Area 29, one of the deeper dive sites at 80′ to 90′, is a destination chosen for its good visibility, hunting opportunities, and sightseeing features. When inshore sites are subject to less than acceptable visibility, the boat captains usually resort to “Old Reliable ‘Area 29. At this low- profile site the ledge is broken up so that as divers drift North they come into a series of “aquariums” that are home to prolific fish and marine critter life. Sightseers can marvel at the variety of tropical fish that inhabit these mini-environments. Palm Beach’s classic big blue Angelfish along with their queen, French, and gray cousins are all here. Tomtates and other grunts of several species inhabit these arenas in large numbers. Squirrel fish hide in their little nooks as goatfish stir up the sand to find their next meal, Loggerhead turtles use the ledge to duck under for a nap while the little Hawksbills munch on the sponges. Hunters favor Area 29 for its game fish In season, it is common to see the prized gag and black Groupers all over this dive site.
Southern Rays hunting for: a meal in the sand attracts the coveted cobia. Lobsters can be found to
the East of the main ledge line in the little blowouts and under the coral heads. Although a deeper dive, with its consistent good visibility; sightseeing attractions, and hunting opportunities, Area 29 is “Old Reliable” as it rarely disappoints.
Named for its mystery (or maybe because it is 51 minutes from the dock) “Area 51″ It is a high- ledge dive site known for its shark activity. Soon after descending divers are frequently greeted by two or three reef sharks curious to see who has dropped by for a visit. They usually come from the cast, take a quick look, and swim off, so divers have to be attentive at the beginning of the dive not to miss them. Gigantic loggerhead turtles may be napping under the ledge at almost ninety feet, or gently resting on top of the ledge at seventy-five feet. Hawksbill turtles are usually eating between the cracks and crevices just off the ledge. Huge green moray eels may be in a crevice on the bottom, or free-swimming along the ledge through the maze created by the enormous pieces that have broken off the ledge. Look for southern rays in the sand and a resident goliath grouper just under the ledge where there is a sandy spot on top of the ledge. Large schools of Atlantic spadefish frequent Area 51 as do small groups of six or seven large barracuda, cruising against the current together. Bar jacks, amber jacks, and often schools of horse-eye jacks are encountered here hunting for their next meal. Never knowing what Mother Nature has in store for us on this dive makes Area 51 always a mystery adventure.