The breathtakingly enormous Spiegel Grove â€” nearly two football fields long â€” is the â€œgrande dameâ€ of Key Largo wrecks. As you descend on the 510-foot Grove, you get a dreamlike view of a wreck that appears to be cruising in the deep blue ocean depths, and in that moment, you know this will be a special dive.
If youâ€™ve come to Key Largo to dive, youâ€™ve come to the right place. The beauty of this dive destination is its easy access to island living and 70 underwater sites. As the dive capital of the world, Key Largo has an abundance of colorful reefs and is a wreck mecca for divers of all levels.
But itâ€™s the Spiegel Grove â€” a former Landing Ship Dock â€” that anchors Key Largoâ€™s reputation as a wreck loverâ€™s paradise and captures diversâ€™ imaginations. Sheâ€™s an Everest of sorts â€” not a wreck whose entirety can be experienced all at once. Instead, navigate a section per dive, starting with the top deck. Toward the stern, midnight parrotfish patrol the former helicopter landing pad, gun turrets and two crane arms. Take your time, then fin back to the wheelhouse, shrouded by schooling fish. Youâ€™ll gain just enough of an understanding of Spiegel Groveâ€™s layout to plan dive two â€” perhaps the first of many return visits.
Sunk in June 2002, the Groveâ€™s original battleship-gray paint job has given way to a furry coat of corals and marine-life growth. Barracuda, horse-eye jacks and silversides make her their home base.
Offshore, Key Largo has quick access to shallow, beginner-friendly reefs and wrecks like S.S. Benwood. Itâ€™s also home to the nationâ€™s first underwater state park, John Pennekamp State Park, as well as the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary where you can snorkel alongside the Christ of the Deep statue.
The U.S.S. Spiegel Grove is one of 12 wrecks in the Wreck Trek program. Click here for more details on how to become a Florida Keys Wreck Treker. Browse our list of dive operators below to book your next trip.