Snorklasta Floridan koralliriutoilla Key Westissä

Snorkeling at Florida’s amazing coral reefs

Dip, skip and a splash into the Caribbian sea. The water’s not cool at all but pleasantly warm, and high salt levels buoy me up in the turquoise calms. A peak under the surface reveals a school of fish swimming away just a couple meters from me, weaving their way through a coral reef. I could spend an eternity breathing through the tube and slowly floating on top of the reef. This is paradise.

Fury Catamaran near Key West

Just an hour earlier we were seriously late. Searching for a parking spot in Downtown Key West is easier said than done, and it would have been best to arrive on foot, but we didn’t have a moment to lose. So we ditched the car into the ridiculously overprized parking hall at Hyatt and ran to check in at Fury Water Adventures office. Finally we were last ones boarding the catamaran, but at least we made it. Now it as time to relax!

Onboard Fury Catamaran

It took around 45 minutes for the catamaran to reach the reefs, and we spent that time adding on sunblock and enjoying cold Coke on the deck of the catamaran. All drinks were included in the price of the trip, but alcoholic beverages were only available after snorkeling = a sane policy if any. The theme of the cruise was Rum & Reggae, and while the rum had to wait, reggae blasted away from the beginning.

How to not put on a snorkel
Is this how you don a snorkel?

At this point, I also finally had time to open my new SD card from its package. I’d bought it the same morning from a shopping center in Miami, and the salesperson had recommended a 64GB card, so I was sure to have enough space for videos. The price was right, so why not? Well, I got an answer to that as soon as I popped the card into my GoPro, which immediately told me it was too large to use. No underwater photos or videos from this trip… and the lesson learned is that always test these before you’re on a catamaran somewhere in the middle of the sea!

Gopro Hero
“Please use a 32GB or smaller SD Card.” I might have sworn a bit at this point.
Sand Key Light
Sand Key next to the reef has had a light since 1827.
Snorkeling in Key West
Elina figured she didn’t need a life jacket and jumped in without one but was quickly called back. A life jacket is mandatory even if you don’t blow any air into it.
Fury Catamaran's Staircase to the water
In case you weren’t comfortable jumping in, there was also a staircase straight into the sea.

Below the surface, the sea was teeming with life. We saw all kinds of scurrying fish in all colors of the rainbow, which we later identified with a little help from Wikipedia as banded butterflyfish, grunts and porkfish, among others. The reef itself didn’t impress us, but the life that surrounded it did. Elina has also snorkeled in Thailand and Colombia, and she thought this was her best snorkeling experience as of yet. Here’s a taste of what it looked like underwater:

School of Blue Striped Grunt (Haemulon sciurus) fish
Grunts moved around in schools. [Photo: Heather Paul]
Banded Butterflyfish
Butterflyfish came with black or yellow bands. [Photo: Ben]
keys045
Porkfish had the most confusing name ever. What’s it got to do with pork? [Photo: Matthew Hoelscher]

in the end, the most memorable lifeform I saw was a small round jellyfish – or what I thought was a jellyfish until I googled about it and found out about comb jellies. They look like jellyfish but aren’t really, and they don’t have a sting.

Coral Reef at Key West

We wouldn’t be ourselves if everything had gone exactly as it should. When Iiro jumped into the water, the plunge made him drop his snorkel. I reacted quickly and dove to get it, but ended up kicking so hard that one of my fins came off. Luckily Fury had a couple of guys in the water with us, and one of them dove down to retrieve our missing equipment. I guess he was a pro when it came to diving for tourists’ dropped stuff, because I think he stayed down there for almost a minute. After this incident, I soon figured out that almost an hour in the water was enough for me and climbed back abroad the catamaran for that promised rum punch.

Onboard Fury Catamaran, Key West
Blogger herself posing on the deck.

The return trip to Key West took a bit more than an hour, because we lingered long enough to marvel the amazing sunset – us and the whole Key West fleet, all with the same agenda. When finally the sun had set behind the horizon, the captain steered to shore and we got to continue our evening with a dinner in a nearby restaurant. Key West is known for its sunset carnivals, but I think this sunset cruise probably could top any carnival.

Key West Sunset Cruise

Sunset at Florida Keys

Overall the trip was a great experience I can warmly recommend to anyone who enjoys a bit of a swim. For a bit of live action from the deck, check out this video I shot:

Sponsored by Fury Water Adventures





9 thoughts on “Snorkeling at Florida’s amazing coral reefs”

  1. SV(Antelope Canyon) Thanks Jenni, it was such a delight to be in that canyon! Sounds like you have the perfect trip planned out for your days in Page. Can’t wait to hear your stories and see pictures from your days there! Sorry to hear that you might opt for the reg tour, but nevertheless the experience is still jawdropping beautiful. Just try and keep close to your guide and he will most probably help you get the got shots ;-) Are you travelling USA these days and for how long?

  2. ah! Florida is on my list…I planned to visit 4 years ago but plans didn’t work out!! I’m mostly drawn to the landscapes rather than snorkeling though!!

  3. I love snorkeling- it’s amazing how the world underneath is so calming and beautiful- with it being so quiet there are no distractions and you can really appreciate the marine life. Nice photos and looks like a lovely experience!

    1. Thanks for your nice comment! It really is a relaxing experience, getting to concentrate fully on your surroundings.



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