New Jersey Shore Diving and Camping
August 16-18, 2024


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Dive cost: None aside from a tip to the DMs from the shop who will be on site just for us. You'll arrange and pay for your own equipment and/or tanks with the Divers Two shop, less than one mile away.

Note: A dive flag on a float is required for each buddy team. Divers Two sells them for $42 (+ $15 for a reel).
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Camping cost: $40/person for the entire weekend.

All divers must read and accept the club diving requirements, and have a 2024 liability waiver and a copy of their certificate card on file as a PDF with the Membership Secretary.
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Join Big Apple Divers for a fun dive weekend at the Jersey Shore! Advanced sign-up is required.

DIVING
In late Summer/Autumn, warm water comes north resulting in tropical fish visiting NJ and temperatures averaging 72-75F, which only requires a 5 mm wetsuit to be comfortable. In addition, divers often see crabs, sea robins, flounder, sea stars, and mussels as well as the occasional oyster toadfish, eel, and pipefish.

One of the biggest draws to the area is the resident seahorse population in the Back Bay and the varied marine life under the Railroad Bridge. (See the slideshow at the bottom of this page).

These dives are tidal with 2 dives available each day around 6/7AM and 6/7PM + an optional Friday night dive. We'll be offering shore dive options for both beginners and more advanced divers. You'll then have the rest of the day to enjoy camping and the local area.

Belmar Back Bay at Maclearie Park: This is a beginner-friendly dive with a max depth of 15-20 ft. However, even the more advanced folks can enjoy this dive and also find plenty to photograph with all the interesting marine life during this time of year. Typically low visibility, but the local seahorse population makes for a fun "treasure hunt" type of dive.

Manasquan Railroad Bridge: Though only up to 20 ft deep, this is a more advanced dive due to the currents. However, generally, a wider variety of marine can be seen at the bridge. Tropical fish are often found to congregate under the bridge.

Additionally, advanced dive pairs can choose to dive Shark River Inlet on their own. Though only up to 30 ft deep, this is a more advanced dive due to the currents, boat traffic, and fishing entanglements along with a more difficult entry across slippery rocks.

The local dive shop, Divers Two is less than 1 mile away so it's easy to pick up your tanks and/or any equipment from them. Note: A dive flag on a float is required for every buddy pair.

Note: Big Apple Divers does not vet divers; we are not in a position to decide about the suitability of any dive for any diver. It is your responsibility to decide whether you have the training and experience for any particular dive.

CAMPING
We will be camping together at a beautiful 2,173 acre county park on the northern edge of the NJ Pine Barrens. Despite its odd name, Turkey Swamp Park contains neither turkeys nor swamp. However, it does include a beautiful lake.

We'll be in a separate group area set aside just for us. You can bring your own tent or use one of the 12'x14' platform tents already set up if you let me know in advance. Onsite, there's potable water, a group grill, a fire pit, a water source, a picnic shelter, and a camping toilet. Showers, sinks, and flush toilets are a 5-minute walk from the campsite.

We'll be supplying firewood, charcoal, cleaning supplies, and neoprene-friendly bug spray. You supply any other camping equipment you need along with food. Everyone will be cooking their own meals. 

Limited spots available so RSVP now.


OTHER FUN ACTIVITIES
There are a lot of fun activities to do in addition to the diving. The NJ Shipwreck History Museum, InfoAge Science & History Center, beach and boardwalk, a lighthouse tour, drinks at a distillery, hiking in the 2,173-acre woods of the park, boating via paddle boat/canoe/kayak, and/or horseback riding.


For any questions, contact the host, Beth McCrea
(president@bigappledivers.com).


LOADING


Easy entry into the water at the Belmar Back Bay, Maclerie Park



Underwater Video from the Belmar Back Bay



Big Apple Divers club night dive at the Manasquan River Railroad Bridge



Underwater Video from the Manasquan River Railroad Bridge



Night Dive on the Belmar Shark River Jetty



LOADING

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Belmar Back Bay in Maclearie Park, Belmar, NJ


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A street inlet dive and Jetty dive, Belmar, NJ


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Manasquan River Railroad Bridge, Point Pleasant, NJ