Diving the Reefs and Wrecks of the Florida Keys
Dive Florida Keys wrecks and reefs without the hassles of hotels, rental cars, small over-crowded dive boats and expensive restaurants. Simply board Juliet in Miami and let us take care of the rest! Dive along the world’s third largest barrier reef that is home to numerous historic wrecks and more than 6,000 species of sea life. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to spearfish and lobster (when in season) on SCUBA! While this is restricted in some of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary areas, we will let you know when it is allowed.
Dive Sites in the Florida Keys
- USS Spiegel Grove is a 510′ Navy supply ship that served in Operation Desert Storm before being decommissioned in 1989. Sunk off Key Largo in 2002, she is one on the largest military ships ever scuttled to as an artificial reef.
- Duane and Bibb are two 327′ U.S. Coast Guard cutters sunk off of Key Largo in 1987. Large schools of Barracuda will watch with curiosity as you descend upon these wrecks, and a resident Hawksbill Turtle on the Duane may come out for a visit.
- The Eagle is a 287′ freighter sunk off Lower Matecumbe Key in 1985. While broken in two by Hurricane Georges, she remains generally intact and has fabulous coral growth.
- Thunderbolt, originally USS Randolph, was an ex-military ship used as a lightning research vessel by Florida Light and Power. In 1986, she was sunk off Marathon Key and remains upright and intact on a 120′ bottom.
- Adolphus Busch Sr. stands upright and intact in 110′ of water off Big Pine Key. Formerly known as Ocean Alley, this 210′ island freighter was purchased and sunk in 1999 by the local dive community with the assistance of Adolphus Busch IV. Watch for the 350 pound Goliath Grouper that lurks inside!
- Cayman Salvager has been one of the most popular wrecks off Key West for many years. She is a 187′ buoy tender that was sunk in 90 feet of water in 1985. She was intended to be sunk in 300 feet, but fortunately for us recreational divers, the cable broke before they reached their intended destination.
- The highlight of this itinerary is the recently sunken USS Vandenberg off Key West. Scuttled in May of 2009 at a cost of $8.6 million, this 524′ retired missile tracking ship is the second largest artificial reef in the world!
For quick reference on when and where trips depart, see the sidebar. For details see our Travel Planning page for the Florida Keys.
Water temps and recommended exposure suit
|Dec-Mar||69-73F (20-23C)||5-7mm depending on your sensitivity|
|Apr-May||75-80F (23-27C)||3mm Full suit or shorty|
|Jun-Sep||80-86F (27-30C)||Skin or no suit|
|Sept-Nov||72-78F (22-26C)||3-5mm Full suit|
Visiting Key West
Be sure to book an itinerary including a visit to Key West where you will enjoy a world class port night! Visit the Mel Fischer Museum to learn some history of the local wrecks and treasure hunters, or if you are a Hemmingway fan, check out the Hemmingway House where Ernest lived during his Key West days. But don’t miss the Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square where street performers gather every day just before sunset to celebrate the end of another beautiful day in the Keys.
Fantasy Fest is a Mardi Gras type festival held in Key West each year to celebrate Halloween. It is the wildest party of the year in a town known for its parties, and it goes on for 10 days! And for the past three years, Juliet has been there, docked at the Westin Key West Resort Marina just a few blocks from the center of the action on Duval Street. We offer accommodations when in Key West, sunset cruises and dive trips to the Vandenberg wreck to Fantasy Fest party-goers. Contact us for details on the festival.