Scuba and Snorkeling Sites

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Following are just a few of the dive locations Florida Keys Dive Center has visited over the years. Some are even officially named after the staff as they have been around that long!

Reefs | Wrecks 

Popular Reefs
 

 

 

1) French Reef (30 – 80 ft.): A dive site known for its varying structure including multiple swim-throughs. Large coral heads play host to large pelagic fish. 

 

2) Molasses Reef (15 – 35 ft.):The best known and most popular site in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Noted for lots of fish, many star coral heads, regal stands of Elkhorn coral, The “Winch Hole,” and a Galleon anchor.

 

3) Conch Reef (50-110 ft.): The home of a number of sites. Conch Wall noted for huge barrel sponges and large marine life.

 

More reefs..

 

Pillar Coral

 

4) Little Conch Reef: (50-110 ft.): The home of a number of sites. Conch Wall noted for huge barrel sponges and large marine life.

 

 

5) Davis Reef (15-30 ft.): One of the nicest reefs in the area. Noted for its abundance of large green moray eels, and a multitude of tropical fish. Great spot for night dives.

 

 

6) Hen and Chickens (5-25 ft.): Beautiful peaks and mounds of star and plate coral. Better visibility in the summer at this near shore reef.

 

7) Crocker Reef (15-45 ft.): Spur and groove coral formations with large coral heads. Known for angelfish and butterflyfish.

 

8) Pickle’s Reef (10-25 ft.): Ideal for macro photographers because of the many small critters. Very pretty reef that includes cement barrels from a civil war wreck.

 

9) Snapper Ledge (15-30 ft.): A long ledge comprised of various sites. Turtles, rays, and (obviously) substantial schools of snapper. Great site for a little bit of everything.

 

And 35 years of secret spots that we can’t give away… 

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Popular Wrecks

 

1) SS Benwood:

The Benwood is a 360 foot Norwegian merchant freighter that was sunk during the early years of World War II. The vessel was sailing blacked out to avoid German U-Boats in the area during one night early April of 1942. The vessel collided with the Robert C. Tuttle which was also blacked out. The Benwood began to collapse upon itself and now rests in 30 – 60 ft. of water. New items from the wreck are frequently being uncovered due to shifting currents and storms. For example, there is an anchor sitting in the sand near the wreck… but it isn’t from the Benwood. The dive offers a variety of smaller schooling fish with the occasional mid-water predator swimming through. This is a great first wreck dive due to depth and ease of navigation. 

 

More wrecks..

Spiegel Grove - Scuba dive ship wrecks

2) Spiegel Grove: 

The first thing sport divers notice about the Spiegel Grove wreck is its immensity. Because the Spiegel Grove measures 510 feet from stern to bow, on even the clearest days it will be impossible to view the entire hull from end-to-end. “Imagine a ship lying along the bottom that’s almost two football fields long. That’s the Spiegel Grove,” said Miami scuba enthusiast Jerry Apple, a veteran wreck diver who explored the ship soon after its June 2002 sinking. The retired Navy transport ship was intentionally sunk six miles off Key Largo to form the backbone of a coral-reef ecosystem. It is the largest ship ever intentionally sunk for that reason. The algae, sponges and corals that are slowly enveloping the Spiegel Grove are wondrously natural. The ship is home to legions of fish from tiny tropicals to large barracuda and jacks.

 

 

3) The Eagle: The 287 foot freighter was donated by the Eagle Tire Company as an artificial reef in 1985 and has become the home to many different underwater inhabitants; tarpon, jacks, an occasional dolphin and goliath grouper, and thousands of bait fish. Lying on her starboard side the wreck begins at 76 feet and drops to 112 feet in the sand.

 

 

4 & 5) USCG Duane & USCG Bibb: Two 327 ft. Coast Guard Cutters donated as an artificial reef in 1987 and lay within 200 yards of each other. The Duane wreck lies upright in 118 feet of water while her sister-ship the Bibb lies on her side in 120 feet of water. They are both home to hundreds of fish.

 

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