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Lars Hemel
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Certification Number:
PADI 471740
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Marquesas Key is the only atoll in North America consisting out of ten mangrove islands creating perfect diving conditions.

Name Dive Site:Marquesas Keys
Depth: 3-68ft (1-21m)
Accessibility: Boat, Live-aboard
Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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This circular to oval shaped atoll is believed to be formed because of a meteor and not like many others because of volcanic eruptions. Its name is coming from Marquis de Cadereita who was a commander of the Spanish Treasure Fleet of which more than twenty sank in 1622. Artefacts and parts of two of these wrecks, the famous Atocha and Santa Margarita are on display in the museum of Key West. Other Spanish Galleons of the same fleet can be dived in front of Islamorada, the El Infante, El Capitan and the San Jose are some of them. Marquesas Key has been used by the navy for bombing practice before it became a protected National Wilderness Area. Today there is a 49 foot high light tower named Cosgrove Shoal Light and don't be surprised if you see one or two privately owned houses.

The Marquesas Keys is believed to be the only atoll in North America consisting out of ten mangrove islands creating a chain of islands with brilliant white beaches and a lagoon in the center. Day tours from Key West, 25 miles east, are numerous and have to go through Boca Grande Channel. This entry is named the Lake Passage as it creates a 'road' for smaller boats from Key West to the Marquesas Keys.

Flat fishing and kayak fishing at Marqueasas is popular as it is still untouched and Key West fishing charters often don't go this far. The area is great for diving and snorkelling with numerous different dive sites yet to be named. Large coral pinnacles are a famous site about one mile south of the islands. At the continuation of the Marquesas Reef Line, about six miles south, you can find some spectacular caves and overhangs in waters between thirty and seventy feet deep. But you can find several wrecks, overhangs, reefs, coral bommies, huge coral heads and caves all around these pristine waters. Some of its characteristics are its clear blue waters, extreme high visibilities and strong currents. Some of the species you can encounter here while diving underwater are many large pelagic species such as seatrout, bonefish, permit, jacks and sharks. Enjoy this relatively untouched dive destination.

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