Scuba diving in Spiegel Grove
The USS Spiegel Grove used to be a landing dock built for the United States Navy and launched in 1955. It is named after the Ohio’s estate of Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th American president. The ship used to serve in several missions as a humanitarian freighter delivering food and medical treatment to Africa. The USS Spiegel Grove was intentionally sunk in 2002 and the enormous size of the vessel makes her one of the biggest artificial reefs in Florida. The ship started to sink before the scheduled time and rolled to the side, what is not so suitable for diving around. However, thanks to Hurricane Dennis, the USS Spiegel Grove changed her position and now sits upright, offering great scuba diving opportunities. Experienced divers can dive inside the hull and admire the interior. Divers should plan at least three dives in the USS Spiegel Grove if they wish to examine both exterior and interior of the wreck, make underwater photos and even admire local pelagic species.
When to go
Key Largo in Florida has a tropical climate with two seasons – warm and hot. Diving in the USS Spiegel Grove dive site is the best during the hot season, which lasts from May to October. Average air temperatures in this period are of 30-32C/86-89F and water averages of 28-30C/82-86F. The period from November to April is a warm season with approximate air and water temperatures of 15-17C/59-62F.
What to see
Scuba diving in the USS Speigel Grove is not only characterized by exploring the ship remains. Diving in the USS Spiegel Grove let divers to explore dock, stern, batteries and bow densely covered with various underwater creatures. Divers can observe various marine species attracted by sponge and coral colonies, which cover the wreck. Divers can encounter groupers, barracudas, gobies, jacks, and others.