Secret Dive Spots in South Florida

  • Posted on
  • By Jim “Chiefy” Mathie
  • Posted in Scuba Tips
Secret Dive Spots in South Florida

You’ve heard the old salty divers talk about their “secret dive spots”, now you can have the resources at your fingertips! Whether you enjoy a nice reef or wreck, there is new technology and books available at Force-E Scuba Centers for all your scuba diving needs in South Florida.

In the past, most local dive boat owners guard their GPS locations as these have been acquired from years of exploration and diving. Prior to GPS, we used the Dive Locations book by Florida Atlantic University Ocean Engineer Dr. Ray McAllister.  The method was “triangulate” where you found reef and wreck locations using landmarks along the coast. Even though Dr. McAllister has passed away, the book is available at Force-E Scuba Centers and has been recently updated by other South Florida dive experts. The book does have GPS numbers now but still identifies how to locate the reefs and wrecks using land-based buildings, water and radio towers. 

 

Secret Dive Spots

The “Game Changer” is a new product available at Force-E Scuba Centers called C Mor Mapping www.cmormapping.com.  Developed by local resident and owner Erik Anderson, this product provides the best local scuba diving locations. Using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] data, the SD card works with GPS units for Simrad, Raymarine and Lowrance but they not work with Garmin devices yet. The South Florida coverage includes Key West to Jensen Beach.

 

On my boat, I recently upgraded my GPS unit to the 12-inch Simrad touchscreen with the C Mor Mapping card. I replaced one of my two original Furuno GPS units and the detail of the underwater reef system is dramatic on the Simrad unit. As a boater, you can see the entire reef that is under you with accuracy on a vivid monitor so you can set your divers up for better drops and make sure you don’t deploy an anchor on a reef. It has allowed us to look at other locations we never knew existed before using C Mor Mapping. The Force-E Boca Raton location has a display on a Simrad 12-inch touch screen monitor with the South Florida C Mor Mapping charts, so stop by and get a hands-on look into the newest technology for boating.

 

Another great tool available at Force-E Scuba Centers is the Reef Smart GuidesThese laminate cards and books primarily use 3D digital graphics showing the many wrecks and reefs in our area. There’s a comprehensive book available for both Palm Beach and Broward Counties. These books give great information about the dive sites in these areas along with local diving laws, beach info, and conservation messages. The laminated waterproof cards map individual wrecks and are great for referencing the navigational direction, size, and depths including the extent of the current status of the wrecks.  

 

So what if you are not a local diver and not familiar with the dive sites? No problem, Force-E Scuba Centers has the information and dive charters available to get you scuba diving on some amazing locations. When visiting and diving in a new place, you should get familiar with the regions landscape, including the inlets, local diving procedures and laws, and the different dive sites for your training level. Bonus Force-E Scuba Centers have professional dive guides for hire; they are very knowledgeable about the sites here in South Florida and they help with any gear and dive planning your group might need. Contact them for more information and booking.

 

After all, how do you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are?



Jim 'Chiefy' Mathie
Jim "Chiefy" Mathie is a locally-known lobster slayer for more than 30 years and author of "Catching the Bug, The Comprehensive Guide to Catching the Florida Spiny Lobster-second edition" and “Catching the Spear-it! The ABC’s of Spearfishing.”