Some information from the places I've been...
City of Washington (Elbow Reef)
Took my 14-year-old on this dive(06/30/99). One of his first following open water. Great novice dive. Although there were a number of operators on the reef while we were there, the vis was great (65'-75'+), and the sea life abundant. Be sure to look around the steel beams, and under the edges of the deck plates. We were pleasantly surprised by some good sized puffers and abundant lobster.
Key Largo Dry Rock (Christ of the Abyss
A really nice dive. The current gets a bit strong at the lower depths (50'+. More reef fish than I've seen in any other place in the upper Keys. Had a 4 1/2' Spotted Eagle Ray swimming with us in the current. It had an easier time of it than we did. Lots of Grouper, Lemon Rays, and many juvenile Barracuda.
This site was closed for 6 ½ years as the result of damage done by over diving. Today, there are only a few ops allowed to dive the site, and all divers must undergo an eco presentation and demonstrate buoyancy skills before they are allowed to dive the site. Undoubtedly one of the most popular dive sites off Roatan, the dive starts at a permanent mooring buoy on the reef shelf, along a vertical crevice that drops from 40', with a huge section of the wall broken away from the main section to form a wide slit. Many smaller crevices invite exploration among bouquets of Rope and Tube Sponges, deepwater seafans and Black Coral. A sand shelf drops from 140' to 200', offering a magnificent underwater view. Depth: 20-35 on top of the cracks, 125 coming out of the second swim-through, dropping off to 250+++ Visibility: 80-100
A plateau atop a shallow reef facing a wall, Calvin's Crack runs through the reef along narrows, widening to an exit along the outer wall. Excellent corals and fans, as well as lots of small tropicals. We had a pair of French Angelfish stay with us for most of the dive, apparently looking for hand-outs. Depth: 20-40 on the top of the coral, 130coming out of the lower chutes. Visibility: 80-100.
Menagerie/Valley of the Kings
Mostly level coral structure with lots of sand chutes crossing the top. Valley of the Kings is a sweeping wall that drops down in to well a valley. Lots of crevices, small caves, and structure. Saw some big Grouper (30-40#?). Depth: 35-40 at the top, 100+ in the lower swim throughs and chutes. Visibility: 80-100.
A nice seamount with lots of parrot fish, small tropicals, hard coral, sand chutes, and steep slopes dropping down below 160. Depth: 35-40 at the mooring, 160+ at the lower chutes. Visibility: 90-100.
Two Tall-Two Small
This site is named for four distinct sea-mounts. There are two tall mounts that go to about 50-60 from the surface, and two smaller mounts that peak at around 80-100 from the surface. When the visibility is good, it appears as if you are looking at a small mountain range underwater. If the tide is moving, watch the surge on this dive at any depth less than 40-50. Depth: 25-45 on the coral heads, dropping off to much deeper than I can go. (I couldnt see the bottom and heard it was 350+). Visibility: 80-100.
Absolutely incredible sand chutes. The water was as clear as gin, and the chute we took dropped at a swerving 45 degree angle. The chute went down to approximately 200 plus, then disappeared into the abyss. A truly wonderful site. Depth: 15-40 at the top of the coral heads, chutes go in different directions, some of them into the abyss. Max depth? There aint one! Visibility: 120+++.
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This page was last updated on: 06/03/08