About Islamorada, FL
“Island Home” was the name of the schooner built in 1885 on Plantation Key by “Johnny Brush” Pinder, to carry passengers and cargo between these Islands and to the mainland. Its name in Spanish, “Islamorada”, was later adopted as the name for the communities on these islands. The four spans of the Channel Two Bridge, built in 1907, represent the later connection of these four islands to the mainland via the Flagler Railroad, which was completed in 1912.
Alligator Reef Lighthouse was built in 1873, on the site of the wreck of the USS Alligator, which ran aground while on duty in 1821, protecting these islands from pirates. Today the lighthouse serves as both a beacon of safety and of welcome for mariners in our waters, and can be seen from the shores of all four islands.
The four islands themselves are individual in size, shape and character, but the people on them share the same spirit of pioneer confidence that drew the first settlers to these shores. A protective chain of offshore reefs provides the quiet waters and gentle waves that surround the islands. The abundant marine life of those reefs and the shallow waters surrounding these islands is represented by the flashing brilliance of a leaping tarpon.
Lignum Vitae blossoms in the seal represent the precious uniqueness and vitality of our native hardwood hammocks and tropical plant life. The coconut palm represents the warm welcome offered to those who, like the coconut palm itself, have come from other places to make this their new island home.
– Text from the Islamorada web site.
The Race Club’s Top 5 things to do in Islamorada
- Fishing or Snorkeling
- Feed the tarpons at Robbies Pier
- Swim with the Dolphins
- Day trip to Key West
- The Turtle Hospital – 2396 Overseas Hgwy MM 48.5 Marathon, FL 305-743-2552 www.turtlehospital.org
The Race Club recommends:
Florida Keys Dive Center
Dear Race Club camper,
I would like to take a moment to introduce our Dive Facility to you. We are Florida Keys Dive Center, a PADI 5-Star CDC Center, and the host dive facility for Ocean Point Suites. We have been in the same location since 1983 and have built an impeccable reputation. Our two US Coast Guard licensed boats are located directly behind the dive store only 10 feet from our rental room. We have 2 new 46 ft Newton Dive boats, the “Big Dipper” and “Orion”, which are certified for 49 passengers or 36 divers. These fast and spacious boats have allowed us to increase our range of dive sites farther north into the Pennekamp Park and south into the unexplored dive sites of Islamorada. Our location here in Tavernier/Plantation Key gives us superb access to a diverse menu of dive sites. We run charters to an area between Key Largo to Islamorada and have over 50 different dive or snorkel sites to choose from. We can dive Pennekamp Park, the 327′ Coast Guard Cutters Bibb and Duane wrecks, Conch Wall, and the 287′ freighter Eagle wreck, just to mention a few, along with the new 510ft troop carrier Spiegel Grove. Our boat captains are all US Coast Guard licensed and hold an Instructor rating. Our dive store staff is comprised of three PADI Course Directors, two PADI Master Instructors, and the remaining staff and crew maintain at least a Divemaster rating with the majority holding an Instructor rating. We offer dry storage for your dive gear and a service department for any last minute repairs.
We hope that you would allow us to show you what fantastic Keys diving and snorkeling can be like. Along with the great diving you’ll appreciate the family like atmosphere with a personal, friendly touch. Check out our web site to see more of our operation and services at www.floridakeysdivectr.com
Yours in diving,