Tag Archives: snorkeling

Snorkeling and Diving At Phil Foster PArk Blue Heron Bridge

Snorkeling Safe: Phil Foster Memorial Snorkel Trail

It is a place that diving enthusiasts travel from near and far to experience and it just so happens to be right in our backyard! Phil Foster Memorial Park Snorkel Trail is one of the most famous diving reefs in Florida and features two bridges thriving with life, shipwrecks, and even some underwater sculptures! Starfish, schools of colorful tropical fish, sea horses, and manatees are some of the creatures that can be seen while snorkeling the trail. When i was there last, i had the pleasure of seeing a spotted eagle ray flying swiftly through the water and then disappearing into the darkness under the fishing bridge. It was one of the largest eagle rays i had ever seen in person, with a wingspan well over 3 feet across. To help protect these animals and this environment for years to come, there are some things we must do when snorkeling and diving to ensure its conservation. These tips are very important, not only at Phil Foster Park, but everywhere!

  1. Tides: One of the most important things to be aware of while snorkeling and diving is changes in tide. Tides greatly affect visibility and current and can make it difficult for even the most experienced to see and swim. The best time to snorkel is within 2 hours before and up to the slack tide.
  2. Choose a Buddy: Like they say never to surf alone, the same applies to snorkeling! Conditions can change quickly, especially in Florida and accidents happen. This can make it dangerous when snorkeling or diving alone. Plus it is more fun to experience the trail with others!
  3. Do your Homework: For a safe and fun snorkeling adventure, you should always!…
  • Apply Sunscreen: Always wear sunscreen, especially on your back!
  • Research: Knowing what you’re going in to will make snorkeling or diving more enjoyable. Learn about the fish coral reefs, and ecosystems before your trip.
  • Ask Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it is always okay to ask about conditions, visibility, or anything else!
  • Stay in Control: Be in control of your fins and buoyancy as kicking up sediment or reefs can decrease visibility and hurt the coral. Controlling buoyancy can help avoid disturbing the bottom.
  • Observe: Observe the natural habitats instead of trying to stimulate them to entertain yourself. Never touch, just observe!
  • Do Not Step: Try not to step unless you are on a sandy bottom and even then, be careful!
  • HAVE FUN!!!

Learn more about Lake Worth Lagoon at www.LWLI.com or to schedule a Snorkel Tour at Singer Island Outdoor Center, visit us at http://singerislandoutdoorcenter.com/snorkeling/snorkeling-tours/

Jim Abernethy: Conservationist & “Shark Whisperer”

You may have seen his footage on the popular Discovery Channel event “Shark Week” or somewhere on National Geographic, but Jim is much more than a marine life cinematographer. Considered one of the top shark behaviorists in the world, Jim Abernethy is often times called the “Shark Whisperer” for his pioneering of the cageless shark dive and the remarkable amount of in-water time he has accumulated with these large predatory animals. Jim’s primary focus on shark conservation arises from his decades-long interaction with these beautiful, and highly endangered, creatures. Abernethy is an award winning underwater photographer, filmmaker, author, business owner, public speaker and philanthropist who works relentlessly to change the perception of human interaction with sharks. Author, publisher, and photographer of the book “Sharks Up Close”, Jim’s work has been used as an educational tool for lobbyists, congress and the US Senate on the topic of shark finning and over fishing. Jim has been featured on many of the world’s top nature filmmakers and magazines such as IMAX, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Animal Planet, and the Discovery Channels popular event “Shark Week”. In fact, one of the films produced by Abernethy “This is Your Ocean: Sharks” was a winner of the 2012 New Port Beach film festival and 2011 Award Winner for Special Achievement in Environmental Filmmaking.

Abernethy also works with non-profit organizations and his efforts have resulted in the creation of WildlifeVOICE and Operation Blue Pride. Through each of these organizations, Jim works with veterans, children and those who are disabled by helping them experience and learn about the beauty of our oceans. WildlifeVOICE seeks to engage and educate youth, as well as physically challenged people, (Project Seahorse & Rising Tide) by introducing them to our oceans and inspiring them to become “ocean ambassadors.” The mission of Operation Blue Pride is to save both veterans and our ocean’s creatures through in-water activities, wildlife encounters, education, outreach and direct action. On top of his philanthropic efforts, Jim has been an instrumental advocate in getting the Blue Heron Bridge recognized as a marine sanctuary. His efforts have resulted in a massive amount of Diving and Snorkeling Tourism in the town of Riviera Beach. In 2008, Abernethy, in collaboration with Shawn Heinrichs, discovered the world’s largest aggregation of whale sharks in Isla Mujeres, Mexico . This helped an impoverished fishing village become a bustling area sustained by ecotourism.

Jim is an inspirational figure for shark & ocean conservation around the world and has worked diligently to ensure that these valuable natural resources remain in tact for future generations to come. Thank you Jim Abernethy for your astounding efforts in Palm Beach County and around the world!

Check out his video about the Amazing Creatures Under the Blue Heron Bridge above…

 

snorkel tour

My dreams of being a mermaid for a day come true

If you had told me a few months ago that my English degree would have me exploring reefs and swimming with fish I probably would have laughed. But that’s exactly what I got to do this week as part of my marketing internship with SIOC.

Throughout my first week on the job, I’ve been constantly learning new things about the place I’ve called home for over 20 years. Did you know a sea urchin’s closest relative is a starfish? I sure didn’t, but now I am prepared with this very important piece of trivia. As I sat behind my computer writing press releases and doing other things that marketing interns do, our knowledgeable manager and tour guide, Matt (he’s TripAdvisor famous; check it out!), was helping people plan their perfect kayaking trip or telling snorkelers about his favorite spots and pointing out the kinds of fish they might see. And I soaked it all in. I was gaining a whole new perspective on the world of Florida’s waterways.

When I was asked if I wanted to go on one of the snorkel tours to see what it was all about, I jumped at the chance. Any day I get to take my work outside the office and try something new is a good day, so I was humming tunes from Little Mermaid about flipping ones fins as I headed to the back to get out the snorkel gear. I hadn’t been snorkeling since I was about 10, so I was definitely in need of a refresher. Luckily, the other members of the tour were first time snorkelers, so I wasn’t the only fish out of water.

We got down to the beach and Matt showed us the trick of the backwards shuffle to get into the water with fins on. I was grateful there were other divers all doing the same thing, because I definitely felt a little ridiculous. Once I made it through the shock of cold that always comes with getting in the water past your torso though, those fins weren’t so clumsy anymore. There’s no description that quite captures what it feels like to dive under the water, gliding effortlessly, surrounded by the vast silence of blue. But it was magical. If you move just calmly enough, the fish will swim right up to you. I had a parrotfish brush against my fingers while several yellow grunts swam inquisitively up to my mask. Angelfish and sheepshead abounded. Under the water, the rest of the world disappears for a little while and you feel weightless, every movement graceful.

After we got back to the shop however, is when I discovered the greatest part of this whole experience and every millennial’s dream: Instagram worthy photos! Matt had been capturing photos and videos of the tour on his GoPro and was in the process of uploading them to Facebook for us. After all, what good is being a mermaid for a day if you can’t make all of your friends jealous?

Snorkeling Palm Beach

Blue Heron Bridge Snorkeling

When you think about snorkeling in Florida most people think about the Florida Keys. Without prior knowledge you wouldn’t think the Intracoastal Waterway off of Singer Island and Riviera Beach in Palm Beach county would be a snorkeler’s paradise but it sure is. Located underneath the Blue Heron Bridge out of Phil Foster Park is a world class snorkel trail with over 600 different species living at the snorkel Blue Heron Bridge year round and over another 100 transient species. With such an abundance of wildlife snorkelers can see starfish, octopus, spotted rays, and even sea turtles on any given day at high tide. The snorkel trail was built with over 600 tons of limestone along with a wide variety of other structures from a shopping cart garden to boat wrecks, and you may even spot three hammerhead shark statues down there. The convenience of being able to walk off the beach and swim out to water that is only 8-15ft deep while swimming through schools of sergeant majors is like no other location. Ranked as one of the best shore dives in the Eastern United States for the past several years the bridge is a premier destination for those looking to enjoy a great day in and around the water.