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Dive Review of Emerald Charters/Best Western Intracoastal Inn in
The Continental USA/Jupiter, Florida

Emerald Charters/Best Western Intracoastal Inn: "Great Shark Diving with Emerald Charters", May, 2017,

by Richard J Lunsford Jr, KY, US (Contributor Contributor 12 reports with 9 Helpful votes). Report 9586.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Spent a mixed activities week with family in Jupiter, FL 4-29-17 - 5-7-17, based out of Best Western Intracoastal Inn (good, clean budget hotel with nice included breakfast and adjacent boardwalk across the water to a marina, another branch behind the hotel). Drove about 1/2 mile to Scuba Works (where you book Emerald trips & get rental gear), then about 1/2 mile to board Emerald's boat for 3 tank/day shark feed diving trip.

Rough seas with intermittent big swells cut day one down to 1 dive; did all 3 2 other days.
Good, affable crew. Yes, you do most things for yourself, but they usually took tanks to/from the boat in a cart. Got my 3 100 cf steel rental tanks from Scuba Works; big fills, nitrox mix was good (usually 1 32 & 2 35-36%). Nitrox is required on Emerald trips. If you dive multiple days, ask Scuba Works about a discount on weight rental, as it may otherwise be cheaper to buy them.

Over the course of 7 dives, I saw & was in close proximity with 3 tiger sharks, 2 silkie sharks, some nurse sharks, uncounted lemon and bull sharks, 1 loggerhead sea turtle and some goliath grouper. Dives ran about 36 to 49 minutes long, max. depths were about 71 to 101 feet deep, average depths 46 to 65 feet deep. 2 Of the 3 tigers were close to 10 feet long or so.

Be mindful which species are seen is seasonal. None I saw got aggressive with anyone. Having a tiger shark swimming amongst your group close-by during slow mid-water ascent didn't command overt fear, but called for healthy respect.

It's a great time when you're ready for it. Read up on Emerald Dive Charter trip reports and make sure that's you.

More extensive trip report & topic discussion at Scuba Board: [scubaboard.com link]
Websites Emerald Charters   Best Western Intracoastal Inn

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bonaire (> 150 dives), Key Largo (20 dives), Jupiter, Fl (10 dives), Belize via live-aboard (26 dives), Caymans via live-aboard (25 dives), North Carolina (9 dives), California Channel Islands (24 dives), several on Caribbean cruise stops.
Closest Airport Palm Beach International; I used Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood Getting There Flew to Ft. Lauderdale, rented an SUV for family (luggage), drove to Jupiter.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 74-76°F / 23-24°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Must wear full wetsuit (if bald or long hair also a hood) and gloves. Avoid substantial amounts of bright colors. Nitrox required. Must have an SMB (good practice ocean diving anyway, especially drift).
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There's a mat for cameras, not a table. If you go out on a day with big swells, that'll start to make sense. Feeding brings sharks in very close for photos I can hardly imagine in a non-feeding situation.
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Subscriber's Comments

By report author: Richard J Lunsford Jr in KY, US at May 19, 2017 20:53 EST  
Quick note: Haven't been able to fix this. I intended to rate 1 dot for beginners; don't go. You need good buoyancy control, the ability to watch the leader for direction and pay attention to some sharks, especially the tiger sharks, and a decent comfort level for being in the water with large sharks. To work your way up for this sort of trip, I recommend a trip to Morehead City, North Carolina, diving off-shore wrecks with Olympus Dive Center. The sand tiger sharks weren't quite as large, quite was close and weren't baited in.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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