Dive Secret Garden with Conch Republic Divers
Being 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 Light.
Spiegel Grove Wreck Diving
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.
Duane with Conch Republic Divers
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.
Wreck of the Eagle
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!
Molasses Reef And Shallow Patch Reefs
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, many others.
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.
Turtles with Conch Republic Divers
One 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 way around.