Saturday Snorkeling - at the Big Reef Lauderdale by the Sea

Another joint event with our friends at the Bison Group. It's snorkel season and the Bison go snorkeling approximately every other week or so. We'd love it if this group joins us as we always have a great time when we have events together....











Lauderdale By The Sea is doing alot to improve it's snorkel and shore diving sites. ScubaNation recently filmed an entire episode on LBTS (airing May 3rd through the 13th - with both Chris and Griff in the episode). I have already found replicas of three cannons and an anchor from a Spanish Galleon. I am told there are many more parts of the ship near the first reef line.

Let's make an expedition to locate this new snorkel attraction. Then we can swim north along the reef, as we get closer to the pier there is usually an abundance of fish. French Angels appear to be wearing makeup on there face, looking like mimes for a mermaids pleasure. We may see schools of small fish swimming back and forth as if performing ballet. Other common fish are Blue Angels and lots of varieties of Parrotfish swimming among the grazing schools of Doctorfish. Blue Headed Wrass set up shop on the reef, this small tropical eats parasites off the fierce looking Barracuda.












During the summer months you will frequently see turtles feeding on the reef, they are returning to lay eggs on the very beach they hatched from. If you are lucky enough to see a turtle, remain calm and quiet, it may approach you. Never touch, chase hold on to, or harass a turtle. You could cause it to drown, they need to take a new breath of air more frequently than you might think. There are Big Fish too!!!

Schools of Snook are often seen here, an occasional Nurse Shark, and really big Tarpon come cruising through from their prehistoric past. Go often enough and maybe you will swim with a six foot Manta Ray, don't worry this harmless relative of the shark only eats plankton. Spotted Eagle Ray seemingly fly across the reef. Stingrays often lay partially covered in the sand, even this docile creature can be deadly(Steve Irwin)...a lesson to observe and not touch. See a pile of crushed up shells? It is likely there is a small octopus in it's den nearby.

All of this and more is a short swim from the beach on the south side of the pier. The reef is in 8 to 15 feet of water and can be accessed by snorkel or SCUBA. You will be amazed at the diversity of wildlife that is just off the shore. (SCUBA divers may want to go beyond the pier to the second part of the first reef line 15' to 21'). RSVP YES OR MAYBE specify your desire to snorkel or SCUBA. If you are experienced diver and want to commit to leading either a snorkel or SCUBA group please state in RSVP If we are having heavy winds it is likely the dive will be canceled. Late afternoon showers in the west often do not effect the coast.


a)Your own snorkel or SCUBA gear. If you don't have any gear, Gold Coast Scuba (a Bison club sponsor) will rent or sell you the gear. If you're a member of the Bison, you'll get a 10% discount on the rental or purchase of the snorkel gear.

b)Bring a dive flag or be sure you are buddied up with someone with a flag (never go without a buddy and a flag). GCS will loan you a flag.

c) BRING QUARTERS FOR PARKING METERS!!! $1.25/hour or park at the pier for $10.00 flat fee. Pay by Phone app for your smartphones also work.


DIRECTIONS Commercial Blvd. East to A1A turn right go 1 block to Datura Ave turn left to beach parking spaces. we will be preparing our gear at our cars or the covered benches at the shower area. Parking spaces are on Datura from the beach to the other side of A1A by the 7-11 or one block north in and around the pier area at Commercial Blvd.

One block south of Datura also provides additional parking spaces.

You can also park at Aruba's for $10.00 with the Valet for the beach.

BRING QUARTERS FOR PARKING METERS!!! BRING QUARTERS FOR PARKING METERS!!! Local merchants do not like to give out quarters.

Be careful there are 4 hour meters and 2 hours meters. DO NOT PARK AT A 2HOUR meter you won't have time to swim before it expires.

You can also park at the pier for $10.00 and there is some local parking as well.  Some spots on Commercial blvd are free but it's a long walk. Please Carpool because there is very limited parking in this location.

Please don't feel left out if you get there and we are gone, we plan to enter the water by 10:00am. If you come out looking for us you should have a buddy and a dive flag.

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  • chris

    Thanks to everyone for coming out to the beach this morning! Hopefully next time the seas will be more

    1 · May 25, 2013

  • Isa P.

    It was great meeting you all (Karen, Diane, John, Jim,Alan/Edgard and friends) Looking foward to the full moon info Karen. Enjoy the weekend everyone! Isa

    1 · May 25, 2013

  • Jim

    Snorkeling is ON!


    Webcam at Datura LBTS:

    See you on the beach at the Datura beach entrance

    May 25, 2013

  • Jim

    Tomorrow we start the summer snorkel program...

    Looks like we'll have a large group in the water.

    The water is clear and warm. The forecast calls for flat seas.

    This year we'll be exploring a number of new areas, both off the beach, and off dive boats to local reefs.

    In addition we'll be making some overnight trips to the Keys to a variety of locations, including John Pennekamp State Park and Looe Key

    For those of you that never snorkeled, this is a great time to start.

    While we typically have enough dive flags, if you do have one - please bring it.

    See you all tomorrow at 945AM

    May 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Well my friend, the tide looks great:

    Gold Coast Scuba (1/2 mile from where we meet) opens up at 7:45 for anyone who need gear (to purchase or rent). Say you're with me (Griff - although I won't be there) and the Bison and you'll get 10% off your snorkel rental or purchase. They even have the fancy anti-fog stuff Chris referred to. Although the old timers like me use cheap toothpaste (cheaper the better, like Gleem) to take the new equipment film off and also be an anti-fog cleaner (plus your mask smells minty-fresh!)...

    Lastly, parking around there can be a bit of a challenge. Leave yourself a little time to park. 2 blocks WEST of the Meetup location is Bougainvilla Dr, which has MANY new parking spots that many of the locals don't even know about.

    1 · May 23, 2013

  • chris

    Hi guys, just a quick note about Sat. I have a dive flag so I'll cover everyone in this group. Weather looks good so far! If you have a new mask be sure to clean it properly before Sat so it doesn't fog up. If you're not sure how contact me or google it lol.

    May 23, 2013

  • Laura V

    It is a MAYBE for snorkeling. This would be my first time attending.

    May 22, 2013

  • Jim

    May 19, 2013

  • Isa P.

    Looking forward to it

    May 19, 2013

  • Andrea P

    I would love to take the 101 class so I can go and feel comfortable on these snorkeling events.

    May 19, 2013

  • Theresa

    That is very nice of you Paulette. I don't want to hold you back. Let me think about it. Thanks Griff. I was thinking it would behoove me to take a 101 class :) and love the idea if we did it as a group. I'm missing out on a whole other world and opportunities by not snorkeling! :)

    May 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Theresa: you're more than welcome to watch. What may also help is that we're going to host a "Snorkel 101" for beginners. This will be held at a local Dive shop (close to this snorkel event) that I know very well. In addition, this first time out we're going to be led by a snorkel expert. While I'm a very experienced scuba diver, snorkeling is a bit new for me. So our leader for this event is a marine biologist by day & part time divemaster who is also a fish ID expert. We'll be in great hands.

    May 2, 2013

  • Theresa

    Not this time, but I may come out to watch, get familiar with the process, build up the nerve to do it next time.

    May 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry but will be out of town.

    April 30, 2013

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