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Dives off Islamorada

Hens & Chickens

At this reef there is a 35-foot U.S. Navy light tower surrounded by some very large star coral heads sticking out of the water. This is what looks to some people like a mother hen and her chicks, hence the name. This is an inshore patch reef that's very close to shore compared with other larger reefs...it's only three miles from shore, it's only 20 feet deep, and this makes it a very popular spot for beginning scuba divers. All kinds of soft coral are here, along with fossilized hard coral. In fact, there is a lot of dead coral, since almost three-quarters of the reef died in 1970 because of an unusually cold winter. If you look close you might see remains of an old WWII steel barge and bits of the Brick Barge, a newer wreck.

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