Monday, 21 September 2009

SIDEBAR - where to take you camera underwater in Southern Florida

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Sidebar #3
Five Great Places To Dive and Take
Underwater Photographs in the Florida Keys

Sidebars for Stephen Weir article in Diver Magazine October 2009
1. Biscayne National Park - 95% of this park is underwater. Outstanding reefs covered in picturesque elk horn coral. Shipwrecks abound. Northern tip of the Florida Keys.
2. Wreck of the USN Spiegel Grove. 510ft retired warship scuttled to create artificial reef, 6 mi offshore of Key Largo. Ship originally lay on its side but after Hurricane Dennis (‘05), the ship is now upright 130 ft down. Experienced divers only.
3. Jules’ Undersea Lodge. La Chalupa Underwater Research Lab has been converted to world’s only underwater hotel. Its 2 rooms have glass picture windows onto the reef, air-conditioning, hot showers, a stocked galley, and unlimited diving! Key Largo
4. Ten-Fathom Ledge - Unusual coral caves and dramatic overhangs provide refuge for both lobster and grouper, while pelagic life frequently cruises by. Key West
5. Tortugas Bank, 70 miles west of Key West (near Fort Jefferson) is the largest an ecological reserve in North America. The ultimate south Florida dive. The reef has large coral overhangs, caverns and large swim-throughs. The water depths range from 45' to 80' with an average visibility of 50' to 120'.

Sidebar #4
Five Great Places To Snorkel and Take
Underwater Photographs in the Florida Keys

Sidebars for Stephen Weir article in Diver Magazine October 2009
1. Statue of Christ of the Abyss - The bronze statue rises so close to the water's surface that snorkelers can easily view it. The statue is nestled between the coral formations of the Dry Rocks Reef in just 25 ft of water.
2. Coffin's Patch - This is not a single reef but a conglomerate of six patch reefs, each with a different predominant coral species. Snorkelers head for the elkhorn forests found in less than 21 ft of water. Marathon.
3. Bahia Honda State Park – Snorkel boats leave the park daily for the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary approximately 5 mi offshore. The sanctuary marked by majestic slopes, ledges and 7000 years of coral growth. Swim down to a cave in 12 ft of water. Coral reef nursery inhabited by young coral recruits, juvenile fish and green conch.
4. Sand Key – Key West’s most popular snorkel reef destinations. This islet, (look for a large iron lighthouse) has an abundance and variety of coral and marine life over a 10-mi stretch of shallow coral reefs.
5. Dry Tortugas National Park boasts some of the best snorkeling in North America. Colorful tropical fish live amongst the pristine living coral. Directly accessible from the white sand beach are the shallow Fort Jefferson snorkeling areas make this area perfect for beginners and experts. 70 mi west of Key West.

1 comment:

Nilesh Shukla said...

This lodge is just like heaven under the water. Viewing the images its the best place to be.

Nilesh Shukla