By Water 24.931667, -80.548333 Map
Hens & Chickens Reef is so-named because of the layout of the reef: a large central "hen" patch surrounded by smaller "chick" patches. A 35 foot tower rests on the southerly edge of the reef. As it lies closer to shore than most other reefs, it is somewhat more prone to low visibility. It has a great diversity of fish and corals for such a relatively small reef. Massive star coral and brain corals engulf panoramic camera shots.
The tragic winter of 1970 destroyed much of Hens & Chickens, but today plumes, fins and candelabra soft coral have begun to colonize the old graveyard. Life continues to proliferate, with snook and small grouper chasing through gorgonians. It's a nice, shallow dive.
Divers should be reminded that Hens & Chickens Reef is a designated SPA area [Sanctuary Preservation Area] and special care should be taken not to disturb any kind of marine life. Remember you are a visitor in a home that belongs to the animals and not to you! Fishing and lobstering as well as any other collection activity is strictly prohibited. Note that collection of any kind of coral or conch anywhere in Florida is strictly forbidden by state law.