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Spiegel Grove - Key Largo FL


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Spiegel Grove is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located in Key Largo, FL. This dive site has an average rating of 4.18 out of 5 from 134 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 121-130ft/37-40m. The average visibility is 71-80ft/22-24m.

Once the largest vessel ever intentionally sunk, the USS Spiegel Grove is a 510-foot 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.

The Spiegel Grove was named after President Rutherford B. Hayes’s Ohio estate and was launched in 1955. She was later cleaned and sunk in 2002 in 130-feet of water near Dixie Shoals in Key Largo. Depths range from 60 to 130 feet with the majority of the ship lying between 80 and 90 feet.

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-up 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-foot ship with seas over 20 feet and a driving current. She know rests keel-up, 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.

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Comments

joe_bird - 1/19/2021 9:08 PM
I went scuba diving here on 1/18/2021. Average viz: 71-80ft/22-24m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
joe_bird - 1/19/2021 8:57 PM
I went scuba diving here on 1/16/2021. Average viz: 71-80ft/22-24m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Nosmosis - 11/01/2020 10:29 PM
Rating Added: 5
This is a great wreck to dive. I have done around 14 dives here...not bored of it at all. So much to see and explore. Plenty of swim-throughs. There is an octopus to find. A turtle. A Snoopy as well. I recommend using Horizon Divers.
WetShepherd - 9/12/2020 11:21 AM
I went scuba diving here on 9/11/2020.
This was our Deep Dive for AOW. Even at 100+ ft the water temp was 85 degrees F. Viz was 70 ft. Saw a huge turtle swim into the superstructure, several barracuda. Great dive and we plan to do it again.
oceanbound - 8/28/2019 11:16 PM
Rating Added: 5
Sometimes current is rough but managable
Barnabysdad - 1/28/2019 9:47 AM
Rating Added: 5
I went diving here with Rainbow Reef on 1/19/2019. The visibility was around 50’. The water temperature was 74.

While it was fairly rough topside, below about 20’ it was nice and calm. Though I’ve read that currents can be an issue here, on this day...there was no current to speak of on the wreck.

There was an abundance of Barracuda around the wreck, which was pretty cool to see. I will definitely dive here on my next trip to the Keys.
fundiver65 - 4/19/2018 5:23 PM
Rating Added: 5
Taught Deep and Wreck on this. Very nice
CentralPADiver - 4/02/2018 12:52 PM
Rating Added: 5
Like most ocean diving, you need to have good seas when diving here. A few times I have been to the Spiegel Grove the seas were rough with heavy current which just makes the whole thing less enjoyable. Most of the charters will know when the better dive days are at this location. Overall a great dive site and can’t wait to make it back!
divercharles - 6/30/2017 4:37 PM
Rating Added: 5
The Spiegel is amazing! Always have to dive it in two dives, but it’s so impressive. Love going through all the rooms and such, the kitchen especially. A lot of wrecks I’ve been on I can’t really tell which room is which, and as such, the Spiegel makes it easily distinguishable. I also love jumping off the upper ledges, where the flag is placed.
kmasilamani - 6/02/2017 6:54 PM
I went scuba diving here on 5/29/2017. Average viz: 51-60ft/16-18m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
This was our second dive for the day, so Bottom time DECO was limited - Some current but swim thru was good, tight spaces to navigate within.
Seeteufel - 4/04/2017 9:19 PM
Rating Added: 2
March 26,2017: heavy seas, 15’ vis, wind had been blowing hard from the east for days, water 78,
LarryMill - 2/16/2017 4:56 PM
Rating Added: 5
Just got back from diving in Key Largo. Dove the Spiegel 3 times on this trip.
armaniballesteros - 12/18/2016 7:40 PM
I’m planning a trip to florida, during the month of January 2017. Could someone provide me information and also I need a dive buddy.
joe_bird - 12/18/2016 7:47 PM
If you’re planning to go to Key Largo, Rainbow Reef charters in KeyLargo is the best advice I could give. I had a great experience with them.
joe_bird - 12/18/2016 7:48 PM
When/where are you going? I’m also going to Florida in January
armaniballesteros - 12/18/2016 10:29 PM
starting from North to south Florida possible do some fresh water sites. Most of month of January first week at the north then heading south to key West maybe tortugas but I just starting planning the trip so I’m open for suggestions.
DMDave - 12/19/2016 6:09 AM
Count me in if you’re doing any dives in the North Florida springs. My personal favorites are Paradise Springs, Blue Grotto and Ginnie Springs.
armaniballesteros - 1/09/2017 6:24 PM
Thank you for your input. I’m heading to Rainbow Reef... Question to anyone. Is any shore diving at Key Largo.??
todd999 - 8/15/2016 9:29 AM
Rating Added: 5
My All time favorite! So much to see inside and out.
joe_bird - 8/09/2016 6:37 PM
I went scuba diving here on 8/9/2016. Average viz: 81-90ft/25-27m. Water temp: 81-85°F/27-29°C.
nitrox36 - 1/20/2016 10:47 AM
Rating Added: 3
Nice dive I may be going again in February 2016
KFJ408 - 12/29/2015 5:25 PM
I went scuba diving here on 12/28/2015. Average viz: 36-40ft/11-12m.
Big ship, lots of nooks an crannies
Dima - 6/06/2015 1:17 PM
Rating Added: 5
Great ship at recreation diver range. Watch the currents. It can be crowded.
lindy - 1/13/2015 3:28 PM
Rating Added: 3
Low vis, not a lot of marine life
Curt - 12/24/2014 4:00 AM
Did this dive 12/13/14 & 12/14/14. Water temp both days +/- 72F. Viz +/- 50 ft. Light current to 40 ft. then negligible. Dive 1 circled superstructure then went aft to the big hold. There are lots of easy swim through penetrations in the superstructure. Dive 2 went to bow back down port side to the hold and descended into hold depth 119 ft. Coming out of the hold there was a Goliath Grouper the size of a VW Bug on the starboard side . Lots of barracuda and some parrot fish. I could easily spend 10 dives exploring this wreck.