Strong currents in the area tended to push ships toward these reefs which was considered to be one of the most dangerous in the Florida Keys. Built in 1880, this was the last Lighthouse to be placed in the Florida Keys.
Located 15 miles from Key West and 5 miles south of Sugarloaf Key, it’s screw pile design with a platform and wrought iron skeleton tower was built to resist strong hurricanes. It’s Fresnel lens had 24 vertical Bullseye sections with the lens rotating every 2 minutes to produce a flash every 5 Seconds.
Isolation was rough on the keepers under the restricted living conditions. In 1929 a generous Key West woman gave radio sets to the keepers as Christmas presents. Armed with wireless wonders they could stay appraised of the latest news and weather reports. Their only source of heat was the oven in the kitchen while the only TV came from Cuba.
During the Mariel Refugee crisis in 1980, when 100,000 Cubans made the 90 mile trip across the open waters to Florida, it became a watchtower as many boats were not suited for the trip and they would notify the Coast Guard of troubled boats.
The water underneath the tower is only 4 feet deep and farther out it drops to a depth of 94 feet, which is great reef diving for tuna, yellowtail, sailfish, grouper, mangrove snapper and barracuda.
It’s an absolutely beautiful coral reef and less crowded than most of the Keys.
Oh yeah you’ll need a boat to get out there.
David Garland FL Islamorada Dec 27, 2022 Back in Time Fishing History