OLD PONQUOGUE BRIDGE New York Beach Diving Guide for scuba divers.
The complete scuba divers beach diving guide to Long Island, NY's shipwrecks, jetties and inlets complete with driving directions.
 
 

OLD PONQUOGUE BRIDGE

DIRECTIONS:                                                (Ponquogue, Suffolk County)

Take Sunrise Highway to Exit 65 South. Make a left onto Montauk Highway, then a right turn onto Ponquogue Avenue. Take this to the end and make a left on Shinnecock Avenue. Turn left on Foster Avenue, which will bring you to the new bridge. Drive over the new bridge to the end of the road and make a U-turn onto the service road. Parking can be found on the southeast side of the old bridge in a dirt parking lot. If you want to dive the north side I would recommend dropping off your gear, then parking in the same lot and walking back.

CONDITIONS:

The Old Ponquogue Bridge was replaced a few years back with a larger concrete bridge. The Old Bridge has been left intact. This was done not only so the Old Bridge would serve as a platform for fishing and diving, but so it could continue to act as a valuable fish haven. Hopefully, this bridge will be left intact for sportsmen to enjoy for years to come.

Because of the strong current, this dive should only be done at slack tide, with high slack preferred. Start on the south side of the bridge where an easy entry can be made. Divers should wade along the Old Bridges bulkhead until the end. Once here, smart divers wait for slack tide before beginning their descent. Divers can swim through and between the wood and concrete pilings, search for lobsters, spear black fish, gather a bag full of mussels, photograph the underwater environment, or just enjoy diving at its finest.

Be sure to keep track of the tide. Once it begins to turn, the dive should end. The current, as I mentioned before, is very strong during an incoming or outgoing tide. If a diver does get caught, it is best not to swim against it. The intelligent diver, who knows how currents work, will float with it until it starts to dissipate and then swim to shore at an angle. For the beginner, I would always recommend an advanced diving course. An advanced diving course will not only be beneficial for this site, but will enhance all basic diving skills, so that all dives can be enjoyed to their fullest.

Diving the north side of the bridge, divers will find more of the same plus some. Since a long walk is required, diving is less common here and legal size lobsters are more abundant.

Whether diving the north side or the south side, be sure not to swim past the halfway point, since it is illegal to swim or dive in the channel. The halfway point can be easily recognized while underwater by a concrete wall. Just don't swim around it, and you'll be fine.

Ponquogue's New Bridge, located just west of the Old Bridge has already become another good dive site. Local divers are already enjoying the thriving fish haven under this recently built structure.

In 1996, The Old Bridge was in desperate need of repair. Southampton Town was short of funds. They turned to New York State who agreed to help finance the project but insisted that a boat ramp be installed. Unfortunately, the only place to put the ramp was between the two bridges. The ramp's location and the associated boat traffic would cause major problems to divers. In 1998, as the renovation project was nearing completion, Randy Randazzo from the Hampton Dive Center, along with members of the Long Island Divers Association organized numerous meeting with Southampton Town and New York State officials. Thanks to their effort, the boat channel was routed around the dive area and the first underwater marine park in Southampton Town was formed.

Today, the site is still one of the best on Long Island. Southampton Town residents can park with a seasonal beach sticker on their vehicle. Non-residents can purchase an annual bridge-parking sticker. Stickers can be obtained Monday through Friday directly from the town (631) 282-6000 or on weekends from Hampton Dive Center.

 
Long Island Shore Diver ebook
The Scuba Diver's guide to Long Island NY Beach Diving.

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Long Island Shore Diver, 3rd Edition is the most comprehensive, accurate, illustrated collection of information, photographs, sketches and stories ever written about the beach dive sites off Long Island, New York. This ebook is a new updated, expanded and enhanced color edition of Dan Berg's original Shore Diver book, which over the years has become the diver's bible to finding and exploring the fascinating beach sites off Long Island. Included within the text are car directions and complete dive site conditions to over 60 sites. The text is heavily illustrated with 110 color photographs, black & White photographs, and triangulation sketches. Divers, fisherman, marine historians, armchair sailors or anyone with a general interest in history, diving, or the sea will surely find this ebook informative, fascinating and the perfect addition to their library

 

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