During the windy winter months, Nest Key is perfect, bright blue water, but the snorkeling there is none. Still, beach and beauty. Just head straight west from Carribean Club, use the cut through the mangrooves, then at about 10 o'Clock on the end of the mangroove run you will find Nest Key. The island with a dock and a port-o-potty, care of the National Park Service.
The Sandbar just off the marked channel coming in to Whale Harbor is the big party spot. - A really nice sandbar. This is a controversial spot since the Holiday Isle attracts so many revelers, and locals and South Floridians alike come just to party on the Sandbar, that it gets pretty rowdy. Local officials have even called for making if off limits to boaters, but this would be entirely unfair and violates the basic premises of rights of navigation. If people don't want to be out there and watch the craziness, the answer is simple - don't go - stay away. Holiday Isle doesn't seem to like it because loads of people and cars come from S. Miami just to go out on the Sandbar, and they take up (illicitly) the parking spaces that Holiday Isle has for their own customers. - easy solution too - enforce the Holiday Isle parking with inside window stickers, then police it and tow violators. SUPPORT KEEPING THE SANDBAR OPEN. Local Information and Photo provided by Greg Absten, of www.bootkeyharbor.com
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.
Christ of the Abyss is a 8 1/2 foot, 4000 pound bronze sculpture of Jesus Christ that stands in 25 feet of water off of Key Largo - in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. It is a copy of "Il Cristo Degli Abssi," located in the Mediterranean Sea near Genoa, Italy. In 1961 Italian SCUBA entrepreneur Egidi Cressi commissioned the second casting from the original mold, and donated it to the Underwater Society of America. The statue ended up in storage at O'Hare airport in Chicago, waiting for a home. Senator Spessard Holland of Florida helped John Pennekamp Park to get the nod, where it was placed on August 25, 1965. Today, Christ of the Abyss is one of the most famous and popular underwater sites in the only underwater park in the world. Information provided by Hetts.com
Just a short ride by boat. Make sure you take an underwater camera. The best bet is to follow a dive boat. Also make sure you do not throw out an anchor, you will need to tie u to the mooring balls.