The Bob Quarles Reef consist of 270 tons of concrete material from the Gulf Breeze Fishing Pier bridge decking placed on top of concrete anchors creating this artificial reef area. The reef is located about 200-250 yards from shore directly off of the Park West Reef area near the entrance to Fort Pickens. It is fairly easy to locate using a compass to navigate due north from the center of the Park West Reef about another 100-150 yards out into the bay. Make sure that you have a dive flag that is clearly visible because boat traffic is common in this area. Visibility ranges from 5-20′ in this area depending on factors such as tides, recent rainfall, etc. and is most commonly in the 5-10′ range when conditions are suitable for diving.
If the visibility is poor in the area of the Park West Reef it is highly unlikely to improve further out at the Bob Quarles Reef. We suggest only attempting to make the swim out on days with better than average visibility for the area. Essentially if the water inside the Park West Reef is muddy you can expect the same at the Bob Quarles Reef and the effort to swim out may not be rewarded.
*DISCLAIMER – These images are from a day with nearly perfect conditions and visibility is generally lower in this area.