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By Clyde Powell

 


Key West Scuba Diving Historic Shipwrecks    

Historic Shipwrecks:
El Infante
San Pedro
Alligator
Diver Skill Level   Novice
       Depth          12 to 15 Feet
            Current         None to Moderate


Key West Scuba Diving

The Florida Keys are littered with wrecks from the past. Ships loaded with cargo from the new world and heading back to Europe would take advantage of the Gulf Stream to speed up their journey. From time to time while passing the Keys they would be forced onto the reefs by storms and sink. The last thing I read quoted that between both England, and Spain on record about 1000 ship where lost in these waters.

The El Infante  was a treasure ship heading back to Spain. All that remains is a large pile of ballast stones over an acre. Ranging from the size of your fist to large boulders. These ballast stones are usually the only remains from these wrecks of long ago. Their timbers eaten away by Teredo Worms. This site has the largest collection of ballast stones in the Keys. 

The San Pedro was part of a fleet in 1733 when it came to rest south of  Indian Key. Its ballast stone pile is one of the earliest artificial reef in Keys. It has over the past 250 years developed a complex ecosystem. Several cannons and an 18th century ships anchor has been added to the site. You will notice that many of the ballast stones have been fused together over the years. Some having nice coral heads growing from them.

The U.S.S. Alligator rest about 200 yards offshore of alligator Light. In 1822 it was escorting a convoy of ships when it went aground. With help from Wreckers all its valuables were removed, then set afire. Today all you will see is to piles of ballast stones fused together by time.

Clyde's Key West Scuba Diving






 

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