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Maclearie Park, Shark River - Belmar NJ


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Steps over the bulkhead and down into the water have been added to Maclearie Park, this is two blocks west of L Street beach so the bathrooms and showers are still within walking distance. The bathrooms are locked when the lifeguard leaves so they are not an option for night dives or off season. Not sure about the shower but I bring my own. RayC/LA

The drive thru the park is one way heading west so enter near L Street and head west past the tennis courts and park around the middle of the picnic area, there are tables for your topside support. There are dive flags flying on the steps. At the steps there are four dock lockers, three are for divers :) Bring a padlock, a combination would be best and lock up your car keys :)

There is a blinking yellow light on the stairs for night dives.

Being in the back basin the current is less from tidal changes than in the inlet so you can get in a longer dive. The trade off is there is less to see but it is a good place to practice skills or test equipment. The site is used by some instructors for classes on weekends and can get silted out in the shallows. Best time is early evenings during the week, check the tide tables for slack high tide, anything else and viz is worse.

Off the steps the bottom is 7’, try not to stir it up, it gets deeper as you head out, max would be 16’. I have dove from here east toward L Street, I have no idea what you’ll find going west, north about 100’ is where we find seahorses. This is the area where the seahorses can be found and in late summer into fall we have tropical fish here that have been swept up on the gulf stream. This access eliminates the long swim from L Street and gets you away from the marina and boat ramp traffic.

Forget something, need air? DiversTwo is the LDS diverstwo.com/

§ 13:82-3.17 Diving and swimming

(a) General provisions with respect to diving and swimming are as follows:

1. Underwater diving with or without an underwater apparatus is permitted in all navigable waters in New Jersey unless otherwise prohibited in this section.

2. Any person while diving shall mark his or her position with a buoyed flag:

i. Such flag shall be displayed so that it is visible all around the horizon from a buoy, float, boat or other floating object;

ii. Such flag shall be a minimum of 14 inches by 16 inches, shall be rigid to enhance visibility and shall be a red background with a white diagonal stripe running from one corner to the other.

3. No person shall operate a vessel within 50 feet of the buoyed flag.

4. No person shall display a flag at times other than when diving is in progress.

5. No person shall swim or dive in a narrow, confined or improved channel or in a marked fairway, under a bridge, or impede, obstruct or interfere with passage of watercraft therein.

6. No diver shall surface more than 25 feet from the buoyed flag except in an emergency

Comments

LatitudeAdjustment - 9/18/2016 6:19 PM
I went scuba diving here on 9/17/2016. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
3mil, DSS BP&W As always Viz looked great from the stairs, a bit cloudy once you got in but not silt this time despite the dredging going on during the week toward the bridges. 5 of us there from DB but I didn’t see anyone during the dive. A lot of baitfish near the surface. Only found one shy seahorse who kept his head away from the camera. The usual Jersey crabs, juvi fluke, a lot of sleeping fish, a few comb jellies but where were the tropicals? Some of the others saw spot fin butterflies. Surfaced to a beautiful harvest moon rising in the east :) Equipment issues, marker buoy light not working, focus light needs fresh batteries and inflator button sticking.
LatitudeAdjustment - 8/22/2016 9:53 AM
I went scuba diving here on 8/20/2016. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m. Water temp: 76-80°F/24-27°C.
3mil, DSS BP&W Viz looked great from the stairs, not so much once we entered but we were the last in. Eugene was to be my buddy but NJ viz being what it is he was soon with another buddy team. I went to point out a seahorse to him and the diver next to me wasn’t Eugene.
It was the usual Jersey suspects, less stone crabs and more baitfish on the surface and bigger flounder on the bottom. Comb jellies are in. I found a few seahorses, one buddy team counted 10.
LatitudeAdjustment - 8/13/2016 8:49 AM
I went scuba diving here on 8/5/2016. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
3mil, DSS BP&W Limited viz, maybe 3’ with a lot of silt in the water. Not much activity, a lot of sleeping fish, the usually crabs but didn’t see any stone crabs, maybe their orgy was still going on NW of the entry. Saw one seahorse but when I went to move in for a photo I spooked a flounder and it silted out the viz :(
LatitudeAdjustment - 7/31/2016 11:23 AM
I went scuba diving here on 7/30/2016. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
3mil, DSS BP&W Had 6 pounds because I didn’t find my 2 or 3 until I came out. Viz was cloudy from all of the rain this week. Lots of asst. crabs, some searobins, flounder but no seahorses :( About 200’ NW of steps there was a crab orgy going on, an area about 30’ in diameter was piled 3 or 4 deep from what I could see. And crabs being what they are were standing on the backs of others trying to grab me!
Mjgaliyano - 7/25/2016 7:33 PM
I went scuba diving here on 7/24/2016.
Nice dive, lots to see. There was currently a school of spider crabs, must have been thousands. The entire bottom was completely covered for about 75 so, of angry looking crabs, lol.
LatitudeAdjustment - 9/05/2015 6:29 AM
I went scuba diving here on 8/15/2015. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
3 mil, DSS travel wing. Some new divers along who didn’t really believe we had found seahores here. More silt this dive, plenty to see, found some seahorses in pairs, one big eel, lots of small ones, a pipefish that wouldn’t hold still for a picture, lots of crabs, flounder and I saw Mikes orange fish, we still don’t know what it is.
LatitudeAdjustment - 9/05/2015 6:28 AM
I went scuba diving here on 9/15/2015. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
3 mil, DSS travel wing. Some new divers along who didn’t really believe we had found seahores here. More silt this dive, plenty to see, found some seahorses in pairs, one big eel, lots of small ones, a pipefish that wouldn’t hold still for a picture, lots of crabs, flounder and I saw Mikes orange fish, we still don’t know what it is.
KDAD - 8/03/2015 8:30 AM
Dove here Saturday August 1, 2015 with a group from here. See comments below. Anyway, I found an Aqualung Surelock weight pouch in the water if anyone lost one. PM me.
m_grieco - 8/02/2015 10:08 AM
Rating Added: 4
Nice local dive. Visibility fluctuates but there is always marine life to keep me busy down there. Night dive was great.
m_grieco - 8/02/2015 6:33 AM
01Aug2015 Went diving with Ray and met up with 3 others divers from DB (Joe, Katrina, and Carl), but more joined the dive from hearing about it on scubaboard.com. Water was chilly, I did get cold at points, wore a 3 mm suit with a 5 mm hood\vest. Ocean life kept me occupied though, lots of seahorse, pipefish, sea robin, a few good sized fluke, a large toadfish, eels, crabs, and a neat orange juvenile fish I have yet to identify. Camera worked, used new Itorch pro6+ light and loved it. Wonderful surfacing to a full blue moon and starry sky. Will post pictures later today.
SaltyBones - 8/02/2015 7:08 AM
Thanks Mike for helping me to feel comfortable in diving there...and I’m very jealous of that new light you have, I’m thinking it might be a nice Christmas present to myself. I just have to figure out how to explain this to the wife.
LatitudeAdjustment - 8/02/2015 5:44 AM
I went scuba diving here on 8/1/2015. Average viz: 5-10ft/2-3m. Water temp: 61-65°F/16-18°C.
3 mil, DSS travel wing. Entered with Mike but then only saw him once during dive. 8 others here but didn’t run into any of them during the dive. Lot’s of critters, seahorses, sea robins, fluke, assorted eels, all NJ crabs and a ton of bait fish and came up to a blue moon, great dive!
SaltyBones - 8/02/2015 7:05 AM
Thank you Ray, it was a great experience...you guys are always welcome to lock your keys in my truck and thank you to the organizers for setting this up. I had a great time and can’t wait to do it again!
LatitudeAdjustment - 7/13/2015 5:23 PM
I went scuba diving here on 7/12/2015. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
3 mil, DSS travel wing. Dive with Mike, viz sucked, he found 6 seahorse, I saw some of the local stuff but no tropicals. When I found myself on sand I came up to see where I was and then couldn’t clear the left ear to go back down so I bobbed on the surface waiting for Mike.
m_grieco - 7/12/2015 9:14 PM
I just went with Ray (LatitudeAdjustment) on 7/12/2015 and I second the seahorses. Although Ray didn’t see any (visibility was rough, only 2-4 ft max) I did find 6 seahorses (3 brown, 2 yellow and 1 purple). Vis was do bad my my camera was giving me a message equivalent to me still having the lens cap on) and that was even while using the modelling lights from my dual Inon Z240 strobes. Also found a toadfish hiding between two large clam shells. Other than that was just the usual residents, mainly crabs (lots of hermit, blue clam, a few spider, etc).
LatitudeAdjustment - 9/29/2014 4:26 PM
I went scuba diving here on 9/29/2014. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
3 mil, DSS BP&W Dove with Curt and Mike. Headed out NE across the channel, when it started getting shallow I turned east, Mike was following a crab and Curt lost me in the bad viz. Turned and headed SW back to the stairs. Saw the usual Jersey stuff, a few dinner size flounder, no tropicals and a lot of dead blue claws. I wonder if that 3" of rain last week made the back bay too fresh? The computer says 29 minutes but I don’t think it counted the shallow stuff.
LatitudeAdjustment - 9/28/2014 3:42 PM
I went scuba diving here on 9/28/2014. Average viz: Under 5ft/2m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
3mil, DSS BP&W DiversTwo annual clean-up dive. Greg, Curt and I head NW and then swim east against the incoming tide, fortunately there is no trash here. Except for some bags along the bulkhead not much is found. The usual Jersey critters, a few plate size flounder but no tropicals :( Never did find that 16’ hole that was reported. We were in the water 69 minutes, most of the dive was too shallow for the computers to read and we did some surface swim out and back.
BeekeeperGreg - 9/28/2014 1:38 PM
Rating Added: 3
Nice pleasant place to dive and picnic. Free parking and dive.
Divers 2 did a nice job on the "Underwater Clean Up"—Thank You.
Nice to meet Curt and Ray.

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