WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – An article in this month’s Scuba Diver magazine ranks Jupiter as one of the top ten places to dive.
Underwater wonders from Singer Island to Jupiter await tourists who wish to dive.
Mike Winkles is a professional underwater photographer based in Jacksonville. He has a viral video on Tik Tok of him swimming with Goliath groupers off the coast of Singer Island. The video has 4.3 million views to date.
âNot many people can say they swam with fish that are maybe four times the size of a beetle car,â Winkles said. “We are lucky enough that [the Goliath grouperâs] migration patterns take them straight to Florida to us. “
âPalm Beach County is really lucky because we are sort of right in the Gulf Stream where the closest place to travel is,â said Shana Phelan, owner of Pura Vida. âSinger Island based divers, we never know what we’re going to see but it’s always good.
âThe Gulf Stream is really like a river of warm water and it’s just the highway for all kinds of amazing sea creatures,â said Michael Patrick O’Neil – author / photographer of âMeet Me Underwater,â which features Florida’s waterways.
Palm Beach County’s tourism arm, Discover the Palm Beaches, has taken note of the unique marine life provided by the Gulf Stream and developed a marketing plan.
“We decided to work with Mike [Winkles] for the Goliath grouper video because its content was awesome “, Beril Gutierrez, Senior Director of Social Media for Discover The Palm Beaches
The goal was to create a video to attract money from ecotourism. Ecotourism is big with millennials. Discover said their grouper video is working. âIt gained 20,000 subscribers overnight, so it was a huge success,â Gutierrez said.
Hope this inspires vacationers to book their trips here.
Phelan said there were new things to discover throughout the year: âIt’s seasonal so we have sea turtles all summer. We have Goliath groupers in the fall, we have sharks in winter and spring. “
Michael Patrick O’Neil is also an underwater photographer and then says the Goliath groupers are down. “Florida is a beacon of hope around the world because this animal has been eradicated everywhere, and here they are doing so well.”
Another attractive reason for divers is drift driving, driven by the Gulf Stream.
âYou go down a wreck, then you drift to another wreck, then maybe even another wreck,â Winkles said. “It’s a bit like taking a joy ride, floating on the reef to see it all.”
âYou can just drift and float near the creatures and then when you go up the boats are there to pick you up,â Phelan said.
Winkles said that another benefit of drift diving is that “your tank lasts a lot longer and you can export further and see more.”
Another attraction for diving on the Palm Beaches coast is the Blackwater dive, taken at night in the shallows to see the microorganisms that come to feed.
âAll of these weird, funky creatures come from the depths and feed in the shallows and we’re here to see them and take pictures of them,â Phelan said.