Named for beef packing plants that existed here in the 1870s, Packery Channel Jetties are a favorite spot to view and dive with sea turtles in Corpus Christi. This small pair of jetties protect Packery Channel which connects the upper Laguna Madre to the Gulf of Mexico and separates North Padre Island from Mustang Island. This project, completed in 2005, provides direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. The large granite boulders already support an abundance of marine life including hundreds of sea turtles in the summer. If conditions are right and you are looking for some fun snorkeling in Corpus Christi or some shallow shore diving- this is the place!
The best shore diving near Corpus Christi is at the Port Aransas Jetties on nearby Mustang Island. Visibility can be very tricky, but if you like a lot of concentrated marine life it is worth the wait for perfect conditions. Below is everything you need to successfully dive the Port Aransas Jetties.
If you are up for some adventure and a chance to see some big animals, then the best Texas offshore scuba diving is a visit to the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Huge coral heads, loggerhead sea turtles, mantas, whale sharks, sandbar sharks, and hammerheads might be seen. Visit the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary website for more information about this amazing place.
The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBMNS) will take you 110 miles offshore for a two night, two day adventure. You board the boat in the evening, set up your gear on the spacious dive deck, motor while you sleep and the next day you do two dives on the East Flower Garden Bank, in the afternoon you will move to the West Flower Garden Bank for two afternoon dives and a incredible night dive. Overnight the boat will move to Stetson Bank where you can complete 2 more dives before heading back to the dock. I recommend Fling Charters when diving the Flower Garden Banks.
I recommend being in good physical condition and an experienced advanced open water diver to dive the Flower Gardens. Enriched Air Nitrox is available aboard the ship and is highly recommended.
Complete advanced open water at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
Oil platforms dot the Texas coast and form artificial reefs teaming with fish. They are often your best bet for good visibility because they occur far offshore in blue water. Sadly many older rigs are being removed, so enjoy them while you still can. You will need to charter a boat to reach these so plan on having 4 or more people and paying a substantial amount for fuel. The best visibility is 30 or more miles offshore. You should be an advanced diver with advanced knowledge, excellent bouyancy control and good situational awareness. This is open ocean boat diving, tied to an active oil platform, often with no bottom. Currents can be a challenge.
Crystal Clear Edward's Aquifer water at a constant 72 degrees year round with abundant wildlife make spring lake an awesome dive site. Spring Lake diving requires becoming a volunteer, but is well worth the effort. Get a taste of this amazing dive site during your open water or advanced course.
The best diving near Texas is on the Island of Cozumel, Mexico or the nearby Yucatán mainland. The Yucatán offers some of the best diving in the world as well as incredible culture, food, shopping, and sightseeing. With fast, convenient, direct flights from major cities, you can leave Texas in the morning and be diving in this world renowned dive destination the same afternoon! Cozumel is a fast, inexpensive, convenient getaway making it the "go to" location for Texas divers.
Do your open water training dives in the warm, clear, caribbean sea, then stay and complete your advanced certification. A typical open water experience starts with a direct flight from Houston, arrive in Cozumel and do open water dives 1 & 2 the same day. The next day we complete the last two open water dives and do our first fabulous Cozumel boat drift dive in the afternoon! Then we do as many days of boat diving as you like working on advanced dives, like boat, drift, deep, underwater naturalist, and navigation. Enjoy fabulous meals each night. We end the trip with an air conditioned ferry ride to the Yucatan mainland to explore the Mayan ruins at Tulum, do a refreshing Cenote Snorkel, enjoy a fabulous lunch, and do some shopping in Playa Del Carmen before returning home the next day. Enjoy these videos and picture your own Yucatán dive Adventure! Enlarge the screen and click HD for best viewing. Contact me today to discuss your trip! Minimum 2 students, additional fees apply.
Yes, but I do custom designed trips, often with a minimum of 4 people. You tell me what you are interested in and I can arrange a custom trip given advanced notice. Maybe a trip to Cozumel Mexico or offshore to the Flower Garden banks to complete open water or advanced certifications. Maybe a wreck dive on the Texas clipper in South Padre. Do some research and then contact me if you want to discuss a trip. You will need to pay your travel/charter fees and a fee to me as trip leader and guide.
Probably not. People often contact me from northern latitudes thinking diving occurs almost daily in Corpus Christi like in the Florida Keys or Cozumel. While Corpus Christi has many dive opportunities such as shore diving or rig dives far offshore, there aren't boats lined up daily ready to take divers on short notice. Visibility and sea conditions are extremely variable making it hard to plan a trip in advance. Dive season is during the summer months only and can be effected by tropical storms and our strong Southeast winds. Generally you must be a local to enjoy diving in Corpus Christi. To reach blue water with excellent visibility expect to go out 30 miles, spend all day on a boat and pay quite a bit for fuel.
Yes, I sometimes offer discover local diving experiences at local jetties to small groups. Diving the jetties takes some special knowledge to be successful and safe. Visibility is extremely variable and diving occurs on a high slack tide, so it is hard to time these. You need to be a Corpus Christi resident and have time off on weekdays when conditions are best. You must be very patient and time things just right for good visibility.
The best diving in Texas and the best value is a trip to the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary aboard the MV Fling. This is a 2 or 3 day trip where you experience amazing coral reefs up to 110 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. The quality of diving, ease of diving and price makes this an easy winner for best dive experience in Texas offshore waters. The vessel leaves from Freeport, Texas which is a 3 1/2 hour drive north of Corpus Christi.
Texas weather is notoriously variable and extreme and so are the dive conditions.
"Dive season" in Texas runs from late Spring to late Fall, but Winter and early Spring are generally not favorable for offshore trips, though they do occur. Weather, sea state, currents, and visibility can change dramatically within a matter of hours or even minutes so offshore trips are often called on or off at the dock. Summer is usually more predictable, but depends on the presence of tropical storm systems, so always watch the marine weather forecast and keep in touch with your trip organizer for cancelations. Personally, I prefer to go out in seas of 2 feet or less for the best experience. This variability is why open water scuba checkout dives in Texas are most often done in inland lakes and springs. Some people opt to complete their open water training dives in Cozumel or other Caribbean destinations instead.
Springs like the Comal River, Spring Lake, or Balmorea offer great visibility if they are not stirred up by swimmers or tubers and will be a chilly, but constant 72 degrees year round. You may be comfortable in a 3mm full wetsuit in Summer or Fall but require a 5mm or thicker wetsuit or a drysuit in Winter or Spring. Your choice will depend on the surface temperature, wind, your cold tolerance, and how long you plan to dive.
Inland lakes, like Lake Travis, typically require a 3-5 mm full wetsuit from late Spring to Fall and a thicker wetsuit or drysuit is recommended in Winter or early Spring depending on the surface temperature, wind, your cold tolerance, and how long you plan to dive. Lakes are highly variable in temperature and visibility with temperatures in the 50's or lower below the thermocline during early Winter and Early Spring. Visibility is higher in the Winter and early Spring and poorest in late Summer and Fall as warm temperatures encourage plankton to bloom. Often you will need to stay below the thermocline for best visibility, so plan your exposure protection for the temperature below the thermocline. Click here for Lake Travis Conditions.
If you don't like Texas weather just wait a while.