Key West Snorkeling
With so much to do in Key West, some people never even make it out onto the water to experience the coral reef. This is unfortunate, since in Key West, snorkeling is the best way to discover a whole new world underwater. Water temperatures are bath-like in Summertime, and even in January, the water is suitable for most swimmers, although a light wetsuit is a good idea. Most snorkel companies will include the wetsuit as part of the deal when they take you out. Best time to go is when the sun is highest, making the underwater visibility optimal. When the sun is lower in the sky, it shines through the water at an angle, and you won’t see as much on the ocean floor as when the sun shines directly down from above.
For beginning snorkelers, make a practice run from the beach. This is because the hardest thing about snorkeling is getting your mask to fit correctly. If it’s going to be your first time Key West snorkeling, remember this one thing. You
can toy around with it all you like before you get in the water, but the best and really the only way to know for sure whether you have your snorkel mask adjusted correctly is to get in and put your face in the water. And it’s easier to do while standing than while bobbing up and down out on the reef! Whatever you do, once you’re out snorkeling the coral reef where it’s shallow, don’t stand on any coral.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of making a tight seal on your mask without making indentations in your skull, just float with your h
ead relaxed, looking down. Breath normally into the tube and start kicking your flippered-feet.
Using flippers means you kick differently than when you’re just swimming without flippers. Take long, graceful sweeping motions with your whole leg, one leg at at time. Don’t flutter kick and splash all around. You’ll attract sharks this way (just kidding).
Key West Snorkeling is essential to the complete tropical vacation and almost anybody can do it. Remember, it’s easy to float in salt water, and only minimal swimming skills are necessary if you just go in shallow water off the beach or off Fort Zachary Taylor, where there are rocks to explore.