Looe Key is a reef off the coast off the Florida Keys. It got the name from the British ship, HMS Looe, which ran aground there in 1744 supposedly while towing a captured French ship.
HMS Looe was a 44-gun warship of the Royal Navy. Captain Ashby Utting was in command when the ship struck a reef around midnight of February 5. Captain Utting was court-martialled, but acquitted.
Archeological studies report that the ship that went down with ballast stones located at the eastern end of the reef. Some pieces of thin copper, possibly hull sheathing, and a piece of
concrete located in that area of the reef seem to indicate that the ballast and wreckage found there may be from a wreck more closely resembling a 19th century merchant ship.
The reef at Looe Key became a National Marine Sanctuary in 1981 due, in part, to the success of the Key Largo Sanctuary created in 1975.
This area is an underwater home for over 150 species of fish including yellowtail, angelfish, parrotfish, barracuda, sergeant majors, and moray eel. After 7000 years of coral growth, about fifty species are present, many named for the shapes of their namesakes on land. These corals include staghorn, elkhorn, star, brain, and fire corals.
The dive operator shown in the video is Innerspace. Scott was a superb captain explaining many important aspects of the trip to the reef.
Scuba diving at sunken shipwreck sites is part of our plan to provide a series of online videos to discover American History.
Our series of online videos will present American History by going in a logical, sequential order.
These segments show the sequence we suggest, however, viewers can obviously choose whatever they want.
More video clips are in the process of being uploaded. It takes time to build the site, so please be patient.
Columbus - featuring a ship like the one he sailed to the new world.
Somehow, we got off the trail of "normal" American history. We were drawn to true stories that are rarely told or described in text books. As with the entire series, we seek out modern day subject matter experts who combine vast personal knowledge with a spirit of adventure to relive history around us today.
Because video on the web has become so popular, and because we have had so many requests for it, we are now providing a few unusual segments. These pieces simply did not fit into the sequential order we try to present on the DVDs. We find them fascinating and perhaps you will, too.
There are many ways to display video clips on the web. We have chosen MP4 as the format to use. It makes small files with relatively good quality.
Our intent with online video is merely to provide a brief glimpse into the more complete coverage provided on the DVDs. We also want to show footage NOT included on the DVDs.
The MP4 format makes these clips easy to download for display on a laptop, an iPod, iPad, tablet, smartphone or similar device.