Bibb and Duane:
The 99-metre/327-foot Duane and the 99-metre/327-foot Bibb, were both purposely sent to the bottom within a day of each other off Key Largo in 1987. Each has become an impressive eco-system, covered with encrusting corals, sponges and marine life.
One of a number of ships sunk in the Keys to serve as artificial reefs, this steel hull is now encrusted with marine life, and serves as a hideaway for some larger lurkers, such as giant jewfish and moray eels.
Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary:
Eight kilometres/five miles south of Big Pine Key, the Sanctuary includes the wreckage of a British frigate that sank in the 1740s. The protected reef boasts growths of elk horn coral, star coral, and brain coral resulting from as much as seven thousand years of growth.
Slightly southeast of Upper Matecumbe Key, this reef's coral formations serve as background to a wide range of colorful fish.
Key Largo Rocks, “Christ of the Abyss”:
Perhaps the most memorable feature of this dive is not the marine life, but the 3-metre/9-foot bronze statue of Christ with outstretched arms. The statue is not alone, however, being attended by a variety of fish, corals, and colorful invertebrates.
Just south of Key Colony Beach, this area boasts nooks and crannies in the reef structure that provide refuge for an array of intriguing invertebrates. Also watch for nurse sharks, barracuda, and other pelagic fish.
Standing well seaward of the Keys, this site sees the effects of the Gulf Stream's currents. Visibility varies with the swell and the currents, and divers are likely to see pelagic schooling fish.
General Hoyt S. Vandenberg:
This massive, 158-metre/522-foot long ship rests off Key West as a result of an artificial reef project that took 13 years.. It’s another jewel in the wreck diver crown of dives off the Florida Keys. Worth many days of diving to fully explore. It’s already a haven for barracuda and goliath grouper.
This 155-metre/510-foot purpose-placed wreck off Key Largo is worthy of numerous dives. It sits upright on the sand in 40 metres/130-feet of water attracts all kinds of marine life from goliath grouper to barracuda.
Beneath a lighthouse tower, this reef enthralls a diver with brain corals, elk horn corals, staghorn corals, and sheet corals stretching for more than six kilometers/four miles and dotted with historical remnants of wrecks, which provide havens for marine life of all kinds.