The boat had a crew of two - a captain and a dive master. As the captain took us out of port, our dive master welcomed us and explained what we could expect, with emphasis on safety rules. When we reached the reef, the dive master explained how to enter and exit the water and let us go a couple at a time off the side of the boat.
This was my first reef trip, and I hadn't expected to see too much. I'd read that the reefs in the Keys are in bad shape. I hopped into the water, waited a moment for the bubbles to clear, then gasped in wonder through my snorkel. It was amazing! It was like being inside a giant aquarium with fantastically colorful fish I'd never been in the water with before. There were parrotfish, tarpon, a baracuda, and a nurse shark. We saw jack, grouper, and lots of other little guys whose names I never learned. I even watched a lobster dance around below. I was most profoundly struck by all the color. I will never forget it.
After we had enjoyed that reef for a while, we got back on the catamaran and went to the second and final stop. The crew served fruit and water while we were underway. We had a nice view of one of the screwpile lights from the water, and the second stop let us explore around some sunken boat parts. On the trip back in, I saw a loggerhead sea turtle peering up out of the water.
The whole experience was great due to the wonderful diversity of life. I highly recommend this trip with Subtropic. They are reputable, safe, and so much fun!
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by Kim M.
Key West, Florida
February 3, 2003
From journal Key West on the Cheap
Collier County, Florida
February 6, 2011