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ecloyes
08-07-2007, 22:36
I am planning a trip to Key Largo, Fl next summer and was wondering what is the best dives in the Key Largo area?

If you know any please tell me!

Thanks!!!

mike_s
08-08-2007, 09:15
This is hard to answer without telling what kind of dives you want to do. So if you provide a little more info, you'll get better repsonses from folks.

First, there's hardly a "bad dive" in Key largo.

But do you want to do deeper wrecks, shallow wrecks, reefs? etc?


Pick up a copy of the diving guides to the keys or Ned DeLoaches book Guide to Underwate Florida.

thor
08-08-2007, 09:29
I think Scubadiving Magazine just had an issue on the keys.

MEL-DC Diver
08-08-2007, 09:32
After reading many of Mike's posts, I get the sense that he either lives in, or goes frequently to 'The Largo'. Good on ya! That's some good stuff down there. One of my favorites is the Benwood.

BSea
08-08-2007, 09:39
I 2nd the Key Largo area. This includes down to Islemorada. I like to use Conch Republic. They are between Key Largo & Islemorada. There is great diving for any ability. From snorkler to advanced.

I absolutely love the keys. I've been there 3 times, and am planning on going again when the Vandenburg is ready to dive. Even though the Vandenburg is going to be in the Key West area, I'll be doing most of my diving in the Key Largo area.

The Benwood? Really? It's a nice easy dive, but not all that interesting as far a wrecks go. I much prefer the Duane, or Speigle Grove. If it's the fish that interest you on the Benwood, then I think molassas reef has that beat. And Molassas is also an easy dive also. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the Benwood is a bad dive, just there are better diving spots close by. But I know allot of the operations like to dive the benwood because it's on the way back from the deeper wrecks.

Oh, BTW Ecloyes. The color you used is unreadable when someone uses the blue background.

mike_s
08-08-2007, 09:47
After reading many of Mike's posts, I get the sense that he either lives in, or goes frequently to 'The Largo'. Good on ya! That's some good stuff down there. One of my favorites is the Benwood.


Nope don't live there. Been there many times. (most recently last month. Got in 27 dives while there).

But there are others around that have far better knowledge of Key Largo than I do.


The Benwood is one of my favorite wrecks. It's one of the best photography wrecks out there. It's also GREAT for a night dive wreck. I dove it 2 times on my last trip down. I see something new about every time I dive it. Now it's not your average "wreck dive" that you get to see the wheelhouse, etc, but it's covered in coral fans, and tons of fish. (mostly yellowtail snappers and grunts and stuff). Several Eel's live on the wreck also.


If you've never been before, here's some sites I'd reccomend.


Molasses Reef.
French Reef.
Benwood, hull and partially scattered wreck from WWII collision.
City of Washington, old scattered wreck and great coral heads. a.ka. Elbow Reef.
Christ of the Deep. Some don't like it, but fun to see once. great coral heads around it. perfect beginner diver. (Aka Key Largo Dry Rocks). good snorkle site also, but can be crowded.
Advanced Dives

Speigel Grove
USCG Bibb
USCG Duane
The Eagle (a little further down, but a great wreck).

MEL-DC Diver
08-08-2007, 09:55
BSea, the Benwood is one of my favorites b/c I really enjoyed the night dive I did on it. Nice moon that night and lots of critters came out to play. Everything you listed is a sweet dive, but above is why I like the Benwood. Frankly, on my last trip a lot of the reefs I saw were pretty weak on the fishies and the Bennie stood out, both during the day and at night.

BSea
08-08-2007, 10:27
BSea, the Benwood is one of my favorites b/c I really enjoyed the night dive I did on it. Nice moon that night and lots of critters came out to play. Everything you listed is a sweet dive, but above is why I like the Benwood. Frankly, on my last trip a lot of the reefs I saw were pretty weak on the fishies and the Bennie stood out, both during the day and at night.
I don't want to appear as if I think it's a bad dive, because I don't. Just based on opinions I've heard from other divers, and my own experience, there are just better dives in the area. And it just was a surprise to hear that it was a favorite.

If you are interested in creatures, then this is a great dive. I like wrecks myself, and this 1 just doesn't rate that high compared to the rest in the area. And that's just my opinion. And according to my wife, my opinion's generally are wrong. (That's not word for word what she says, but this is a friendly forum.:smiley2:)

MEL-DC Diver
08-08-2007, 11:05
I thought it was just my wife - LOL! Naw, I hear you on the wreck stuff and agree that the Grove, Bibb, etc. are probably the best overall wrecks in the area. I do think one of the things about this ship that excites me is that it is an actual wreck, rather that a scuttle. There is an interesting story there as well as a bit of a mystery. I like to think about that stuff when I dive.

By the way, where is Joe Merchant? Did he get the girl and end up in Key West?

letsgodiving
08-08-2007, 22:55
You can't really go wrong in Key Largo. Lots of great sites and good dive boats.

WV Diver
08-09-2007, 08:09
You can't really go wrong in Key Largo. Lots of great sites and good dive boats.

Took the words right out of my keyboard. :smiley20:

underwaterdan
08-09-2007, 12:26
I love the key largo dives, last time I dove with Quiescence and maybe I got them on a bad day, but I wasn't impressed. The # of people on the boat was great, people were mostly nice, but the driver of the boat was rude. Yelled at someone who couldn't equalize, saying that was diving 101(seemed to me she just needed extra time). I hope I just got them on a bad day, everyone seems to love them.

WV Diver
08-09-2007, 12:31
I love the key largo dives, last time I dove with Quiescence and maybe I got them on a bad day, but I wasn't impressed. The # of people on the boat was great, people were mostly nice, but the driver of the boat was rude. Yelled at someone who couldn't equalize, saying that was diving 101(seemed to me she just needed extra time). I hope I just got them on a bad day, everyone seems to love them.
You old dog, you're like a bad penny. How are things with the "new Job."

mike_s
08-09-2007, 12:54
I love the key largo dives, last time I dove with Quiescence and maybe I got them on a bad day, but I wasn't impressed. The # of people on the boat was great, people were mostly nice, but the driver of the boat was rude. Yelled at someone who couldn't equalize, saying that was diving 101(seemed to me she just needed extra time). I hope I just got them on a bad day, everyone seems to love them.


I've been on Quiessence before several times. They've got some great boat captains. However, they've got some that are "not so great". (one that I won't get back on a boat he's captaining).

There are other better choices down there because of this.

WV Diver
08-09-2007, 13:17
We had a big get together for one of the other boards at Cristal Clear charters when I was there in May and those guys were 5 star. Check them out.

kevinj1
08-09-2007, 18:26
I had a blast at Spiegel Grove--great dive.
Also, if you dont want to go down deep, their is great snorkeling as well all throughout Key Largo.

underwaterdan
08-10-2007, 12:31
I've been on Quiessence before several times. They've got some great boat captains. However, they've got some that are "not so great". (one that I won't get back on a boat he's captaining).

There are other better choices down there because of this.

Willing to mention a few? I really want to go back but if there was another choice I would love to give them a chance at my money.

Black-Gorrilla
08-12-2007, 18:05
yesterday and today i dove with Amy slates amoray dive resort...
yesterday we went to north Dry rocks (lots of life, plenty of corals) and today was Molasses Reef.. both are full of life.. so it does depent what you want to do...
you can dive wrecks, and most people will say "spiegel grove" is a must... havent done that.. but seems pretty nice from what i've heard.
if you want easy dives, and lots of life... Molasses reef is full of it. from eagle ray alley to the aquarium and so on
today there was a few big cudas, and there is some large groupers..
i found a few pregnant lobsters (next years lobsters are being made as we speak)
it just depends on what you want to do... but it's all at the keys.

BusDiver
08-13-2007, 13:30
I enjoy the ease of getting down to Key Largo. It is worth the trip and any dive is a good dive.

I have used Horizon divers in the past. Nice boat.

I prefer Jeff at HMS Minnow. Small boat, you back roll in, is a six pack but usually just you and your party. What I like the most is that you are on the boat before 8 am and are on the reef and in the water by 8:20. The big charters don't leave the harbor until after 9.

I also like Pleasure Diver. Another 6 pack but a larger boat. Jan will dive with you and she is a blast.

Both boats cost between $75 to $85 for two dives. That is not much more then the big operations. The best benefit is you get to call where you want to dive. If you want to dive the Spiegal you do not have to wait. The other benefit is the individual attention you receive. If you are new to the sport it can be calming and help you with extra advice, if you are salty and weathered you can have seasoned dialogue.

Just my 2 psi.

RonFrank
08-13-2007, 13:40
I love the Keys. I've done four trips there in the past three years.

Where you dive however has less to do with where YOU may like to dive, and more with the conditions on a given day, if other divers have booked first, and where the Dive Op is located on the Keys.

Ops in the south for example won't generally go to the City of Washington. Book with Silent world if you like that reef/wreck.

Ops in the north often will not go to Snapper Reef. If you want to go there, book an OP out of the south like in Tavernier.

I love Conch Wall, and reef, but it's a deeper reef, and is often done as a drift dive.

If you like Marine Life, I can't think of a better reef than Snapper. Ever seen huge bait ball of Grunts, or Snappers? I had not until I went to Snapper Reef!

City of Washington is great for large fish because they Feed them once a week (on Mondays I believe). It's also nice because you have the wreck (or what is left of it) and Elbow reef right there.

The Grove, Duane, Eagle, and Bibb are all awesome divers, but make sure you are AOW certified, or have a log book or two of dives over 80'. Most Keys OP's will NOT take divers out to the deep wrecks whom are not AOW certified.

I would be focusing more on DiveOp's vs. Dive Spots as the OP makes the trip, not necessarily the spot. Vis ranges greatly day to day as does current, and that will dictate where the BEST diving is on any given day.

ScubaJenn81
08-20-2007, 08:36
Any place where you can see 50-100 feet on any given day, you can not have a bad dive. There is always great stuff to see.

scubasamurai
02-03-2008, 12:41
so i have read some but what are the better dive operators to use in key largo. i have some free time in april and going to take a ride out there and i do want to hit the speigel grove.

anyone know of places that have lodging near the boats???

mpd525
02-03-2008, 13:47
we're doing ours with conch republic, and we are staying at the bay harbor lodge. The lodge got great reviews on tripadvisor.com, and i've talked to the owner of conch republic, and they seem like great people, and really willing to help.

We leave on the 20th, so when we get back i'll do a full trip report on it.

whse56
02-03-2008, 13:50
Thanks alot guys, now I've got another must dive area on my list, will the maddness never end?

scubasamurai
02-03-2008, 14:00
keep me posted on conch republics. heard good things long with seadwellers. let me know how the speigel was

scubasamurai
02-06-2008, 17:22
ok i am now narrowing it down to conch republic, sea dwellers and ocean divers. i am looking hard at oceans and sea because of how close the room is to the dock. really don't feel like driving too much.

any input on these places would be great and if anyone wants to join
april 5thru the 9th