Sunday, April 21, 2013

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, Florida

As we mentioned yesterday, one reason we stayed in the northern keys for a couple days was to snorkel the reefs off the keys. So off we went to John Pennekamp State Park to see about snorkeling, even thought the weather was a bit “iffy.” 

We chatted with the concessionaire and were told three things due to the impending storm that has been brewing for a couple days: there was limited visibility (8-10’), seas were a bit rough with one-foot waves where we’d be snorkeling, and that they were only allowing strong swimmers to snorkel that day. Well, of course we went! We figured that if they were requiring “strong swimmers” then there would be less of a chance of children on our boat. :-) We were also given little floatation devises so less-than-buoyant people (land-lover Brad) could still float. :-)

We went out about five miles with about 30 other people on the boat to the reefs and got in the 80-degree water. Very nice temperature for swimming, we might add. It wasn’t too rough (at the beginning) and it was cool to see the fish, coral, and plants move with the waves and motion of the ocean since it was a bit rough. The visibility was pretty good, not great, but we did have a very fun time and enjoyed seeing some really pretty, colorful fish. Seeing them dart in-and-out of the coral was neat as well. 

Where are the pictures? On our one-time-use underwater cameras that we need to get developed. We really do need to break-down and purchase a digital underwater camera – they’re only $100-$150 for a decent one, if anyone wants ideas for our upcoming birthdays coming up very soon……..  :-)

The seas did get rougher as the time in the water wore on, and we did swallow a lot of very salty sea water. (Suzanne more than Brad, who refused to take the snorkel out of his mouth, yet kept talking, so he sounded like this: “e ooo ee aat ish??”) 

In lieu of snorkeling photos (for now), here are some photos we took from the Elks Lodge where we stayed ~ enjoy!
 
 
 
 
Easy and affordable - no matter where you are! 

1 comment:

Jerry and Suzy said...

We visited that park many years ago while on a week's vacation following a business trip. Didn't get into the water, but enjoyed the place.

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