Hold on as Lazaro Ruda takes you to a menagerie of miniatures in an unexpected backyard destination: Singer Island, Florida (Text and photos by Lazaro Ruda)
Welcome to the Blue Heron Bridge at Phil Foster Park on Singer Island, Florida. As you scan the car park, just a couple of metres away from the water’s edge, you begin to realise there must be something very special about this place. Countless people are donning dive gear. A parade of dive flags make their way into the shallow water.
Phil Foster Park lies between the mainland and Singer Island – a tiny spit of sand in the middle of the Intracoastal Waterway. Part of its secret lies about a kilometre south of the park – the Lake Worth inlet. This inlet is the passageway into the vast Atlantic Ocean. With the ebb and flow of the tides, and the rich Gulf Stream just a couple of kilometres offshore, nutrients and marine life are constantly nourishing this unique dive site.
For countless years this was a secret spot for the locals. Palm Beach, Florida was vaguely on the scuba diver’s map. When the words scuba diving and Florida were mentioned, it was the Florida Keys where everyone headed. But word soon leaked out about the uniqueness of the dive at Phil Foster Park and the amazing creatures that are found here.
Numerous species of seahorse, frogﬁsh, nudibranch, ray, batﬁsh, octopus, jawﬁsh, stargazer and many others are regularly seen. Even manatees and sea turtles are often encountered. The list of unique creatures seems to grow on a weekly basis. This is a ﬁsh nerd’s paradise where the diving is free and less than six metres deep.
The dive site is separated into two distinctive parts: the smaller bridge on the southeastern side, and the larger bridge on the southwestern side of the park. Both areas are separated by a long stretch of beach containing a snorkelling trail and the public’s guarded swimming area.