Marta and Paul are some of our favorite Lucky Fish customers and they *LOVE* Scuba diving.
They love it a lot.
They’re deeply involved in REEF, an amazing international marine conservation organization based right here in Key Largo.
They can identify 100s of species of fish by sight. Almost all their vacations are scuba-oriented, and no joke: they have OVER 2,500 DIVES between them! Being able to dive year-round is one of the main reasons they live here in the Florida Keys.*
So when Marta and Paul asked us to block a couple of dates for them in July we were pretty sure we knew what they had in mind: some long-ish reef dives at one of our fishier sites. Or explore that interesting-looking area just beyond where we took them last time. 2 tanks for each of them, right?
Marta and Paul did NOT want to go diving here, there or anywhere. They wanted a Lucky Fish charter to take them snorkeling instead.
That’s right, snorkeling. Instead of going down eyeball to eyeball with the grunts and groupers they wanted to stay on the surface for a change.
It turns out Marta and Paul’s kids and grandkids were driving all the way down to the Keys from North Carolina in a careful quarantine bubble, working to salvage at least some of this crazy covid summer.
The grandkids are 10 and 12 years old, already comfortable in the water and super-interested in the sea but not quite ready to become divers.
Snorkeling is perfect for them and the whole family: an activity that everybody can do together outside: fresh air, salt water and not a device or screen to be seen anywhere.
Nobody needs a tank or BCD or a special certification to enjoy snorkeling. Just a mask, snorkel and fins. There are just a couple of skills that you need to enjoy snorkeling. Being able to swim helps. Then it’s just a matter of getting comfortable breathing through the snorkel in it and gently kicking along the reef.
The two days we had them on board were really fun and got us thinking about other things that are awesome about snorkeling.
For example, we see eagle rays and turtles fairly regularly while diving around Key Largo but they are almost always on their way somewhere else and even if you veerrryy nonchalantly try to follow them, they move away pretty quick.
With Marta and Paul’s snorkeling family, we were able to follow from above as a gorgeous eagle ray went gliding along the sea floor. So graceful. And those spots! Wow.
We also watched a young turtle (from an appropriate social distance, of course!) munching on seaweed at the surface for probably 20 minutes.**
Jump right in to see Key Largo’s famous Christ of the Abyss underwater statue. Jump right out when the big snorkel tour boat arrives and dumps 2 dozen yellow-jacketed snorkelers of their own.
Jump right in to see the turtle eating her seaweed snack. Jump right out to have your own snack. Or take a nap.
In other words, snorkeling is perfect for those family members with attention spans of 10 year olds. As well as those who are actually 10 years old.
Some scuba divers among us may still be skeptical about the awesomeness of snorkeling so let us point out two other amazing things you may not have thought of:
#1. You will not get lost snorkeling.
Our dive sites in Key Largo aren’t that big but if the visibility isn’t great you can definitely get turned around to where you’re not sure where the boat is. Or which boat is yours. Just about every divemaster we know will admit that they’ve gotten lost and had to do the dreaded ‘Peek of Shame’*** once in a while. You don’t have that problem snorkeling because you’re on the surface the whole time!
#2. You can talk to the other person when you’re snorkeling.
We scuba divers rely on a small slate and super-tiny pencil …or often incomprehensible hand signals to communicate with each other. It’s the worst when your buddy is excitedly pointing at something over and over again and making a complicated gesture involving one hand and three fingers. You just don’t see what she’s seeing and you definitely don’t remember that signal from your scuba course. Or you can’t get your buddy’s attention to see the eagle ray or turtle swimming past in the distance until it’s too late. Again, snorkeling, you just pick your head up and tell them what it is! It’s actually amazing.
Last but not least,
It’s like the little black dress of water activities here in the Florida Keys. We can easily combine snorkeling stops with dive sites if not everyone is a diver. We can snorkel on the way to a sandy beach or mangrove picnic. Or go for a quick visit before the sun starts to set.
So even though our name is Lucky Fish Scuba, we love snorkeling and other adventures! Join us soon for a private snorkel tour with
*Locals would say, in principle, you can dive in the Keys year-round. If you don’t mind bone-chilling sea temps in January. It gets all the way down to 75 degrees.
**In fact we started to get concerned that the little guy might be sick with “Bubble Butt Syndrome”. Which is a real thing: After an injury like a boat strike, an air pocket can form under a turtle’s shell, preventing them from diving deep out of harm’s way deep in the ocean. But no, he was fine. Just really into his snacks. Like the young humans we had with us.
*** The Peek of Shame is when you have to come to the surface to figure out where the boat is! Not to name names but a certain scuba instructor/captain with Lucky Fish Scuba had to do the Peek of Shame multiple times during one dive a few weeks ago! It can happen to anyone. Except snorkelers.
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