Diving in Key West
One of the most beautiful places to enjoy diving in North America is in Key West, Florida. Key West is paradise for divers, with plenty of marine life, and some of the bluest waters imaginable. The waters in Key West offer something that everyone should see at least once. Whether you are diving or viewing the marine life from a glass bottom boat, there is something for the whole family to view and enjoy in the water.
The National Marine Sanctuary in Key West is able to claim the only living coral reef in America. Here you will find wrecks, sunken ships, and plenty of other attractions that will add to your overall diving experience while in the Keys. The reef system in Key West is the third largest in the world! This means you can expect to see many things you would not see anywhere else. Additionally, the educational value is brought up because there are so many new and interesting experiences awaiting you in this new environment.
You can enjoy dives all year long depending on your specific location and water depth, though the best and most diverse dives are available when the water is warmest, in the summertime. One of the best reasons for summer diving is because the wind is not as strong and the marine life is at its peak.
Diving in the waters of Key West will allow you to see things you might not see in other waters. For instance, some of the most common sightings are of Yellow Fin Tuna, Barracuda, Jewfish, Stingrays, Jacks, Sharks, and even Turtles.
This exceptional marine life is due, in part, to the presence of the 2,800 square mile Sanctuary. The Sanctuary protects many of the marine life species that are found in the Key West waters in that area. The Sanctuary covers the area from Florida Bay to the Gulf, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.
With the reefs and sunken ships available in the area, diving not only becomes educational, it becomes fun, too! If you have looked at other websites and guidebooks, you are probably aware that there are several dive locations available in Key West. While this is true, some are certainly better then others depending on what you are hoping to experience.
One of the most popular, easily accessible wrecks for diving is Joe’s Tug. This tugboat sits in 65 feet of water. Joe’s Tug was placed in the water as an artificial reef in 1986. Today, you will find hundreds of fish when diving in this environment. In fact, Elvis, the Jewfish, is the most popular resident of Joe’s Tug. Hundreds of divers have had the pleasure of meeting and having their picture taken with this amazing fish.
If you are planning ongoing diving in Key West, you should try to pick a charter company that will listen to your interests and help you to pick a dive location based on your ultimate needs. The good news is that Key West is filled with these kinds of companies, so you will not have any problem setting up some exciting dives while you are in town.