Review Date AVG ShoreDiving Site
02/14/2012 4.23 Blue Heron Bridge Florida, USA East
In my mind, this is a perfect dive site. It is by far the strangest site I've dived in a very good way. I spent about 5 hours on the reef during 01/2012 and explored the entire site - I felt like I needed that much time. I see the dive site in three distinct parts. 1. The E side of the park is where all of the sailboats are, and the bottom is sandy/muck with occasional coral growths off of anchors and trash. While it doesn't sound appealing, it's incredible, and the most likely to see beautiful seahorses. I also saw a 9 ft manatee with my fiancé! 2. The S side (in between the sailboats and bridge) is muck diving, and is a little hit or miss. But I'll say, that's the first dive I'd do next time because that's apparently where the frogfish hang. Giant starfish, many rays (one really big one!). You'll get this part in transit from the E or W side. 3. The W side has thousands of tropicals, great corals (highly active!) on the bridge. Barracudas, rays, amazing shrimp and crabs. I swear I saw a giant hermit crab. Explore the entire bridge - include the pilings to the N of the larger bridge that you come to first. There is a wonderful rock pilings where I saw 2 batfish, octo, eels, etc. Got a little twilight action in on this side, and the reef starts to change. I would imagine the night diving to be spectacular. General advice: FOLLOW the advice to be in the water 30 minutes pre high tide (you can still get a 2 hour dive in as the MOD = 18 ft or so) as the current can be impressively strong, go REALLY slowly, please as always don't touch anything (such a fragile and beautiful u/w community at BHB) or take anything of course, the photographers always know where the cool stuff is but don't crowd them, night diving is not allowed without a shop that has a license on special nights, this is probably obvious but given that most of the dive is very shallow I found it helpful to have a few lbs more on me (and I had more neoprene because the temp in Jan was 68 f). Enjoy, this is a national treasure and should be protected (IMHO) from fishing and boating in certain areas.
02/14/2012 4.92 LA - Casino Point California Mid, USA West
A really amazing dive site, and the protections that Catalina Island has afforded the area have paid off in incredible kelp and fauna. Dived for a week in Feb 2012 for about 4.5 hours. My first cold water diving experience (51 f at the bottom) and I loved it. For those not used to cold water, I am 170 lbs and used 11 mm of neoprene with about 18 lbs of weight. Hoods, gloves of course. I felt really comfortable for 50 minute dives. The whole park is really excellent diving, and amazing for u/w photography. The only thing I would add to others' descriptions is a highlight from my dives - about 25 minutes with sea lions...A first for me! They were slightly beyond the park, so me and my db surface swam to the buoys at the end of the park, then u/w navigated to them and back to minimize any risk (boats occasionally go close to the buoy). What an AMAZING experience, they are so incredibly playful. My advice - go to where they are and then they make the decision to come to you. If you do go beyond the boundaries of the park, be very careful and highly confident in your navigation abilities as it feels pretty much like 'blue ocean' once you are past the park. A diver's flag would be a wise choice. However, there's loads to see in the park itself as well.