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Dive Review of Loggerhead Dive Charters in
The Continental USA/SE Florida

Loggerhead Dive Charters: "Practically Paradise", Jun, 2016,

by Jim Garren, FL, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 9042 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Prompted by a reminder from Undercurrent asking for reader reports, our last live-aboard trip was so disappointing we have been staying closer to home so thought I would review a couple of local favorites. See my separate report on Narcosis Dive Charters operating out of West Palm Beach.
We ae truly blessed living in South East Florida, many times following our first local dive after returning from some far off destination my wife and I comment that diving here is pretty darn good.
While not fair to local boats I will admit that we are selfish and prefer to keep it a secret, if there is any downside to local diving it is that booking can be a problem during the peak dive season (summer months)
Because we dive Loggerhead every month of the year this report is general in nature and not representative of one specific trip.
Located in Boynton Beach Marina [boyntonbeachmarina.com link] Loggerhead is a 38" dedicated dive boat with all required Coast Guard equipment. Captain Jim Hill and Divemaster Nancy have over 30 years experience diving local waters. No 30 hour marathon flights/layovers to get here, more like 10 minutes from our home in Boynton Beach. For those not lucky enough to live here it is still within easy driving distance of Orlando or the Gulf side and many divers from those locations dive here often. Palm Beach airport in West Palm Beach about 15 minutes away makes the area accessible from anywhere and it is worth the visit.
Dive conditions are outstanding nearly year round with water temperature ranging from upper 60's in the winter to mid 80's in the summer, 3mm wetsuit is the norm, but you will want a 5mm if you come during winter months. Visibility can vary widely depending on local weather but averages 50' year round. One nice benefit of winter diving that offsets the need for a 5mm wetsuit is that viz of 80 to 100' is not uncommon.
There are 3 offshore parallel reefs at approximately 30, 60 and 90' depths, and also many ship wrecks deliberately sunk as artificial reefs. DM Nancy will ask which depth you prefer prior to your "drop". ALL local diving with the exception of some wrecks is drift diving. For those not familiar with the term understand that Palm Beach County is closer to the Gulf Stream than any other location in the country so there is always current. Usually north or south the current varies in direction and strength, prior to the "drop" Captain Jim will determine the best drop spot for the site chosen and tell divers what to expect once in the water. On the short boat ride from the marina to the dive sites (one half hour to 45 minutes) DM Nancy will organize divers into groups depending on experience, buddy choice or dive objective. One diver in the group will tow a dive flag per Florida law to make boats aware that divers are below and for Captain Jim to track his divers. Once in the water divers simply "go with the flow" and allow the current to take them on a tour of the incredible ledges and reefs, you will use your fins to steer rather than propel your journey, this is lazy diving indeed!
When groups get low on air or bottom time they make a slow accent to safety stop depth together then surface on the flag, signal the boat which then comes to pick them up, couldn't be simpler no navigation required!
On any given dive expect to see huge schools of grunts and snappers, enormous French, Blue and Queen Angelfish bigger than a dinner plate, Atlantic Spadefish, Parrotfish, several species of Butterflyfish, green and spotted Moray eels, Hawksbill and "signature" Loggerhead turtles. Not as common but seen frequently are Nurse, Hammerhead and Caribbean reef sharks. Plenty of Spiney Lobsters year round, bring some back in season if you have your Florida permit, spearfishing not encouraged but permitted by those with the skills to do so responsibly. (be warned, Nancy will reprimand those killing undersize fish!)

Late August and September expect to visit some of the local wrecks to witness aggregations of Goliath Groupers in the spawning mode, yes they are as big as you have heard and mob local wrecks at this time of year, bring your camera! Wreck diving is somewhat different than a typical drift dive, DM Nancy will drop first to connect a downline with float ball, divers will then use the line to reach the wreck and return to the surface when finished.

Most local divers and Loggerhead "regulars" feel Palm Beach offers diving superior to the better publicized Keys, I may get my ass kicked for letting you in on the secret, but look forward to meeting you if you decide to come, if we miss connections I have every confidence you will not be disappointed!

Websites Loggerhead Dive Charters   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Bahamas, Caymans, Roatan, Belize, Turks and Caicos, Australia, Red Sea, Maldives, Galapagos, Thailand
Closest Airport Palm Beach Getting There easy!

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Back on surface in one hour or 500PSI remaining
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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 rinse bucket for cameras but that is about it, deck crew will help but those with large rigs may be challenged.
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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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