Here’s How to See the Reef Without Jumping In

The Coral Reef in Key West

The Key West glass bottom boat will take you to the living coral reef, one of the Florida Keys’ most treasured natural resources. It supports thousands of marine life forms with its underwater structure and it’s one of the most ancient life forms on the planet. There is an entire world under the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, and lucky for visitors to Key West, it lies just a couple of miles offshore and is easily accessible via the Key West glass bottom boat.

Key West Glass Bottom Boat

People come from all over to see the coral reef in the Florida Keys, and there is no shortage of opportunities in Key West for anyone to experience the underwater marine world. You can always look into Key West boat rentals, but if you don’t know where you’re going, you will waste a lot of time searching for good spots. Of course there’s scuba and snorkel, but for those who don’t care for these activities, there’s the glass bottom boat. This wonderful creation lets anyone of any age or ability get close to the coral reef, from the comfort of a large, stable boat.

 

How Does the Glass Bottom Boat Work?

 

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The glass bottom boat is a large boat that’s built for stability, not speed. Usually there are two glass panels running along the bottom edge of the boat, parallel to each other. There are rails or a short ridge around the panels, so viewers can lean and look down into the panels as the boat drives over coral, fish, and anything else of interest on the ocean floor. The Key West glass bottom boatwill go out to the reef and hover at 15 to 30 feet, shifting and circling over good spots with lots of things to see.

What Will I be Able to See From the Boat?

See the reef in comfort!The most diversity of the coral reef occurs at 15 to 30 feet anyway, so you’re not missing much by not seeing further down into the ocean. The guide is constantly telling passengers about what they see. He or she will say things like “and on the left side you’ll see a whole school of porkfish” and you’ll hear about how the different fish interact with the coral reef. For example, one of the most prevalent fish on the reef is the Parrot Fish. This fish doesn’t eat other fish, but instead chews on the coral reef itself. It grinds up the coral and out comes sand, which then washes ashore and creates what natural sandy beaches we do have in the Florida Keys. By the way, there isn’t much natural sand in the Keys because the reef breaks the large waves before they hit shore. Waves hitting shore and eroding the land is what usually makes sandy beaches. Ours is either imported or from Parrotfish!

 

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