Wreck Diving in the Florida Keys

We spent last weekend diving in Key Largo with some pretty nasty weather. We managed to get in two day dives and a night dive on Saturday, but had to call the dive on Sunday because of the wind. We did get rained on. And we did have a magnificent time.

 

Despite the rain we had excellent visibility during the day. At night we didn’t even get rained on, but we did get pummeled with surge as the wind picked up surfacing after the dive. It was still the most fun I’ve ever had on a night dive.

glow sticks on a boat

Glow sticks and chicken wings apparently are key necessities for a night dive.

In October we are planning another trip to Key Largo, but this time we are diving some of the popular wrecks in the Upper Keys. On the menu we have the Duane, the Bibb, and the Eagle. I’ve never explored them myself so I’m doing a little research.

The Duane is about 9 miles out, so a 45-60 minutes ride. From there the Eagle is probably another 30 minutes and the Bibb isn’t too far from there.

The Eagle

This 287 foot freighter was sunk in 1985 and lies on her starboard side. The wreck begins at 76 feet and rests at 112 feet. The vessel was actually torn in half during Hurricane Georges in 1998. The halves lie about 100 feet apart.

The Duane

The Duane was a US Coast Guard Cutter sunk on November 27, 1987. She rests upright in 125 feet of water with the mast peaking at 60 feet; the deck can be observed at 100 feet.ย This vessel was named afterย the third Secretary of the US Treasury William John Duane. The Duane’s sister cutter, the Bibb, was sunk one day later.

The Bibb

Sunk on November 28, 1987, the George M. Bibb actually rests on its side at about 85 feet. The bottom-most point is accessible at 100 feet. This is another USCG cutter named after a former secretary of the US Treasury. A “cutter” is what the Coast Guard calls its commissioned vessels.

http://www.floridagofishing.com/locations/keys/keys-reefs-and-shipwrecks-upper.html

http://www.floridagofishing.com/locations/keys/keys-reefs-and-shipwrecks-upper.html

Here is some more historical information on the Duane and the Bibb:

http://www.fla-keys.com/news/news.cfm?sid=8528

Here is the event page for the October Dive Trip:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1475083112505455/

If you’ve ever dove these wrecks, tell me about it in the comments!

19 thoughts on “Wreck Diving in the Florida Keys

  1. Diving to explore wrecks sounds so fascinating! I hope you enjoy your upcoming adventures. And glow sticks always add an extra bit of fun to everything ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. They really do! They also make it easy to pick out your dive buddy underwater when it’s dark! We tried to make color-coordinated dive buddy teams. It just turned into a boat rave. ha.

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  2. Cool, I never thought night diving would work. Looks like you had fun. I have to brave it out too ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. I was terrified of night diving before I finally decided to try it. Now it’s one of my favorite types of dives and I try to get one in on every trip. The night life is wildly different. Just make sure you have a good light, a backup light, and a good buddy with a light! And don’t be like me and forget to turn on your camera when a turtle swims into your face. lol.

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    1. It’s an excellent dive location! We go to Key Largo often just because it’s the closest Key to where I live, in the Tampa Bay Area. It’s a quick boat ride out to warm, clear, shallow diving. There’s so much life. People talk about the islands all the time and I’m sure they are spectacular.. but we have a little slice of paradise of our own here ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. To be honest, I’ve never heard of wreck diving before. What an awesome thing to do! If I ever make it back to Florida, I’ll add it to my list.

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    1. Definitely try it. This isn’t actually considering a wreck dive by tech diving standards.. there was minimal penetration (literally just poking our heads in the largest spaces where our gear wouldn’t bump anything). But it was still a great dive and I want to go back to check out the rest of the ship. If you do make it back to Florida, shoot me an email! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. I’ve never experienced scuba diving my entire life and I don’t even know how to swim. Nevertheless, I guess its amazing experience to see wonders underwater. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. The ocean used to scare the pants off me! I got an internship doing fish collections in my undergrad and it got me over the fear, and got me interested in scuba. Now I’m on my way to being an instructor. And I have never taken a swim class. I guess that’s something I’ll have to do once it warms up haha. I hope you decide to try it one day!

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    1. That’s great!! Hit me up if you’re ever looking at diving in Florida. I’m eventually going to start my own dive guide company and take groups out internationally ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. I’ve never tried wreck diving before but I love all the history that comes with the adventure. Definitely will put it on my list of things to do. Thanks for sharing!

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