Scuba Diving in Pennekemp State Park and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Green Moray Eels on the reefs of Key LargoManta Ray sighting off French Reef, Key Largo, Floridachrist  

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Dive Sites:

The reef diving in Key Largo is on the 3rd largest barrier reef system in the world. Come and see for yourself the beauty of Caribbean diving right in our back yard!!! Dive or snorkel the John Pennekemp State Park and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary at these sites and many more.

Molasses Reef: (Photos)

This is arguably the most beautiful collection of reefs in all of Florida! Rather than a single site, Molasses is an extensive reef complex with diving depths from about 20 feet to 40 feet. Molasses Reef features high profile spur and groove coral formations. Certain areas have distinct features for which they have been named, such as the Aquarium, Spanish Anchor, Winch Hole, Fire Coral Caves, Hole in the Wall and many others. Snorkelers will enjoy the shallow spur and groove formations typified by Elkhorn and Boulder Corals punctuated by seafans. Divers will find plenty to occupy them for the dive. Visibility is generally excellent on this reef as it is "rinsed" by the currents of the nearby gulfstream. This is probally the most visited site in the Florida Keys. This site houses massive brain corals, star corals and other large barrier corals. Caves and ledges provide homes for lobsters, crabs, moray eels, parrot fish, angelfish, filefish, turtles, rays, nurse sharks, reef sharks and spotted eagle rays. Divers will be able to come fairly close to these creatures. Sandy patches divide areas of coral and create an amazing site.

French Reef : (Photos)

Geogologist determine this to be the oldest section of the reef line which offers multiple swim-throughs in the 30-40 ft depth range, along with decent drift diving potential in the 40-50 ft depth range. Sea Turtles, Goliath Grouper, Nurse Sharks, Reef Sharks and Stingrays make appearances here. The usual reef fishes and critters are routinely sighted. Wide channels of fine coral sand separate coral spurs that extend seaward from 30-40 ft, between two disconnected ledges that run roughly parallel to shore. The shoreward ledge is perforated with swim-through caves. The seaward ledge is more vertical and intact.

Christ Statue: (Photos)

The Christ Statue is one of the most famous and visited underwater sites on earth, accessible to divers and snorkelers alike! Shallow high profile spur and groove coral formations are surrounded by relatively flat, coral and sponge encrusted hard bottom and sand. Large Spotted Eagle Rays and Southern Stingrays are often sighted near the sandy perimeter.

The Benwood: (Photos)

This wreck has become an impressive artificial reef, providing the only high profile relief in the immediate vicinity. All types of aquatic life have taken up residence here. Schools of barracuda and other predators now patrol the wreck, while hordes of smaller fishes seek refuge amidst the debris. Hard and soft corals have almost completely encrusted the hull and deck. At night, the Benwood comes alive with feeding invertebrates and amazing bioluminescence. Parrot fishes "bed-down" for the night here, while other creatures come out to feed. The Benwood is considered to be one of the best shallow wreck dives in Key Largo.

The USS Spiegel Grove "Top Dog": (Photos)

In May of 2002, her planned sinking was botched. She sank prematurely and landed upside down, with her stern resting on the sandy bottom 130 feet below, while her inverted bow floated like a tiny island with 40 feet of elevation! Within a month, tug boats and lift bags were employed and rolled the Spiegel Grove onto her starboard rail. In July of 2005, Hurricane Dennis brushed by the Florida Keys, and in the process rolled the Spiegel Grove squarely onto her keel! She now sits upright in about 130 feet of water. Her main deck lies between 90 feet deep at the bow and 100 feet deep at the stern. Her well deck is 120 feet down. Jacks, groupers, snappers, and other predators are often seen on and above the wreck. Soft corals, anemones, hydroids, and sponges have carpeted the exposed areas. Arrow Crabs, Coral Banded Shrimps, Fire Worms, and Sea Urchins are abundant. The USS Spiegel Grove has become a phenomenal artificial reef! Due to depth and unpredictable currents, the Spiegel Grove is an advanced dive.

The USCG Cutter Duane: (Photos)

The Duane was intentionally sunk as an artificial reef on November 27, 1987. She came to rest upright on the sandy bottom in approximately 130 ft of water, about a mile south of Molasses Reef. Her main deck features a maximum depth of 107 ft, with easy "swim-through" access for divers with appropriate training and experience. Since her sinking, The Duane has become an impressive artificial reef. Her upright position makes for an excellent multi-level deep wreck dive. For experienced divers visiting Key Largo, the Duane is a definite must!

The USCG Cutter Bibb: (Photos)

The Bibb rests on her starboard side in about 130 ft of water, less than a mile south of Molasses Reef, off Key Largo, Florida. Her port rail is 90-100 ft deep. Due to her depth, beam, and sideways orientation, the Bibb is rarely visited by local dive operators, but for experienced deep divers visiting Key Largo, this wreck shouldn't be missed. Sharks and Goliath Grouper are routinely spotted here, as are hordes of smaller fishes and barracudas. The Bibb is considered by many to be a "world-class" deep wreck dive.




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BlueWater Divers of Key Largo ~ 99701 Overseas Hwy ~ MM100 ~ Key Largo, FL 33037 305-453-9600 ~ ~ email: