Every skipper has a favorite, and this by far is Capt SL8R’s happy place. Some know this as Juno Ledge, we call it Monkey’s Ledge after the nickname of the Skippers wife. Spotted Eagle Rays, Hammerheads, Lemon Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Reef Sharks, Goliaths, VERY LARGE Goliaths, Nurse Sharks, Turtles, Leather backs…yep this place has got em. My advice…..GO SLOW. Drift diving tend to put divers into a state of hurry, but to get the most out of this World Class dive, the slower the better. Your dive begins at what Capt SL8R calls the “horseshoe”. Think of it is the Greek Coliseum. Here is where most of your dive should take place if you dive this site correctly. The “horseshoe is home to most of all the encounters mentioned above and for those that are truly patient, everything you saw once will eventually circle it’s way back around and give you another pass. Once you leave the “horseshoe” the ledge continues to your East. Again take your time to enjoy all the large structure, and overhangs just filled with large encounters. If you are pace then approximately 25 min into your drift you will see a couple of very large Goliath Grouper. All residents of this ledge and some of the biggest you will find in the Florida waters. A dive site that never disappoints, never gets old and is #1 on Capt SL8R’s list of Awesome.
Located North of “Scarface” and South of “Loggerhead” Captain Kurls is nestled in 65 – 70 feet of water and offers the divers a variety of topography ad exploration as the ledge breaks off into three major tiers. Follow the western most ledge and you will engage in potential spear fishing opportunities as you track hogfish, and various snapper species…though be forewarned eventually this western ledge does taper off into the sandy bottom and you will find yourself needing to counter back to the East to pick up the next profile. The eastern terrace is loaded with cul-de-sacs and interesting blow-outs. This is where you are sure to discover those curious Hawksbill Sea Turtles, always a diver favorite. Dive this location straight down the barrel and you will be greeted with Goliath Grouper, Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Moray Eels, Nurse Sharks and all sorts of goodies. Looking for variety and exploration, then ask for Captain Kurls next time you board Kyalami.
To those that frequent scuba forums and track the buzz of Jupiter Scuba Diving, then you will be familiar with the name Area 51. There are many myths on how it got it’s name and every skipper will give you their take, for Capt SL8R let’s just say it’s better than Baskin Robbins 31 flavors of ice-cream because here you can sample 51. You want to see it underwater, it’s most likely here. Sharks, Eels, Turtles, Tropics, Sting Rays and even the occasional Mermaid, they are all here. Area 51 is part of the Juno Ledge system which offers large a breath taking 20ft profile face. So many crevices for exploration and so much variety. If you must choose between all of the incredible diving in Jupiter due to time restraints, ask for Area 51 and go sample the Baskin Robbins of the Sea.
Welcome to the mecca of Jupiter Scuba Diving. The dive site that has been labeled “Tunnels”sums up World Class Diving at it’s best. Jupiter Scuba Diving has become known for it’s large aquatic life encounters and this diving great explains why. From your initial entry to the opening swim through ( hence Tunnels ) you will be greeted by multiple Reef Sharks, Goliath Grouper and the traditional Southern Stingray. Patience is indeed the key to diving this ledge correctly. Most divers kick North up the reef and by pass all the action that tends to congregate at the beginning of this dive. For the diver that understands slow and steady wins the race and has the awareness to not just get fixated on the ledge itself but scan to the east and to the west, they will be rewarded with some of those most amazing up close large aquatic life encounters than anywhere else in the world. You may also hear many locals talk about “the Donut”, which is a section near the end of this reef that the Caribbean Reef Sharks have made claim. Though seeing these magnificent creatures parade in and out of the “Donut” hole like a clown car is an amazing thing to witness, don’t get baited into going for broke and bypassing all the goodies between the opening Tunnel and the “Donut” itself. Again the patient diver is rewarded with a World Class dive that can only happen in Jupiter, FL. Request the Tunnels on your next visit to Capt SL8R Charters, you may indeed just witness some World Class Diving.
Jupiter Wreck Trek
If you only have one opportunity to enjoy Jupiter Scuba Diving, circle, mark and highlight your calendars mid August through September. This is the heart of the annual Goliath Grouper Aggregation and in Capt SL8R’s humble opinion the best diving period. Why is that relevant to a Dive Site description?? Ah ha, enter the Jupiter Wreck Trek home of the infamous aggregation. This site is made up of 3 wrecks which lay in 90 ft of water all within swimming ( drifting ) distance of each other. Your dive begins on the Zion, a small freighter listing on it’s port side. Your dive continues as you make way slight North East towards an upside down barge known as Miss Jenny. As you leave the Miss Jenny counter back to the west and you will intercept the star of the show the Esso Bonnaire. She sits fully upright and is the largest of the three ships. In addition to the Goliath Grouper activity the wrecks also attract Hammerhead Sharks, Bull Sharks, Spotted Eagle Ray and numerous other large aquatic life.
Let me guess, by hearing the name Spadefish point one would assume this dive site is for the macro enthusiast or the pure tropical fish explorer? Well my friends, let me introduce you to a ledge loaded with activity and buzzing with excitement around every corner. The name Spadefish Point is merely a reference in the section of reef that bends to the west. This section of the reef is loaded with Spadefish as they serve as a reminder that you are nearing this mecca of diving awesome! Once you arrive at the “Point” keep a close look out to the East where you are almost guaranteed to be joined by cruising Black Tip and Caribbean Reef Sharks. This is also the same location that a patrolling Hammerhead has been scene over the years. The ledge ( a continuation of Area 51 ) has some incredible topography and sheik sharp lines. It’s profile of nearly 20ft offers some great overhangs, and home for Goliath Grouper, Nurse Sharks, Eels and even your shoot-a-bles(Snapper, Gag Grouper and occasional Hog-Fish). Jupiter Scuba Diving is and exudes everything this dive site is about. This site is also located further south along the ledge, and is known for consistent high percentages of visibility giving it another reason to add to your request list.
When diving with Capt SL8R you may hear him refer to this dive site as one of his sleeper picks. Loggerhead Reef is by far one of the most under appreciated dive sites in Jupiter. This site offers shallow depths ( 60ft is shallow by Jupiter Standards) and offers an incredible variety of aquatic life. Don’t let the name “Loggerhead” fool you though this is an encounter you are almost guaranteed to have. You will also find Goliath Grouper, playful Hawksbill Sea Turtles, Green Moray Eels, and a couple of large resident Nurse Sharks. Capt SL8R refers to one of these Nurse sharks as “Alice”. From start to finish this ledge only covers about .4 of a mile so managing your pace is essential. Take advantage of the many ampi-theatres and cul-de-sacs located on the Eastern part of the reef. Here you will find many playful and very curious Hawksbill Sea Turtles and Green Moray Eels. Though all of the diving in Jupiter will wow you with it’s wonders, Loggerhead is a sure home run!
The Dive Site referred locally as “Scarface” is named for a legendary scarred Green Moray Eel that has taken up residence at this Jupiter Scuba Diving favorite. The ledge faces the traditional west as do most of the ledges in our waters. A diver can expect an average depth of around 65′ on the topside of the ledge and 85′ near the bottom. As a Diver cruises along this incredible topography one can expect encounters with Green, Loggerhead and Hawksbill Sea Turtles as well as Angelfish, Spadefish, Goliath Grouper, Reef Sharks and of course perhaps even a visit from our friend “Scarface” himself.