtle. The diving is generally up to the standards of many of the best sites in the Caribbean we’ve been to (and probably better than most for experiencing pelagics).

Ron and Dawn Steedman (Cape Coral, FL) say “Abernethy’s operation is topnotch. In May, the current was ripping, though the seas were calm. A school of dolphins was there as we entered the water. There were many varieties of angels, parrots, and filefish, puffers, cowfish, spotted, goldentail, and green morays. On the second dive, our guide with the float ball missed the reef, and it was a sand desert dive at 80 feet. Our captain announced that he didn’t like that kind of dive either so there were passes made out in each of our names for a return complimentary two-tank dive. The second day, the seas were even flatter, and the current had died way off Both dives were outstanding -- scorpionfish, grunts, high hats, spotted drums, conies, butterflies. I saw a huge boulder on the bottom, which turned out to be one of the largest loggerheads I have ever seen. ”

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