Ken Wagnon's Beach

There is no mooring ball at this site, so it really is an unnamed dive site.  I call it "Ken Wagnon's Beach", because it's the stretch of reef directly out from Ken Wagnon's house.  This is the fabulous mansion known locally as the "Pizza Man's House", so it shouldn't be hard for you to locate.  Proceed north on the North Coast Road past McCoy's Dive Lodge until you get to a to the intersection of North Coast Road and Spot Bay Road.  Spot Bay Road is the road which will take you up to the police station, the hurricane shelter, and on over to the airport.  Directly across from this road is Ken Wagnon's house.  As you face the front of his house from the road, look on the right hand edge (i.e., north side) of his property.  You will see a road going towards the water, right next to the stone wall.  Follow that road as far as the sand looks solid and park.

When you head out from shore, go directly out from the beach area behind the house.  This is inside the line normally taken by the dive boats, so it's not nearly so risky as swimming out from salt rock dock.  However, it is a long swim out to the reef, so be prepared.  There are a few large coral heads which stick up near the surface, but you should find it easy to maneuver around them.  Once you see the first drop-off, head down.

Caution:  This is a deep dive site.  There's not much to see above 80', so this one should be your first dive of the day.  Because it's a deep site, I expect it will be a long time, if ever, before a mooring ball appears here.  There is an inner drop-off which starts at about 40' and goes down to 60' or so, then fingers and canyons run out to the main drop-off.  When you get to the main drop-off, you're probably going to want to cruise along at 80' or 90'.  Head north, towards Joy's Joy, and enjoy!  This one always reminds me of flying through the Grand Canyon.  Even cruising along at 90', you will see gigantic canyons come through the wall which cut far below you.  Keep your eyes open for reef sharks, because they are always cruising this area.  They won't bother you, but by the same token I make it a point not to bother them.

When the wall tops come up to 60' or so, you are within a couple hundred feet of  the Joy's Joy mooring ball.  That is probably where you want to turn around and head back.  I'm always out of bottom time by this point, so tend to head shallow and follow the inner drop-off.  There are always lots of schooling fish here and there are some interesting ledges with little caverns under them where you may find some interesting critters hiding in the shadows.  Indeed, the trip back through the shallows can often be as rewarding as the trip out.


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