Crocker Reef is an immense reef system off the Upper Florida Keys

Crocker Reef is approximately 400 yards to the north of a red buoy with the number 16 on it. The depth here ranges from 30' to 100'. There are no mooring buoys at this dive site. This means you’ll have to throw the anchor, just be sure you have it land in the sandy areas that surround the coral. It’s located 5 ½ miles southeast of Windley Key. The GPS coordinates are 24'54.151N and 080'31.843W.

This reef is made up of numerous patch reefs. It covers a large area of ocean floor. There are lots of individual dive sites to enjoy. And there’s a variety of coral formations at the different sites.

staghorn coral and school of grunts

You’ll see large stands of staghorn coral, many large branching gorgonian corals dancing to the pull of the current, many small canyons formed by the spur and groove formations with the sand dividing them from one another. The big treat is the rare black coral growing on the wall in the deeper water.

The shallows range from 35' to 50' and are a great place to dive and snorkel. They’re populated with beautiful coral, sponges and a multitude of tropical fish. Crocker Ridge is another great dive site that’s part of this reef system. It runs north to south and stands 20' high off the bottom of the ocean. There’s a ribbon of white sand that outlines its shape on the ocean floor. The GPS coordinates for the ridge are 24'55.32N and 080'30.36W.

On the south side of the reef is Crocker Wall. The GPS coordinates for it are 24'54.240N and 080'31.596W. It’s 450' long and has a quick drop off from 55' to 90'. This is where you’ll find the black coral growing. There are also lots of barrel sponges, large purple sea fans and a variety of corals covering the wall. You’ll find large schools of yellowtail snapper and grunts as well as many colorful tropical fish. In this area it’s not unusual to see nurse shark, spotted eagle rays, grouper and an occasional turtle sleeping on the reef. When the current is running strong, this is a great place to do a drift dive. This is one of the best wall dives in the Florida Keys.

dive gear

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