Snorkeling in the Keys

I recently got the chance to visit Miami. During my stay, some of my friends and I headed south to snorkel at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, located in the Florida Keys.

Getting off the boat

After a brief boat ride out into the ocean, we put on our snorkel gear and orange snorkel vests. I also prepared my camera, a Canon S100, for its time underwater. After slipping the camera into a DicaPac case, we jumped in.

Thumbs up!

Everyone caught on quickly and we began swimming towards the reef, which was about 20-25 feet away from the boat.

Yellow stingray

One of the first things we saw was this yellow stingray, swimming along the bottom among the seagrass.

Reef fish

An abundance of life in a myriad of rainbow colors greeted us as we reached the reef, including these blue striped grunts and a sergeant major.

Colorful coral

The fish weren’t the only colorful ones, the living coral was also extremely eye catching.

Spotted trunkfish

This spotted trunkfish was weaving its way through a coral alcove.

Reef fish

The reef was quite shallow, making it easier to see some of the fish hiding underneath coral like these fish: a yellowtail snapper, redband parrotfish, and a blue striped grunt.

Barracudas

There were also many barracudas just hanging out.

Stoplight parrotfish

Here’s one of the many stoplight parrotfish we saw.

Nurse shark

During our snorkeling, we saw three sharks, including this nurse shark. Not pictured is a bull shark we saw later.

Overall, snorkeling was super cool. I saw a bunch of amazing creatures and caught a glimpse into the underwater world.

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