Blue Heron Bridge

Blue Heron Bridge F.A.Q.

I’ve been diving the Blue Heron Bridge for more than 5 years. In that time, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about the experience. I’ve answered a lot of them in the article I wrote for my students, A New Scuba Diver’s Guide to the Blue Heron Bridge. Some people, however, don’t want to wade through all of that text to find the answer to their specific question. So I’ve pulled out a few of the ones I get asked a lot and put them in this Blue Heron Bridge F.A.Q. If your question isn’t answered here, drop me an email at [email protected] and ask. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

What tide is best for Blue Heron Bridge?

The best tide to dive at the Blue Heron Bridge is the High Tide.

If you check the Blue Heron Bridge Tide Schedule you will see that on most days, there are 2 high tides. Since the park is only open from Sunrise until Sunset, you will want to find a high tide that falls within that window.

You will want to be in the water 60 minutes before high tide. This means and you will most likely want to arrive at the park 30 minutes before you expect to be in the water. This means that a a general rule you want to find a high tide that is after Sunrise. While sometimes the Park Rangers will look the other way if divers arrive before Sunrise to get geared up for an early morning dive, it is at their pleasure that they do so. If you get there too early, they can ticket you and kick you out of the park.

For evening dives, you will want to make sure you are out of the water and leaving the park by dusk.

Can you dive the Blue Heron Bridge at night?

The exception to the Sunset rule is a night dive. The Park Rangers do allow exceptions for night dives but there are rules.

  • You must have a night dive pass
    You can get them for free at most of the local dive shops. If you don’t have a pass on your dashboard, the Park Rangers will most likely ask you to leave or ticket your vehicle if you are not around.
  • You absolutely must be out of the park by 10:00 PM
    Most divers will not dive night dives past 9:00 PM – 9:15 PM. This gives them time to get out of the water, break down their gear, and exit the park. Even with a pass, you have to be gone by 10:00 PM.

Contact a local dive center for more information on what nights they are conducting night dives and to get your pass.

Can you dive the Blue Heron Bridge at low tide?

Yes, you can dive the Blue Heron Bridge at low tide as long as it is within park hours. (See above) However, it will not be a great dive. The outgoing water is coming from the Intercoastal and it is never as clear as the water coming in from the ocean.

What is slack high tide?

Slack tide at the Blue Heron Bridge is the time when the water is neither coming in, nor going out. The water is still. Slack tides don’t last long. Depending on how strong the current is running on any given day, it can be as short as 5 minutes or as long as 15 minutes.

Most dive guides guiding divers on the East Span of the Blue Heron Bridge will try and be on the north side of the bridge for slack tide. This allows them to float on the incoming tide up under the bridge and then after slack tide, float back under with the outgoing tide. Slack tide is spent on any number of cool sites looking at marine life.

What is the visibility at the Blue Heron Bridge?

Visibility varies from 30+ ft to 1ft. Visibility is greatly affected by what is going on off-shore. If the weather is stirring up the water off-shore then it will not be clean coming in for high tide. If the visibility is good off-shore then chances are good that it will be good at the Bridge.

Visibility is always best with the incoming tide. The water coming in from the ocean will always be clearer than the water existing when the tide turns. When the tide is going out, the water is coming from the Intercoastal and is never as clear. As a general rule, whatever visibility you have, when the tide turns, you lose 1/2 of that.

What is the water temperature at the Blue Heron Bridge?

The water temperature at the Blue Heron Bridge runs from the mid-70s to the mid-80s depending on the time of the year. For many divers, this means that a wetsuit is not strictly necessary. However, even on warm days, some type of protection is strongly suggested. There are days when the lifeguard will put up the “Purple” flag for “Marine life warning”. This almost always means one thing at the Bridge, Jellyfish. So even on warm days, a full-body skin or a 1mm wetsuit may save you a lot of unnecessary pain.

How deep is the water at Blue Heron Bridge?

The Snorkel Trail at Blue Heron Bridge varies between 7 ft to 12 ft deep, depending on where you are on the trail and where you are in the tide cycle. East of the snorkel trail it gets down to an average depth of 15 ft deep.

During a normal high tide, the deepest point at the Blue Heron Bridge is 21ft deep. This is a sunken sailboat just North of the East span. During a King Tide, it can be as deep as 25 ft deep at this point.

Where are the seahorses at Blue Heron Bridge?

There are several places you can find sea horses at the Blue Heron Bridge. The easiest place to find them is just outside of the swim area in the grassy area. It is not unusual to see a diver in full gear in 5 ft of water, crawling across the bottom very slowly. There are other places where you can find seahorses if you are patient. If all else fails, get to the Bridge a little early, find a group of locals who are preparing to dive, and ask them.

Can you camp overnight at the Blue Heron Bridge?

Short Answer: No

Longer Anwer: Seriously, no. The Park Rangers will ask you to leave or ticket you.

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