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DIVE REPORT: West Sambo Reef, Florida Keys

DiverWire.com Florida Keys correspondent Josie Koler continues to provide exceptional on-site reports from the warm summer waters of South Florida. Here’s her latest talking about West Sambo Reef.

Scott Cruit came to the Caribbean from the chilly waters of California. He’s accustomed to diving in an ocean which where the temperatures hover in the mid 60°s and the reefs boats of volcanic structures, lava tubes, and sharp drop-offs.

 

During a trade show he met Cece Roycroft, co-owner and operator of Dive Key West, and was lured by her enthusiasm and the 523’ of metal seven miles off the coast of Key West, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, the second largest wreck in the world.

“I primarily flew out because of the Vandenberg. I’ve already spent two days diving it,” explains Scott, “four dives. It’s fabulous. I could spend a whole week out there.”

The visibility is invigorating is what Roycroft tells us. Divers have experienced 100’ of vis for the past two weeks, and during the hour break, divers dove in with their masks and snorkels just to take a look at the ship from the surface. Reaching to depths as deep as 140’, the Vandenberg is not a beginner’s dive. Open water divers must hire a guide to take them to where the action is, between 70’ and 100’. Today, we’re doing a beginner’s dive at marker 32, West Sanbo Reef. The water temperature is at 87°, and the captains take us five and a half miles offshore. Often referred to as “The Cable,” there is an old communications cable clearly visible against the coral which used to be a communications line between the islands and Cuba.

“The cable runs east and west,” explains dive master Jeremy Hansberger. “You can follow the cable east until the coral ends and then head back. Ideally, the cable brings you back to the anchor.”
I pulled on my EVO Women’s 3mm Elite Shorty Wetsuit. I wouldn’t go through the trouble, but this suit is flexible, easy to put on, actually feels good against my skin, and looks sporty. The suit is made with super stretch neoprene and can stretch 235% of its original shape. Even thought Hansberger told us the water is over 85°, I’m an islander and once I’m deeper than 20’, I start to shiver.
Unlike, Cruit, who says, “This is wonderful! I brought a 3 millimeter wet suit and I really don’t need it.”

To read about the rest of the dive, check out Josie’s weekly Dive Report feature on Keys Weekly by clicking this link: West Sambo Reef – Dive Report by Diver’s Direct

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