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Dive Review of Jupiter Dive Center in
The Continental USA

Jupiter Dive Center: "Goliath Grouper Aggregation", Sep, 2015,

by Pat Wikstrom, NC, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 8608.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Goliath Grouper Aggregation
Jupiter Dive Center, Jupitar Fla. Sept 2015
Four 60ish dive buddies flew into Palm Beach early on Monday, threw our gear in a rented mini-van and headed to the loaner condo. Many thanks to Amy!!! Next stop was the dive shop where we filled out the paperwork, grabbed tanks & lots of weights and headed to the Blue Heron Bridge for a check out shore dive. The site was perfect. Parking right up against the sand. Short walk to the water, great gear set up spot on the concrete bridge supports. Soon three of us were in the water looking at juvenile flying gunnards, little killies, one smallish stingray but we were also fighting the incredible tidal flow around the last bridge support out in the channel. Stick to the 10 to 20 ft deep sandy beach area which extended out at least 150ft off the beach and you had a mellow time of it. Let yourself get pulled around the piling and it was all you could do to pull yourself back. This they said was tidal effects. Pick the right time and its all smooth sailing. (vis was about 15ft w/temp -84)

Next day we were at the dive shop at 8:15. The 40ft dive boat Republic IV, with Capt. Sam, a 1st mate, and dive master, left at about 9:00. Day was gray and misting. Waves were choppy and rising 4 to 5 ft. Some people turned a little green. First dive was the 150ft long barge MG-111. {70 ft. for 35 min}DM went down and tied our float into the stern. Several large Goliath Groupers in the pontoon like structures, DM untied and moved to the middle of the wreck after 10 min. There I saw a huge southern stingray and a couple goliaths cruising out on the edge of visibility. Finally we moved out over the bow crossed a sand barren towards some bridge rubble some of it standing up looking like ancient Greek columns. There we saw literally 35 – 45 groupers all stacked up, pointed into the current, looking like a series of bullets stacked in magazines ready to fire off. Incredible!!! When you approached slowly they moved aside keeping a bit of distance but basically seemed to be ignoring us. Divers with cameras drifted in and out of the stacks of fish flashing away.
Second dive was “Tunnels” an 8 to 12 ft. profile reef with a maximum depth of about 75 ft. There we did a gentle drift along the mostly scrubbed clean coral structures spotting Tangs, Snapper, Angelfish, a Green Turtle, a Gray Reef Shark, huge Southern Stingray, and more Goliath Grouper. The weather was crappy and climbing aboard was a rocking & rolling chore but all in all a great day.

Day Two was a repeat of day one except this time we were on the slightly better laid out Republic VII. First dive was called “Wreck Trek” {83ft for 37min} a northward drift across one chunk of debris after another. The biggest one was at the end, a shipwreck called the Esso of Bonaire which had a bunch of Goliath Grouper swimming around willy nilly; especially after the first divers on the scene chased them from their resting spots in the holds. One interesting note I’d never experienced before, Water tenp was about 84 degrees F from the surface down to 50 ft and the current went north. An intense thermocline started at 50 ft. and the temperature plummeted instantly to 71 degrees, went down to 67 degrees on the bottom and the current shifted towards the south. The dive master said he’d only experienced this a couple other times in 30 years. When we came up through a series of drifting stinging jellyfish it was raining hard and a bigger storm was on the way. The Capt. called off the second dive and we roared back to the dock.

Jupiter Dive Center – 2 tank trip was $70 –two aluminum 80 tanks of EAN 36 were $30 – total with taxes $106. Two of my buddies had sent their regs down way ahead of time to get serviced and they both had issues with their equipment when we got to the shop. One diver had a high pressure hose that fizzed through multiple tiny holes looking like an air stone in a fish tank. The other buddy’s regulator had a broken second stage cover which we were told was no longer available. But the owner of the shop did right by everybody. Refunded half the dive trip and tank charges to all 13 divers on board. They’d given my one buddy a new HP hose, lent my other friend a second stage and refunded all service charges; the shop was well stocked, professionally run, with a friendly accommodating staff. They’d get my business again. All in all it was a great trip -we came to see Goliath Groupers and there were a bunch of ‘em.

Websites Jupiter Dive Center   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas; Belize; Bikini Atoll; Bonaire; California; Cancun; Caymans; Cocos Isl; Costa Rica; Cozumel; Cuba; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Galapagos; Hawaii; Indonesia; Maldives; N.C; Palau; Puerto Rico; Red Sea; Roatan; Saba; Socorro; South Africa; Thailand; Truk; Turks & Caicos; Yap; Yucatan Caves;
Closest Airport Palm Beach Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 83-67°F / 28-19°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 15-40 Ft/ 5-12 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions dive in buddy teams
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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