They say that snorkeling is an activity for everyone. You have to try it at least once in your life and you'll know if they are right. I know many cases in which it leads a person to wanting more or to consider taking up scuba diving and exploring the whole underwater world. I'm one of those persons. Snorkeling or scuba diving may blow you away and become a regular inclusion in your future vacation plans. You just have to go to a place with a reef and begin discovering this colorful world.
My first snorkeling experience occurred on New Year's Day in Cozumel, Mexico. The beautiful Caribbean Sea and sunshine combined to create the perfect setting for a New Year's adventure. A friend and I had enjoyed a party the previous night with thousands of other people in Playa del Carmen. As I tend to get sea sick, when stepping into a boat that took the tourist groups to the island of Cozumel, I realized that snorkeling was not the best idea on that day. The only moment during that day trip, when I did not feel anything weird in my stomach was when I was under water, floating above an awful Barracuda and recovering from the panic of how to breathe with the snorkeling gear. Still, surrounded by thousands of colorful fish, I realized that this would not be my last snorkeling experience.
What my first snorkeling adventure taught me
- Never do water activities after having a party
- Never forget your anti-motion sickness pills (if you're like me and need them)
- Start snorkeling more often and try out scuba diving some day
- Do not forget sun screen and towel (part of a snorkeling trip is worshiping the sun in the boat and enjoying the views)
Snorkeling in Key West
Ever since, I have been a big fan of discovering new reefs. When I tried out the Key West snorkeling trip, I was lucky, because the water was really clear that day so the visibility was great. I saw lobsters, snails, jellyfish and some other fish that I can not name – and the reefs of course. My snorkeling experience in Florida was excellent. There might not be as many exotic animals as, let's say, in Thailand, but these reefs are the only living coral reefs in the continental United States and they are well worth experiencing. Beside, in which other city holiday do you have an opportunity to jump into the sea and be amazed by the life of these colorful weird looking creatures?
There are around 110 species of coral and more than 500 species of tropical fish that inhabit the coral reefs of Key West. For a first timer, my advice is to listen carefully to the guide's instructions, breathe slowly in the water and relax. Remember that Key West is the driest city in Florida – always bringing your sunscreen, because the likelihood of sunburn is quite high.
If you follow these simple steps, you'll definitely have an enjoyable first snorkeling experience! For the ones that feel really at home in water, breathe in and dive deeper since not all species can be seen from the surface.
On the way back
After a sunny (hopefully) day on the boat, the driver will take you back to Miami. The drive is rather long and you might feel tired after spending a day outside. Sit back and enjoy a movie in the bus – maybe a small snack. You will then be able to start thinking about which of Miami's numerous restaurants you'll choose for dinner.