The Spiegel Grove is indeed the Florida Keys largest artificial reef yet!
The Spiegel Grove wreck is definitely a dive to get excited about. The ship is gigantic. It’s the largest artificial reef
in the Florida Keys.
We had good visibility and the winds were light the day I dove the Spiegel Grove. I couldn’t wait to see how much marine life she had attracted, both to the hull and swimming around the ship.
The wreck is about six miles off Key Largo. The coordinates are Latitude 25-04-000'N and Longitude 080-18-660'W.
We tied off to one of the ten or so mooring buoys at the dive site. We decided to snorkel first just to check things out. It was so clear we could see the mammoth ship’s superstructure which is about 50' down. This got our juices flowing so back to the boat to suit up and get down there for a close look.
Here I am putting on all this paraphernalia that’s required when you scuba dive. The Spiegel Grove isn’t the right kind of a dive for the Hookah. You could get to the superstructure and beyond, but you’d be in danger of getting your air hose wrapped around something on the ship.
As you get closer to the ship, its size is staggering. You can see anchor chain, winches, cabins and all sorts of other devices that have been left on the ship. I look down the length of the ship and it just fades into the distance. I can’t see the whole thing from one end to the other. This thing is 510' long and 84' wide. There’s no way I’ll be able to explore the whole ship in one dive or even two. It’ll take many dives to see the entire ship.
I begin swimming down the length of the wreck. I see the places where the life boats used to hang. I see coral encrusted guns and then the large cranes near the helicopter platform on the stern. This takes up a large part of the stern of the ship. This is turning out to be a fabulous dive.
How cool to see the large schools of small fish swimming around and into the ship. There’s a big jewfish, grouper, jacks, snapper, schools of grunts, wrasse, damselfish, surgeonfish and tons of other tropical fish.
The ship has become a marine ecosystem. There’s all kind of algae, sponges and soft corals growing all over everything. Artificial reefs are great for the marine environment and take pressure off the coral reefs from the mass number of divers we get here in the Florida Keys. I’ve heard there are plans for more in the works.
By now my air is getting low and I have to begin my trip back up to the surface. I guess I won’t get to explore the cabins and the remainder of the ship on this dive. I’ll have to make it back up the Keys for that.
I highly recommend this dive. There are many dive shops in the Upper Keys with scheduled trips to the Spiegel Grove. This is just one of the many terrific adventures the Florida Keys has to offer.
Return from Spiegel Grove to Upper Keys
Return from Spiegel Grove to N The Florida Keys