Technical Scuba Diving Certification Required To Enjoy The Oddities Of The Ocean Freeze
A technical dive site, situated north of Key Largo in Dade County is the Ocean Freeze.
Even though she is further out, she's still a favorite wreck diving site for those with proper scuba diving certification who are in Key Largo diving.
This wreck also has more than her fair share of the "unusual", even when it comes down to her name.
This is one of those "which came first, the chicken or the egg scenarios".
Numerous reports indicate that she went by this icy name first, and then became the Scott Mason Chaite. Other reports indicate the opposite.
After checking numerous sources I feel that Miami-Dade County Artificial Reef Program Database is about as correct as it can get.
That being said, Scott Mason Chaite was her latest name, and is what she is buried with.
Over and above the name issue, if you're in Key Largo diving, there are even more unusual aspects you'll discover when wreck diving this technical site.
For starters, the whole ship is upside down. This creates a rather unusual feel as you explore your way around her 297 foot length.
For anyone scuba diving Florida Keys you'll quickly find that her complete orientation is so removed from the norm as to be almost surreal. Her rudder is her highest point, her frame resting on the inverted superstructure of her stern.
Since the Ocean Freeze is elevated upside down from the ocean floor, divers will find there's almost a 20 foot swim through. This allows ample room for diving into the wreck to penetrate openings, peek through portholes, and explore around and beneath her.
The danger of her position is that one day her superstructure will eventually erode and break beneath her great weight. Anyone in the vicinity will be injured or killed, and of course it will certainly make future interior penetration impossible once this occurs.
However, even when she does collapse, which is inevitable, she'll still be an interesting technical diving site since she's fast becoming a very successful artificial reef. Numerous fish call her hulking form home, while coral, oyster, and sea sponges
are beginning to attach to her.
Not only are the marine life of great interest, this wreck still has some very interesting artifacts littered on, and around her. Some are from her past, and others are from previous Florida Keys diving trips where divers have left personal if not unusual mementos behind.
At-A-Glance Wreck Diving Description
And GPS Coordinates
The Scott Mason-Chaite aka The Ocean Freeze - Refrigerated Freighter - 297' long
N of Pacific Reef, 26 miles from Key Largo
in Dade County
25 23.5N 80 7.5W
Varies depending on conditions
Dive Site Description
Ship was sunk July 28, 1998 and is completely inverted, pointing north, and turned towards the prevailing current. When Key Largo diving, you can swim underneath the wreck where remnants are spilled onto the ocean floor
Numerous species of baitfish, barracuda
, snapper, grouper,
Restricted to those with technical scuba diving certification, this is one of the more interesting Key Largo diving sites that's loaded with the "unusual". Even landing on her still form presents divers with another unique set of challenges.
Due to the variable and sometimes strong current, when you consider her inverted position, managing to hook onto her structure can be rather tedious. Of course once you've succeeded in snaring her, or snagging some of the debris that surrounds her, you'll find she holds a wealth of intriguing finds.
Mardi Gras beads, a picnic table and a tire hung from a rope as a swing are just some of the unexpected and fanciful treasures you'll encounter when Florida diving this wreck.