West Palm Beach Open Water Trip

13 - 16 April 2017 Printer-Ready Detailed Agenda

This trip is designed for students finishing their Open Water certification. If you are not a GT Scuba or ProST student I'd love to have you on the trip (at no additional "referral" cost), but I will need to spend a couple of hours in the pool with you to ensure that you're ready. This can be accomplished by signing up for a GT Scuba refresher.

Remember that you must have Divers Alert Network (DAN) Dive Accident Insurance. I also highly recommend dive travel insurance, which can be purchased from DAN or Dive Assure.

Trip Options


Diving West Palm Beach

The coral reefs in south Florida are almost as nice as Key Largo's but tend to have more large marine life such as sea turtles, rays, and sharks. The gulf stream current runs close to the south Florida coast so almost all of the boat diving is drift diving, in which the boat drops divers at the south end of a dive site and picks them up wherever they drift to at the end of their dives. While the entry can seem rushed sometimes, the diving is relaxed. You just float in the current until you reach your bingo air, ascend, and the boat comes to pick you up -- no navigating, no fighting the current.

While the drift diving is great, perhaps West Palm Beach's greatest attraction is The Blue Heron Bridge. The Blue Heron Bridge offers an easy walk-in shore dive with no current (if you time the tides right) and amazing sea life. On an Open Water certification trip we do the first three certification dives at the Blue Heron Bridge and the last certification dive on a drift diving charter boat.

Water temperatures range from the mid 70s F in the winter months to the mid 80s F in the summer. I typically wear a full 5mm wetsuit from December through March and a full 3mm wetsuit the rest of the year. Many divers wear shorties or no wetsuit at all during the summer, some divers wear a hood during the winter.


Day 0
  • Arrive and check-in at Hotel
Day 1
  • Morning: Open Water certification dives 1 and 2 at Blue Heron Bridge
  • Evening: optional group dinner
Day 2
  • Morning: Open Water certification dive 3 at Blue Heron Bridge
  • Afternoon: Two-dive boat charter for Open Water certification dive 4 and experience dive
Day 3
  • Morning: Two-dive boat charter for experience dives

Getting to West Palm Beach