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Snorkeling Key Largo's John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

We were the first to snorkel in Key Largo at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park following Hurricane Irma in November of 2017. Most state park camping and recreational vehicle spots throughout the Florida Keys are fully reserved up to 11 months in advance and holiday-goers would not be deterred even in the aftermath of a natural disaster!

The opportunity for recreational water sports is just too good

With some visible damage to trees and properties throughout the Keys at that time, we weren't sure what to expect under the surface. Would there be rubble and debris everywhere?

The seas were still a little rough and although we were unable to visit the submerged statue of Christ the Redeemer, we were able to visit the site known as the Grecian Rocks - among the more well-known local spots for viewing marine life as the reef comes up near to the surface in shallow waters.

That marine life includes the protected elkhorn coral and a variety of sponges and gorgonians.

We enjoyed a very decent 60+ minutes in the water, long enough to cool down a little too much and to have some overly curious barracuda give our Chief Fun Officer a bit of a fright!

If you're enjoying a shared experience, there's no harm in making your request for a specific site or experience, but remember that there will be other people with their own requests and the captain will not be able to appease everyone.

Likewise, the captain will have final say on the site selection based on weather and water conditions, among other considerations of safety - this is true even where you've secured a private yacht charter or other private experience.


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