located in Tavernier and running out of
Tavernier Creek, we have access to the
reefs from the southern edge of Pennekamp
Park down to about Alligator
The Eagle is a freighter
sitting on its side in about 105' of water.
The blast holes in the bottom give an
interesting perspective on the rest of
the ocean. A large Jewfish is often seen
around the wreck. The hurricane season
of '98 made some modifications to the
Eagle, snapping her in two about a third
of the way down the wreck. What was a
nice dive before is even better now!
We dive sites along the main reef line
as well as numerous shallow patch reefs.
This includes Molasses Reef,Pickles Reef, including
the section with a stand of rare pillar
coral, the Conch Reef System, Davis, Crocker, Victory, and many,
Most of these are within
20 to 50 minutes of our dock.
In addition to shallow and intermediate
reefs, we also dive the major wrecks in
the area, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Duane, and the Eagle.
The Spiegel Grove is a the 510'
amphibious troop transport ship and was
intentionally sunk May 12, 2002 six miles
off Key Largo to form the backbone of a
coral-reef ecosystem. Life around the reef
range from algae, sponges, and coral, not
to mention the legions of tiny tropical
fish to large barracuda and jacks.
Needless to say, it's a dive worth taking.
The Duane sits upright in about
120' of water and is one of the most dove
wrecks in the world. It is an advanced dive
and is often visited by strong currents.
(We are trying to get "Penant Diving" recognized
as a specialty course!) It is also often
blessed with excellent visibility of over
100'! What I have never understood is how
the barracuda can hang motionless in a "mask
spinning current" while we struggle to pull
ourselves along the wreck. . .
of the things we do at Conch Republic
Divers that is a little different from
the rest is drift dives. Some of the others
are catching on, but we still drift more
than most! The idea behind it is that
even though our currents are usually not
of the Cozumel or West Palm Beach variety,
fighting any current resembles work--and
we are lazy! Also, in anything over 40'
of water, it is difficult to anchor without
damage to the coral--that's our livelihood.
Drifting eliminates the necessity of anchoring.
Best of all, for those of you who are
like me and can navigate if that is all
you are paying attention to, but not if
you want to see anything, drifting means
the boat has to find you--not the other