CHOOSE THE PLACE
BELOW WHERE WE'VE
BEEN DIVING TO SEE
I've become a friend with creatures like this which I met on my scuba trips.
HERE IS THE PICTURE OF SPIEGEL GROVE BEFORE IT'S FINAL DUTY.
USCG Duane Ship
The Duane was built in 1935. She is 327 feet long, with a 41 foot beam. She served as a US Coast Guard Cutter,
seeing service patrolling offshore of Florida during WW II, in Europe during the invasion of France,
and patrolling the coast of Vietnam. She did search and rescue in later peacetime years and was decommissioned
in 1985. A consortium of diveshops and other organizations arranged for the Duane and the Bibb
(the Duane's sister ship) to be stripped and prepared as artificial reefs and divesites. The U.S. Coast Guard
Cutter Duane was donated to the Keys Association of Dive Operators for use as an artificial reef.
The doors were removed above the main deck and the lower compartments were sealed. Both ships were sunk in 1987.The Duane sits upright
in 120 feet of water. It landed upright on a sandy bottom where it remains today with much of the super structure
intact. As it is outside the reef line, the current is often quite ripping. In preparation for diver exploration and artificial reef habitat,
some modifications were made. First, all contaminants were removed. Second, some hull plates were cut through to allow easier diver entry into some
areas and lessen the possibility of entrapment.
Finally, her main gun batteries were removed.The depth of the wreck does not allow for as much light penetration to the Duane as might be found on other more shallow wrecks as the Benwood or City of Washington. Numerous amounts of fauna do
reside on the Duane, however. Several forms of coral and algae have formed on the ship's exterior, providing additional habitats for the succession
of biological life. Various types of fish, including barracuda and yellow tail snappers, also dwell within and around the ship. Large pelagic fishes
are also frequently encountered at the crow's nest and below. On occasion, lone sea turtles or sting rays can be spotted.
JOE'S DUANE PICS: