Have you ever gone to a place so much that you got kind of tired of it… then you stop going there for a long time… and then you go back and remember how wonderful it is?
Back in the day when I was working with a bigger scuba diving operation here in Key Largo, the dive boat would visit Molasses Reef on a regular, sometimes daily schedule. During these frequent visits I got to learn some of the dive sites pretty well!
Then Jill and I started Lucky Fish Scuba out of Garden Cove Marina on the northern side of Key Largo. Our most frequently-visited dive sites tend to be the Elbow and Carysfort reefs, with very few ventures to Molasses.
However, we’ve started taking our regular customers down south to dive Molasses again.
It’s about 12 miles south of us and — if the weather and seas are agreeable — it takes about 30 minutes to get there from our dock.
In the intervening 3 years I had forgotten which mooring balls were which but with the opportunity to dive quite a few spots the last 3 weeks, I quickly picked up where I left off. I got underwater and almost instantly started remembering that particular site. Even I was amazed* that I found my way around again so easily!
With a mixture of spur and groove, ledge and even some wreck structures at depths of 20′-45′, this reef area has it all. There’s lots to look at and fun swim-throughs for practicing buoyancy. The visibility has been great with only slight current.
Goliath groupers, sharks, turtles of all kinds, stingrays and moray eels in abundance on almost every dive. Whether you enjoy serenely swimming along with sea creatures or witnessing “Wild Kingdom” moments** underwater, Molasses has something for you!
My favorite sites right now include:
Last week we dived the south end which I had never really explored. Wow, west of Fire Coral Cave was wonderful and I can’t wait to explore the south end some more. Of course, the currents on the south side tend to be stronger than central and northern Molasses.
One downside of Molasses: it’s a very busy reef with 30+ mooring balls and boat traffic is an issue! Professional captains from the regular scuba charters and the glass bottom boats are very good. But casual boaters with less knowledge about safe boating and no-fishing rules in this Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA) can be annoying, if not a little scary. We brief our divers to keep well down below the surface and be careful when ascending!
And some final fun facts about Molasses Reef: its lighthouse-looking structure collects wind data that’s used to forecast sea conditions for this part of Key Largo… and that forecast location is the Windfinder app’s #1 most visited spot in the US!***
*yes even seasoned dive guides like me regularly amaze ourselves when we successfully navigate around a dive site!
**Click here for serenely swimming with a sea turtle… or here to see a completely-safe-but-kind-of-dramatic “Wild Kingdom” moment!
***In other words, when we tell you the waves are going to be so big that you won’t enjoy a boat trip to the reef, this is how we know!
Click here to contact us now
and start planning your private charter!
– Theresa N.
Oh my gosh! What a perfect day for a very very special occasion…a surprise, underwater proposal. They showed us a beautiful, private dive spot and made sure that the proposal went off without a hitch. The videos are perfect. Jill, Glen, and Stephanie, thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
– Em S.
What an awesome time!!!! Every year for my birthday, I look for different things to do with my friends. This year, it was a sunset cruise, which far surpasses a dinner at yet another restaurant. … A plus is their actual head (toilet) aboard. Their cat is a perfect size for 6 passengers. It is well appointed, spotless and very stable. Highest praise for Jill, Glenn and Suzy!
OMG. To be honest I booked this charter because the boat had a full functional bathroom. Luckily, I never needed it. … The boat was beautiful and immaculate. The little detail that was actually quite useful and made us all very comfortable was the fresh water shower after each dive. We got back to the dock feeling refreshed and not sticky and gross. Jill was responsive in following up with my initial inquiry and follow up confirmations etc. the dive sites were quite impressive. Overall an amazing experience and won’t be our last.
– Lance H
Lucky Fish Scuba is a top notch diving operation, very professional, and so much fun! Glenn & Jill made had everything prepared and ready when we arrived. Once we arrived at the dive spot, they were very helpful explaining where we would go, what we would see, and then proceeded to guide us through the dive. Since this was our first time diving in Key Largo, having a dive master guide us was very comforting. In between dives, they provided drinks and snacks. The boat is perfect for small groups and very comfy and it has a head if needed. In addition, Jill provided us with a short video of our dive a few days later. We loved it! This biz is a gem amongst all other dive operations in the Keys. You will not be disappointed booking here. We can’t wait to go back!
– Jose B.
Lucky Fish Scuba is where you need to go in Key Largo! Both Glenn and Jill are extremely professional, courteous, and fun. They will keep you laughing throughout the trip while always being very attentive to your needs. The boat is super comfortable and they are able to make a customized plan according to what you want.
– Heather P
HIGHLY recommend. 5 stars isn’t enough Took my 11 year old daughter diving. Jill and Glen are amazing- a hidden gem. They are extremely personable, the boat is phenomenal, and the level of customer service is top notch. Worth every penny. They will be my go to scuba diving resource from now on. And they are super kid friendly Thanks Jill and Glen we had an amazing time.
– David T
Worth every penny. Great tour and super friendly and knew all the right dive spots. Look no further. Also took amazing photos for us.
– Linda K
Inclement weather in Marathon Key did us a great favor. Our trip with Lucky Fish Scuba in Key Largo surpassed anything we could have imagined…