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3 ways to get wet in the Florida Keys

February 5, 2020

Here in the Florida Keys, it’s all about the water. Whether you’re catching an oceanside breeze, chilling by the Bay or quietly enjoying one of our stately canals, just being around water can make you feel happier.

But to get the most out of the magical marine environments of our Florida Keys, you really have to get out on the water – or better yet, in it! These are the most popular ways to get wet around here:

Reefs are easy to snorkel

Grab a mask and snorkel.

It’s really all you need to start to appreciate the diversity of fish life and coral just offshore. The reefs within John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the country’s first undersea park, as well as the wider Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary are teeming with fish, and the iconic underwater statue, the Christ of the Abyss, is a one-of-a-kind sight.

Go all in with scuba diving.

Florida Keys shipwrecks

There’s nothing like breathing underwater, and the same extensive reef system that’s so fun for snorkeling is full of relatively shallow dive sites that are ideal for students, newer divers or those refreshing their skills. Historic shipwrecks are thrilling to explore for adventurous and experienced divers. Living here means you can take advantage of days with the best weather, sea conditions and visibility. Get to know a local reef in intimate detail by diving it regularly, advance to a new dive certification level, hunt for your lobster dinner, or take up a new hobby like underwater photography and fish identification.

Floating is also fine!

Sandy beach or sandbar?

If you only want get your feet wet, then hanging out at a sandbar with fellow boaters on sunny afternoon may be more your style. Rather be on your own? There are countless small uninhabited islands in bay waters to explore by boat, kayak or paddle board.

The great thing about living in the Keys is that these activities are easily accessible with your own boat, a group trip, or a private
charter.

  • Using your own boat lets you be the captain and chart your own course. Make sure you’re familiar with local rules and regulations for boating in state- and nationally-protected waters, and are prepared for emergencies. The Upper Keys US Coast Guard Auxiliary is a great resource for safe boating information and also offers vessel safety inspections. Or consider hiring a licensed captain to navigate and drive your boat for the day, so you can focus on enjoying the water yourself.
  • Group tours for snorkeling and scuba diving are available up and down the Keys, with most operators scheduling two or more trips daily. Private guides and rental gear, as well as lessons, can be added. With boats ranging in capacity from 6 passengers all the way up to 36 divers, there’s almost always space to jump on board somewhere.
  • Private charter boats are a terrific way to safely explore the water with a schedule that is customized your own timing and interests. At Lucky Fish Scuba, we can give you a private scuba certification or refresher course while getting you out to the best dive sites at times when no one else is around, increasing chances of seeing shy marine creatures like turtles. We can also combine a snorkeling stop with a dive site, and then go on to tour the mangroves or picnic at sandbar –a little bit of everything for everybody!
Lucky Fish at sea
Come on in, the water’s fine!

Think of the us as your concierge, bringing all the necessary gear, local knowledge of the weather and water, and personal experience to give you a memorable day out. Come on in, the water’s fine!

magazine cover

This article appears in the current issue of Florida Keys Living: Island Collection of Homes from American Caribbean Real Estate.

Okay, you caught us! Sometimes, when the weather is really good…. and we don’t have a private charter booked…. we sneak away take the boat out all by ourselves for a dive!

Dive Site:

The Elbow: The “Anchor Chain” (mooring ball #8) to the City of Washington wreck

Conditions:

Absolutely stunning. Flat calm with great visibility. The most chilled hour or so we’ve spent underwater together in a while.

Marine Life:

Included an eagle ray, trumpet fish, hog fish, a spotted moray eel, spiny lobsters and more.

Max Depth:

Around 25′

Jill K.
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