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Islamorada Diving and Snorkeling
Although this island paradise is known as the "Sport Fishing Capital of the World", Islamorada is also great for SCUBA diving. As in other areas of the Keys, both PADI and NAUI certifications are accepted, but you must have your card with you in order to make a dive or rent equipment.
Diving Spots in Islamorada
A 136-foot lighthouse now marks Alligator Reef, named for the USS Alligator that ran aground there in 1822 while protecting a convoy from pirates. All that remains of the wreck are twin piles of ballast stones, but this half-mile long reef system is full of hard and soft corals, sponges, and colorful tropical fish. This reef is great for divers and snorkelers alike.
The 450-foot Crocker Wall is a deeper dive, varying from 60 to 80 feet. The depth means larger fish and the wall even contains some black coral.
A nice change of pace from the spur-and-groove reef formations common through the Keys, Conch Wall has a precipitous slope with concentrations of barrel sponge on the sea floor.
Tourists from all over the world ask about Hens and Chickens Reef. This is a favorite of snorkelers and divers alike. This patch reef contains giant coral heads that create caves and holes, and often rise from the sea floor very close to the water's surface.
A small statue of Buddha sits at the southern end of Davis Reef. Schools of fish here can be so dense so as to block your view. Underwater photographers love this site, and call it the most picturesque reef in the Keys.
Victory Reef is a favorite of both beginner and advanced divers. It has everything a sports diver would want, including walls, vast numbers of corals, caves, sand channels with ledges and all kinds of sharks, fish, eels and turtles.
The Eagle wreck was intentionally sunk in 1985 to make an artificial reef. The 187-foot cargo ship was broken in two as a result of Hurricane Georges. The coral growth that has emerged since the ship's sinking is fabulously multi-colored. You can reach the ship at about 70 feet and the bottom sections at around 110 feet. It is possible to go inside this wreck. Of course, this wreck is for the more advanced diver.
Sunk in 1987, the Duane wreck is an old Coast Guard Cutter that still stands upright in about 120 of water. The top of the crows nest is at about 60 feet and the lower portions of the ship at around 110 feet. This wreck is not for sports divers, but is great for the intermediate through advanced wreck diver.
The San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve is located south of Indian Key. It was part of a Spanish fleet that sailed from Cuba in 1733 and was driven into the reef by a hurricane. This park was dedicated in 1989 and still holds bricks and pieces of the San Pedro.
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Scuba diving Islamorada - Snorkel and Dive Charters in Islamorada, Florida Keys
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