Article provided by: Yknot Fishing Charters
If you’re thinking of spending your summer in the Florida Keys, they are a haven for scuba divers and fishers, with an extensive coral system and plenty of shipwrecks to explore. As a private dive charter in Key West, YKnot Charters arranges full-day and multi-day trips to some of the top diving sites in Key West.
Amazing scuba diving sites in the Key West
Did you know that the Florida Keys is home to the third largest living reef system in the world? The reefs are quite shallow and easy to reach, so they are great for people who want to spend a day doing some relaxing snorkeling. You’d be able to see a very diverse range of marine creatures including eagle rays, Goliath Groupers, reef sharks and barracudas.
Some of the top reefs in the area include the Marquesas Reef, the Sambo Reef, and Toppino’s Reef. To the west of Key West is also the Dry Tortugas National Park which is home to a vibrant ecosystem of corals and seagrass. Some of the reefs, further to the west of Key West, is also the best for catching seasonal fish.
All throughout the Key West, there are also plenty of shipwrecks to explore. A lot of decommissioned ships were sunk on purpose to create artificial reefs, to provide a habitat for the area’s marine life. The most famous one is the Vandenburg which was sunk in 2009 and is now an artificial reef, and it is the closest to our site.
What are some of the most famous shipwrecks?
As a private dive charter in Key West, we organize a Wreck Trek tour which covers some of the most magnificent shipwrecks in the area. The USS Vandenburg (nicknamed Vandy) is the closest wreck to us, located just 4 miles away and is the first stop. If you want to explore the Vandy, you need to bring your diving certification because the site is quite deep.
Another top shipwreck is the Cayman Salvager. In 1980, she transported 5,000 Cubans to Key West during the Muriel Boat Lift, she then sunk after being seized at Key West Harbour. It is one of the more intact shipwrecks in Key West, with the engine room still open, so it is ideal for people wanting to examine the inside of ships,
What are the marine creatures you get to see?
Artificial reefs such as the Vandy have played a considerable role in rejuvenating the ecosystem of marine life in Key West. Endangered creatures, like Jewfish, are now slowly regrouping.
You could see countless species of fish such as barracudas, snooks, mangrove and mutton snappers, lobsters, King Mackerel, reef sharks, etc. In the protected areas such as the Dry Tortugas Park, the law prohibits you from taking shells from sites.
Want to liven up your trip to the Florida Keys? YKnot Charters is a private dive charter in Key West that organizes a vast array of fishing and scuba diving trips, to take you around some of the fascinating shipwrecks and coral reefs.