Zero Hour in Boynton Beach
Written by Dan Volker, photographed by Sandra Edwards


The early morning fog wrapped itself around the dive boat like sunlight covering the darkness, at the first moment of a new day. The six divers felt like kids. They'd stayed up all night long, unable to sleep, anticipation fueling supercharged imaginations. They were ready for the BIG dive, the dive that would put them on a reef few divers had ever seen. A reef where the ocean dominated and pulsed and flowed and the raw power of marine life was brandished about like a million carat diamond on the outstretched finger of Mother Nature.

The reef lay at a depth of about 75 feet. It lived in isolation, too far for the fisherman, too far for most dive boats, and few ever discovered its existence. The reef was a haven for grouper and snapper and other big fish which had been targeted so long by the long lines and the nets, or the little metal death traps. And the divers who so urgently anticipated this dive would never tell where exactly they had found this reef, only that they had dived it, and someday, they would again. This had been solemnly promised.

The divers stood poised on the platform, willing the boat to be over the right spot, and to stop and allow them to enter the adventure. Captain Lynn Simmons stood at the wheel, staring at the sonar display, waiting for the characteristic "bump" which would be the 30 foot high ledge. Sonar returns representing fish below, covered the screen with hundreds of "Pac Man" style fish images, obviously indicating the time for the divers was near. As Captain Lynn began throttling back, the reef jumped out on the sonar, the engines were reversed, then cut, and six divers dove into the dream they'd been having for the last few months since they'd heard about this dive.

They went down fast, on a collision course with the massive amberjack school which blocked out all signs of the bottom, soon swallowing the horizon as well. And then the amberjacks moved on, as amberjacks do, and the eyes of the divers were assaulted with color brightness and intensities exploding into focus through crystal clear water. Words don't describe this reef or its marine life, so photos will have to tell the rest of this experience.

If you like what you see, and diving virgin sites appeals to you, Boynton Beach diving should soon find it's way into your future. Virgin sites are visited infrequently, and are located far from any of the inlets---far from both fishing and dive boats they stay virgin. If you dive with Lynn Simmons enough on her normal Boynton Beach dives...dives which eclipse most anything you might have seen anywhere else, and if Lynn thinks the conditions are just right, and there is time to reach these special dive sites, then a first-hand experience may await you. Perhaps even more amazing to you will be how spectacular the "normal" Boynton Beach dives are. Most world traveled divers are conditioned to believe that they must go far across the world to find the spectacular….the reality is that they need only go as far as Boynton Beach Florida.

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