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Lars Hemel
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PADI 471740
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Diving at several dive sites at Carysfort Reef, around the famous lighthouse

Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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Carysfort Reef is a four mile long reef located north of Key Largo's National Marine Sanctuary and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. She is named after the twenty-eight gun frigate HMS Carysford which hit the reef in the year 1770, fortunately with no serious consequences as she continued her sail journey. It are only the dive charters from northern Key Largo that visit this reef regularly, so it is quiet most of the time. Its reefs excellent health is coming from the Gulf Stream to the west, which provides for excellent food conditions and water temperatures. It is one of the healthiest reefs in Florida with many drop-offs, large predators and extraordinary coral formations.

One of the oldest lighthouses of the United States has been built here. Ever since the first ship struck Carysfort Reef, captains knew this shallow reef right into a popular shipping lane was dangerous. They used light boats until 1852 but caused a lot of irritation as they only carried small lights, were often taken over or ambushed and had to go to shore for spare parts. In 1852 engineers were able to build a vast structure at a reef system that stands there ever since.

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