From the Operator
Jim Abernethy's Scuba Adventures (JASA), based in South Florida, innovated and set the bar for diving with large predatory sharks without a diver cage. For over 30 years, JASA has been the premier outfitter for up close and personal encounters, in addition to world-class photography opportunities, with tiger, great hammerhead, oceanic white tip, bull, lemon and whale sharks. He is best known as a passionate crusader for shark protection. For decades Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures, Inc. (JASA) has conducted top rate charters and expeditions in south Florida, Mexico and the Bahamas. In 1999, JASA added a 10-passenger live-aboard vessel (M/V Shear Water) and has since been the leader in photography/video expeditions with a mission of interacting with some of the world’s largest predatory sharks.
Shark Diving Experiences
The warm, clear waters of the Bahamas allow us to provide exceptional and rare opportunities for divers that want to encounter a wide variety of shark species, including: tiger, great hammerhead, bull, oceanic white tip, lemon, Caribbean reef and nurse sharks. For tiger shark encounters, there is no better location than Tiger Beach on Little Bahama Bank. This shallow sand bar was found and developed by Jim Abernethy and has become the premier location for cage-free diving with some of the ocean’s largest creatures. During late fall and winter, we visit locations frequented by great hammerheads, and in the spring we have charters dedicated to blue water encounters with oceanic white tips. With over two decades of experience, our professional captains and crew provide the very best safety, up close encounters, shot setup and advice for photographers and videographers of all levels. Our liveaboard, M/V Shear Water, is a USCG and Bahamas inspected 65 ft. vessel that hosts 7-10 day shark diving expeditions to Bahamian locations. Standard and custom designed charters, with no more than 10 guests per expedition, ensure the group size is appropriate and well matched for this type of dive experience.
July is Whale Shark Expedition month. In 2005, JASA began leading ecotourism expeditions to Isla Mujeres, Mexico for encounters with the largest aggregation of whale sharks in the world. This is a snorkel adventure that provides photography/videography opportunities with the largest fish on Earth. As the first operator to explore this location, JASA remains the premier outfitter for this destination - our small group sizes (maximum 6 guests per boat) and daily charters start early and stay late.
Palm Beach enjoys the closest proximity to the current of the Gulf Stream in North America. This warm, crystal clear super highway of the aquatic world delivers a rich and abundant variety of marine life, resulting in world-class diving opportunities. The Blue Heron Bridge, voted #1 Dive in the World by Sport Diver magazine, January 2013, is just 5 minutes from our shop and offers some of the best macro photo opportunities imaginable. Palm Beach County is also the second largest sea turtle nesting ground in the world, with 5 species using our beaches to nest. From the elusive leatherback turtle to the giant loggerhead, Palm Beach is a favorite dive destination for turtle lovers. Late summer hosts the largest aggregation of goliath groupers worldwide – encounters with these giants leave divers with indelible memories. Our reef and wreck dives range in depth from 30 to 130 feet, making key destinations accessible to divers of all levels, with a large variety of choices. With water temperatures ranging from 70 degrees in the winter to 86 in the summer, we are able to dive comfortably year round. We encounter warm and cold water species, such as: whales, dolphins, ocean sunfish and whale sharks - when diving in Palm Beach, always expect the unexpected.
Shark Research & Conservation
Jim Abernethy's Scuba Adventures is a conservation oriented charter and expedition operation. Our vessels provide a platform for a variety of universities, researchers, documentary film crews and non-profit organizations. Non-profits like WildlifeVoice and Operation Blue Pride (founded by Jim Abernethy) strive to study, understand and protect sharks and other marine life. We hold permits that enable us to facilitate scientific fieldwork with sharks, sea turtles, goliath groupers and macro-species, all in conjunction with our scientific research partners. Since the early 1990's, JASA has been leading dive charters and expeditions throughout South Florida, Mexico and the Bahamas to raise awareness about the need for ocean conservation and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Through personal interaction, visual imagery, presentations, books and films, Jim strives to help people better understand the beauty of our ocean and the increasing need to protect and preserve this fragile ecosystem for future generations. Jim's primary focus on shark conservation arises from his decades of interactions with these beautiful, and highly endangered, creatures.