The H.M.S. Winchester lays off Carysfort Reef Light on the ocean floor in the Florida Keys

tropical fish and sponges

The Winchester does not have a mooring buoy to mark her location. She’s resting in about 30 feet of water. She’s located 1.5 miles southwest of Carysfort Reef lighthouse off Key Largo. This is out in front of the Ocean Reef Community. The GPS coordinates are 25'12.178N and 080'13.516W.

She was a 145' long, 933 ton British man-of-war ship. She was armed with 60 cannons. She sank here on September 24, 1695 after running aground on Carysfort Reef. At the time of her grounding her entire crew was stricken with scurvy.

Her wreck was discovered in 1938. It produced a treasure trove of artifacts. Today her hull is difficult to find. It’s totally encrusted with corals and sponges. It looks like part of the reef. There are ballast stones from the River Tames, some of her cannon balls are still there and buried in the sand are numerous rusty pins.

This is another Florida Keys dive site that has fabulous visibility most of the time. It's suitable for snorkeling or scuba diving.

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