Banana Patch Reef

Banana Patch is on the southern end of the Grecian Rocks area. The reef gets its name from a long sloping ledge that bends around like a banana as it heads out to sea. The top of the ledge is about 10 feet, and it runs off into about 40 feet. There are healthy hard and soft corals, and the colors are very bright.

The underwater scenese from the James Bond Film "Thunderball" was filmed here, and you can still see some the scaffolding and structures left from the shoot.

Level

Level

  • Beginner
Visibility

Visibility

  • 14 m
Current

Current

  • Light Current
  • No Current
  • Strong Current
  • Ripping Current

Temperature & Visibility

Dives

Wildlife Diversity

Affiliated Training Center

Recommended Training

Open Water Diver

Begin your lifelong adventure as a certified diver with the globally recognized SSI Open Water Diver certification.

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Boat Diving

Discover pristine dive sites that cannot be reached from shore and experience the excitement of liveaboard diving. Learn all you need to dive from boats with the SSI Boat Diving Specialty. Start today!

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Perfect Buoyancy

The SSI Perfect Buoyancy Specialty is the best way to improve your body position for relaxed dives, lower your air consumption and increase your bottom times. Take control of your enjoyment. Start online now!

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Marine Ecology

The SSI Marine Ecology Specialty program is the best way to discover the exciting science of marine ecology and become an underwater naturalist. Enhance your dives in a new way. Earn the SSI Marine Ecology specialty certification now!

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Dive sites nearby

Christ of the Abyss

Probably the most requested and recognized dive site in the Florida Keys, the Christ of the Abyss is a 10 ft tall bronze statue of Jesus Christ sitting in about 25 feet of water, making this an excellent, easy dive for all levels including snorkelers.

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Horseshoe Reef

This patchy reef site sits just north of the famous Christ of the Abyss dive site, offshore from Key Largo and is one of the most diverse dive areas in the Keys.

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Mike’s Wreck (Hannah M. Bell)

One of the many wrecks of Elbow Reef, the Hannah M. Belle was for many years known as Mike’s Wreck. The shallow side is about 18’ deep with the deeper side being about 30’. Perfect for reef divers, new divers, and a relaxing dive on an iconic wreck.

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John Pennekamp State Park

This site is part of the Florida State Park system and has protected status. It’s also home to the Boy Scouts of America SeaBase camp program. With shallow, clear water, plenty of reef life, and easy access just offshore, this site is a great dive for beginners and also snorkelers.

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Molasses Reef

Molasses Reef is one of the most popular dive areas in the Florida Keys. There are 30-33 specific dive sites located on Molasses Reef alone. The reef is shallow and very clear with lots of life, making it a great area for divers of all levels and snorkelers as well.

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Eagle Ray Alley

Eagle Ray Alley is located between North Star and The Winch Hole dive sites. This shallow site consists of a large of sand channel that runs seaward from Molasses Shallow to Logan’s Run. The high relief coral ledges on either side of the channel have deep undercuts offering protection for a variety of marine life.

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Spanish Anchor

At the far South end of Molasses Reef, just at the base of mooring ball number 21, you will find the massive old Spanish Anchor. This end of Molasses Reef tends to get a bit of current, sometimes even making it not dive-able. You might see sea turtles, loggerhead turtles, Reef Sharks, Bull Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks

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The Duane is a retired Naval ship that was sunk November 26, 1987 as an artificial reef approximately one mile south of Molasses Reef in Key Largo. This is an advanced to expert dive only!

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USS Spiegel Grove (Wreck)

The iconic Florida Keys wreck dive, the Spiegel Grove, has been a “must dive“ for Advanced Divers, Wreck Divers, and the occasional Open Water diver (if conditions are perfect) since the ship was sank in 2002 as part of an Artificial Reef project in the National Marine Sanctuary.

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City of Washington (Wreck)

The most popular wreck on Elbow Reef is the City of Washington. As this ship was being towed in 1917, the City of Washington struck Elbow Reef and sank within minutes. This wreck is greatly deteriorated, although the hull and keel shapes are still visible. Debris spans an area 325 feet in length.

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