Ask about Local Dive Sites, Florida Keys Hot Spots, Shark Dives, Caribbean Destinations, and International Dive Bucket-List Plans. Reach out via Facebook at facebook.com/tyler.mahler.9 or via email at MyAdventureScuba@aol.com for the latest and greatest dive plans! We will customize a dive experience to meet your needs, budget, skill level, and assist to check sites off your personal bucket list.

 

DIVE PLAN: Decompression Tech Dive x1

23AUGUST2019: Friday 1:00pm: Key West: The Dive Boat

DIVE INFO: Check in at the dock at 12:00pm

PHONE NUMBER: 305-457-3519

ADDRESS: Galleon Marina, 619 Front St, Key West, FL 33040

WEBSITE: MyAdventureScuba.com

DIVE #1: USS S-16 (260’) Commissioned in 1920, this 231’ submarine was the first vessel to become a member of the Key West Ghost Fleet. Equipped with four 21” forward torpedo tubes and one 4” 50 caliber deck-gun, this submarine was originally built to safely navigate through water at a depth of around 200 feet. She was decommissioned in 1935, but in 1940 was brought back into service to patrol the Caribbean waters and observe merchant vessels. In 1944 she was decommissioned again but being outdated with limited depth capability S-16 was eventually used as target practice. In 1945 this sub was properly prepped and intentionally sunk 18 miles south of Key West. She's intact with her outer hull not showing the usual signs of erosion and deterioration. The S-16 does have a slight list to starboard which allows her bow to rest above sand level allowing movement under her bow and it is easy to inspect her torpedo tube doors. Her hatches are open, which makes it possible to enter the forward torpedo room and larger aft generator room.  Her conning tower looms high above her hull where there is another open hatch leading to the control room. For those with technical certification, wreck diving the USS S-16 is a "must do" while visiting Key West.

 

DIVE PLAN: Decompression Tech Dive x1

24AUGUST2019: Saturday 10:00am: Key West: The Dive Boat

DIVE INFO: Check in at the dock at 9:00am

PHONE NUMBER: 305-457-3519

ADDRESS: Galleon Marina, 619 Front St, Key West, FL 33040

WEBSITE: MyAdventureScuba.com

DIVE #1: USS WILKES BARRE (230’) This 610’ Cleveland class light cruiser (CL-103) was launched in 1943 and her armament consisted of twelve 6-inch guns, twelve 5-inch guns and a battery of 40 20-mm anti-aircraft guns. The Wilkes Barre saw quite a bit of action during World War II where she first screened aircraft carriers in 1945 as their planes bombed Tokyo. This air raid was only a diversion for the American invasion of Iwo Jima. Soon after she was called in to assist in the shore bombardment of Iwo Jima. She quickly responded by destroying pillboxes, ammunition dumps, fortified caves, and turned back one Japanese counter attack. Steaming east of Okinawa, gunners on the Wilkes Barre bagged her first enemy aircraft, a Judy dive bomber. On Easter Sunday, the Wilkes Barre supported the largest American amphibious assault in history, the invasion of Okinawa where she shot down a Val dive bomber and three Zeke fighters. She also participated in the fire-fighting efforts aboard the fleet carrier USS Bunker Hill after two kamikazes had crashed into the carrier's deck starting an inferno that enveloped the entire after deck. In 1946, the USS Wilkes Barre sailed for the United States where she had received four battle stars for her World War II service and was decommissioned in 1947. In 1972, this fine ship was used as the subject for underwater explosive tests. The explosion broke the ship in two and her stern sank quickly, but her forward section needed an additional scuttling charge to send it to the ocean's floor. The cruiser now serves as an artificial reef with both bow and stern sections remain intact. Her stern sits on an even keel and her bow rests on its starboard side. Her superstructure can be reached at 145’ and this huge wreck abounds with marine life, artifacts and a fascinating history. Because of her deep resting spot, the Wilkes Barre should only be penetrated by very experienced technical divers with proper training, experience and equipment.

 

DIVE PLAN: USNS Vandenberg at Night

24AUGUST2019: Saturday 7:00pm: Key West: The Dive Boat

DIVE INFO: Check in at the dock at 6:00pm

PHONE NUMBER: 305-457-3519

ADDRESS: Galleon Marina, 619 Front St, Key West, FL 33040

WEBSITE: MyAdventureScuba.com

DIVE #1: USNS GENERAL HOYT S VANDENBERG (145’) She is a 522’ retired Air Force missile-tracking ship intentionally sunk to create an artificial reef off Key West in May 2009. The bottom of the ship's hull rests on sand in depths that average 145’ but the ship is so massive that the superstructure begins about 45 feet below the surface. Last used by the U.S. Air Force to track missiles and spacecraft became the world's second-largest intentionally sunk artificial reef. Preparation for sinking had taken months of inspections and cleanup to remove contaminants. Workers hauled off more than a million feet of wire, 1,500 vent gaskets, dozens of watertight steel doors, 81 bags of asbestos, 193 tons of potentially cancer-causing substances, 46 tons of garbage that could come loose and float to the surface, 300 pounds of materials containing mercury and 185 55-gallon drums of paint chips. The cleanup was performed at two Norfolk, Va., shipyards before the boat made the 1,100-mile voyage, arriving in Key West on April 22. Permitting was required from 18 local, state and federal agencies. The Vandenberg began as the Gen. Harry Taylor and was later commissioned by the Army as a transport vessel, ferrying troops and supplies from San Francisco to island bases in the western Pacific Ocean in 1944. In 1945, it carried troops home from Europe near the end of World War II. It was later used by the Navy as a transport ship, and was transferred to the Air Force in 1961, when it was renamed the Vandenberg. For about 20 more years, the ship served as a missile tracker throughout the height of the Cold War and was retired in 1983. The world’s largest intentionally sunk artificial reef is the 888’ USS Oriskany, sunk in 2006 off the coast of Pensacola Beach in the Florida Panhandle. The sinking of the 522’ USNS Vandenberg moves the 510’ Spiegel Grove off Key Largo to third on this impressive list.

 

DIVE PLAN: Decompression Tech Dive x1

25AUGUST2019: Sunday 7:00am: Key West: The Dive Boat

DIVE INFO: Check in at the dock at 6:00am

PHONE NUMBER: 305-457-3519

ADDRESS: Galleon Marina, 619 Front St, Key West, FL 33040

WEBSITE: MyAdventureScuba.com

DIVE #1: DIVER’S CHOICE

 

DIVE PLAN: Double Deep Wrecks

31AUGUST2019: Saturday 8:30am: Miami: Deco Divers

DIVE INFO: Check in at the shop at 8:00am

PHONE NUMBER: 305-861-6277

ADDRESS: 300 Alton Road, Miami, Florida 33139         

WEBSITE: decodiversmiami.com

DIVE #1: ETOILE DE MER (150') The “Star of the Sea” is 80’ steel hulled fishing vessel converted to carry dry cargo. In January 2001 she was seized after Customs Inspectors found 186 pounds of cocaine, worth $1.5 million wholesale. The cocaine was discovered on the main deck of the ship in two duffel bags and hidden in a false wall between the cargo hold and the engine room. The United States Customs Service sunk three cargo ships previously used to smuggle drugs into South Florida via the Miami River (M/V Brandywine, M/V Miguana and the M/V Etoile de Mer) to create the "U.S. Customs Reef”, a living monument to honor those who protect America's boarders and coastlines- past, present and future.

DIVE #2: TACOMA (135') The Tacoma is a 165' steel freighter that was sunk in 2002. This wreck remains in good condition and intact. Big game fish are often found on this dive because it is rarely visited. The Tacoma was seized as part of the Operation River Walk, a drug confiscation mission. This dive is deep and great for seeing pelagic life and the beauty that lies underwater.

 

DIVE PLAN: USS Spiegel Grove x2

01SEPTEMBER2019: Sunday 9:00am: Key Largo: Horizon Divers

DIVE INFO: Check in at the shop at 8:00am

PHONE NUMBER: 305-453-3535

ADDRESS: 105800 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037

WEBSITE: horizondivers.com

DIVE #1: USS SPIEGEL GROVE (140’) In 2002, the USS Spiegel Grove was the largest vessel ever intentionally sunk. She is a 510’ landing ship dock. To give a better visual understanding of the immensity of this ship, she is roughly equivalent in length to two football fields. Named after President Rutherford B. Hayes's Ohio estate, she was launched in 1955. The sinking of the Spiegel Grove is an extraordinary tale. Her sinking was scheduled for Friday, May 17, 2002 at approximately 2:00pm. However, she had a mind of her own and prematurely began to sink, rolled over, and remained upside down for several days with her bow protruding from the water. A salvage team managed to fully sink the vessel three weeks later, but she came to rest on her starboard side rather than keel-down as hoped. Later efforts to right the ship failed despite the best efforts of all involved, including two very determined tugs. Then three years later, much to the surprise of the entire diving community, Hurricane Dennis righted the 510’ ship with seas over 20’ and a driving current. She now rests with her keel in the sand, fully dignified and ready for new adventures! The Spiegel Grove is the backbone of the artificial reef system that has formed in this area. Algae, sponges and coral mingle with 130 species of fish to create enormous biodiversity in this region. Divers may see Goliath Grouper, barracuda, large jacks, and a large colony of gobies. Mooring buoys allow divers an easy tie-in and a steady hold. The lines are attached to the ship and allow divers to travel down them until they reach the hull. This is a very popular site. Divers will need multiple dives to become oriented and it may take countless dives for one to be able to experience all that this massive vessel has to offer. This is a great dive for using multi-level diving techniques and offers an incredible opportunity for exploration and excitement. This is a dive not to be missed. The reef formation that has arisen is impressive and has fostered growth of much pelagic life.

DIVE #2: USS SPIEGEL GROVE (140’)

 

DIVE PLAN: USS Spiegel Grove x2

01SEPTEMBER2019: Sunday 1:30pm: Key Largo: Horizon Divers

DIVE INFO: Check in at the shop at 12:30pm

PHONE NUMBER: 305-453-3535

ADDRESS: 105800 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037

WEBSITE: horizondivers.com

DIVE #1: USCG DUANE (130') She is a 329-foot cutter that was decommissioned on August 1st, 1985, as the oldest active U.S. military vessel. The ship was intentionally sunk on November 27, 1987, to create an artificial reef. This ship was sunk deep down to ensure that it would not conflict with navigation in the area. The Duane lies outside of the reef line and can have a ripping current. Because of its deep depth and strong currents this is a dive for advanced SCUBA divers with wreck-diving experience. Many consider the Duane to be the perfect wreck dive. Before sinking, the ship's hatches were opened, and the holds pumped full of water to sink the ship. The Duane sits upright on the sandy bottom at 120 feet offering nearly 70 feet of relief. On clear days the outline of the hull can be seen from far above. The crow's nest and mast become visible just 50-60 feet below the surface. Many decks and rooms were intentionally left open to allow divers room to explore the interior of the cutter. Bring a dive light if you plan to penetrate the interior. The hull structure is completely intact with the original rudders, screws, railings, ladders and ports. This wreck is even more impressive because the waters are so clear that visibility is often 100 feet. It is closer to the Gulfstream than most wrecks and reefs and some very large fish such as barracuda, amberjack, and cobia are often spotted swimming around the wreck.

DIVE #2: USCG DUANE (130')

 

DIVE PLAN: Double Deep Wrecks

02SEPTEMBER2019: Monday 8:00am: Miami: Deco Divers

DIVE INFO: Check in at the shop at 7:00am

PHONE NUMBER: 305-861-6277

ADDRESS: 300 Alton Road, Miami, Florida 33139         

WEBSITE: decodiversmiami.com

DIVE #1: DOC DE MILLE (150') This 287' steel freighter was built in 1949 and renamed for a local veterinarian and pioneer before it was sunk in 1986. The interesting thing about this sinking is that it was done by the Air Force. They staged an attack on this ship to simulate what may have occurred in war, dropping concrete bombs with remote-controlled charges. The ship remains intact and managed to avoid damage in 1992 during Hurricane Andrew. Jewfish are a common sight here and share the area with a variety of sea life.

DIVE #2: ALMIRANTE (135') A 200' steel freighter sunk 1974 that was in immaculate condition with beautiful coral growth when Hurricane Andrew picked her up and dumped her upside down in 1992. Since then, sea life has re-inhabited this vessel making it a great site once again. There are many areas of twisted metal which are great for exploration. Red gorgonians, jewfish, and many other varieties of pelagic life call this ship home.

 

SPECIAL EVENT: REEF 's 10th Annual Upper Keys Lionfish Derby & Festival & 2019 Series Finale

WEBSITE: REEF’S 2019 Lionfish Derby & Festival & Series

CAPTAIN’S MEETING

13SEPTEMBER2019: Friday 6:30pm: Islamorada: Founder’s Park

ADDRESS: 87000 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

     Captain's Meeting is mandatory for the team captains and all team members are encouraged to attend

     The team captain must be one of the four participants in the derby, but does not need to be the captain of the boat

     Safe collecting and handling techniques and derby rules will be reviewed

DERBY DAY

14SEPTEMBER2019 THRU 15SEPTEMBER2019: Saturday Sunrise thru Sunday 5pm: Islamorada: Founder’s Park

ADDRESS: 87000 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

     Saturday Sunrise: Teams may begin collecting lionfish                                                              

     Sunday 5:00 pm: All lionfish must be turned into the scoring station

     Sunday 5:00-6:00 pm: Scoring and public lionfish tastings

          Awards will immediately follow scoring    

          Lionfish scoring, fillet and dissection demonstrations, games, raffle prizes and other activities will start at 5:00pm