New Jersey Scuba Diving
Shinnecock inlet in the background.
There are two actual Ponquoque bridges, the new one and the old one. You crossed the new bridge to get to the former Foster Road. The old bridge is were you will probably dive although nothing is stopping you from diving the new bridge. Don't get caught in the channel between the two bridges however, because it is considered a channel and it is illegal to dive in a channel in the town of Southampton. With that in mind there is usually good parking at the bridge, but you will have to do some walking in order to get into the water. Speaking of getting into the water, this is the most critical part of diving the bridge:
CHECK the TIDE TABLES BEFORE DIVING AT the BRIDGE
If you are not careful you will get swept off of the bridge and be taken for quite a ride. The current running through this area at a non slack tide is deadly extreme. You should enter the 1 hour and 21 minutes after high tide for Shinnecock inlet as published in Newsday. Do not stay in the water any more than about 35 minutes. If you feel the tide start to turn, immediately take a southerly heading and stay under water because the current is stronger on the surface. You shouldn't panic because if you keep heading south you will eventually reach the eddy caused by the structure of the bridge and be able to easily swim back to the bridge itself.
The life on the Ponquoque is amazing. The last time I was there were star fish that literally blanketed the bottom with crabs crawling over them. This makes for an interesting photo opportunity and would make a nice postcard. Another word of caution. Sometime the tide can change without you even realizing it. There is a tough of water that can run above you and you would not even know it. That is why it is so important to pay attention to the time.
To get to the west jetty take 27 (Sunrise Highway) east to exit 65. Go south to the traffic light and take a left on to 27A (Montauk Highway). Continue to the second light and make a right onto Ponquogue Avenue. Continue south to the end of the road and hang a left onto Tiana Road. Stay on Tiana Road until you get to Foster Avenue. Follow Foster Avenue over the bridge and hang a left at Dune Road. The hang an immediate left onto the former Foster Avenue.
-- Roger T. Mailler
I make no claim as to the accuracy, validity, or appropriateness of any information found in this website. I will not be responsible for the consequences of any action that is based upon information found here. Scuba diving is an adventure sport, and as always, you alone are responsible for your own safety and well being.
Copyright © 1996-2016 Rich Galiano
unless otherwise noted