Jerry's Dive Log
Playa Kalki (Alice in Wonderland) on 9/22/2007
Sep 22, 2007, 12:00 AM
This site provides easy entry from the dock. The reef is a short swim and well marked. Blue buoys mark the edge of the reef. As previously reported, squid are really easy to find. Look under dock. During three dives on three separate days, conditions were consistent. At depths of 40-70 feet, visibility was excellent, surge and current were minimal, and marine life was abundant. Look up, and it will be raining fish. A guided shore dive is available through Ocean Encounters West for $30.00. It is worth the money for inexperienced divers or those without a buddy. Ask for Tookie (AKA Captain Jack). If it is on the reef, he will find it. (Moray eel, Juvenile Drum fish, etc) The site presents few hazards, but watch for jet skiers on weekends. One buzzed the swimming area during my trip. Other boat traffic is well off shore. The on-site shop can provide tips on assessing the current. Snorkel Tip: Try a dusk or night snorkel off the beach. Even at shallow depths, this was an interesting experience. We became part of a floating and swirling wall of fish. (Not sure if night access is restricted to lodge guests)
The Manasquan Railroad Bridge on 6/26/2010
Jun 26, 2010, 12:00 AM
Easy entry, a ramp leading into the water, and an interesting assortment of marine life make this site worth diving for the beginner and intermediate diver. If visibility is good, the area around the bridge provides a great opportunity to observe the fish which congregate around the support structures. If the marine life is not present, interesting bottles can still be found along the bottom. At this site you will find black fish, flat fish, bergalls and others that are typical of the New Jersey coast. Watch for the unexpected. Puffer fish and tropical fish can be carried in with the tide. As is true of other shore diving sites in New Jersey, conditions vary. Visibility can be less than a foot to fifteen feet or better. An approximate average for this season has been between four to six feet. The bottom at this site slopes on both sides, with a deeper channel in the middle. Approximate depth in the channel is 24 feet. Excessive activity will disturb the bottom and decrease visibility. A slow and easy pace provides the best experience. It is also best to visit this site when it is not crowded with large groups of divers or dive students. Catch an early tide or dive on a weekday. Divers planning to visit this site should note that the TIDE PREDICTIONS are often wrong. Check the current on both sides of the bridge before diving. Some experienced divers of this site drop a clam shell into the water near the bridge to judge current and visibility. Ignore or misjudge the incoming current and you will spend your dive holding onto objects on the bottom or you will be pushed into the marina. Entering the marina could subject you to a summons and could jeopardize diving at this site for everyone. The docking area for fishing boats, to the East of the bridge, is also best avoided. Another issue at this site is occasional power boat traffic. This is usually not heavy, but power boats can travel through the dive area. Some tie up along the bulkhead. Carry a dive flag and surface near it. The area around and under the bridge contains rubble, some of which rises from the bottom. In good visibility, this should not be a problem. The length of a dive at this site can be limited by the current. Pay attention to the current change after slack, and end your dive before the current becomes too strong. Night Diving: Not sure if this is permitted. Park Closes at Dusk is posted on a sign.
Atlantus Wreck on 7/2/2010
Jul 2, 2010, 12:00 AM
I have not attempted this site. Based on shore observations and research, I would consider this an advanced dive. The wreck is a deteriorating, concrete structure, containing rebar rods, some of which stick up from the wreck. (See: Top 40 Shore Dives in New Jersey, Tom Gormely; New Jersey Beach Diver, Daniel and Denise Berg) The current is this area is also reported to be strong, and the location presents few good alternatives if you cannot make it back to the beach.
L Street Beach on 7/4/2010
Jul 4, 2010, 12:00 AM
Easy entry, mild current and bay-like surface conditions make this a great site for training or for a beginner. Visibility is typically 3 to 6 feet. With a visibility of 4 feet, an enjoyable dive is possible. The bottom is easily disturbed. Missing or jumping slack a little carries away whatever you kick up. Maximum depth is around 15 feet. Marine life includes the usual variety found in NJ, but unusual things can be found. On a night dive a few years back I saw a seahorse. Watch for boats and jet skis controlled by people with varying levels of competence. Surface close to your flag and away from areas subject to marine traffic. Avoid the area near the boat ramp. Near the fishing pier, it may be impossible to avoid snags when fishermen are present. The site offers parking close to the beach entry point. Note: The scuba stairs at this site were taken down in the winter (2010) and have not been repaired. Conditions here would also permit snorkeling.