Hidden Treasures: Go Wreck Diving and Explore!
Have you ever wanted to go diving for hidden treasure? Have you read about deep sea wrecks? Put the two together and you have an awesome way to spend a day: wreck diving!
Scuba diving is great fun wherever you do it, and Florida has the only natural living coral reef in North America just off the southern part of its (more than) 1,000 miles of coast. But if you’re looking for something a little different, some of the best wreck diving in the world is available right here in the sunshine state.
Although you’re unlikely to find gold doubloons or a chest full of jewels, the best wreck diving goes in search of another kind of riches: natural treasure. Many of the wrecks you can dive to were deliberately sunk, to encourage the formation of artificial reefs.
For example, the centerpiece of Florida wreck dives is, without a doubt, the USS Spiegel Grove. This enormous site is not for beginners, especially if you want to go inside, but it’s a thing of incredible beauty. Over 500 feet long and 85 feet wide, the wreck is so big that on some days, all you can see as you swim around it is the superstructure disappearing into a stunning, green-blue haze of water.
The ex-loading ship dock was sunk in 2002 as the backbone of a new artificial reef. It immediately started attracting underwater wildlife, from small groupers to shimmering shoals of tiny fish, and even tropical species. That’s what makes all wreck dives an amazing experience – while some are almost untouched by the ocean and look virtually the same as they did when they sunk, others have been reclaimed by nature, covered in gorgeous coral, with dozens of beautiful fish and other marine life living in, on and around them.
Get Trained First
Wreck dives begin with some basic scuba training, to make sure everyone knows how to use their gear, and what all the simple hand signals mean. You’ll also get used to swimming with the scuba tank on your back. Even experienced divers should refresh their training, as wreck dives mean heading right down to the bottom of the ocean or even inside the wrecks themselves!
Something for Everyone
Not all wreck dives are the same. Some are more complicated to get to, are in deeper water, or are otherwise more complex and demanding than others. But that’s a good thing! It means that you can choose the best wreck dives for your skill level, or even do a “wreck trek” of available locations, working from the easiest to the hardest as you gain in experience.
Scuba Diving Parties
Nobody goes diving alone, and wreck dives are no exception. That means it’s a great opportunity to get some of your friends to gear up and go along. With experienced guides to take you to and around the wrecks, Florida wreck dives are a great way to spend a day out with your friends and family.