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by anne waller
August 21, 2008
July 13, 2003
I have been lucky enough to snorkel with kids in the Bahamas and throughout the Keys, and I have never seen anything like Looe Key. Channels about 20' deep run between reef structures that rise to within five feet of the surface. The center of the reef is quite shallow and it provides shelter from the waves for a calm snorkeling environment.
Huge schools of sergeant majors and yellowtail will swarm around you if you shake the shrimp out of the seaweed that floats by in the gentle current. We saw large grouper, nurse sharks, baracuda, queen angels, huge queen parrotfish, and a myriad of other reef species. Tarpon and permit cruised languidly through the channels that cut dramatically between the reef structures.
We did a lot of research for operators to take our party of 15 out to the reef, and Strike Zone Charters was clearly the best. They provided quality equipment on a clean safe boat with excellent safety procedures and a highly knowledgeable crew.
If you want to go snorkeling, definitely make the drive down to Big Pine Key. The reefs around Hawk's Cay are pretty, but they are not protected so you will not see as many interesting fish.
From journal Family Fun in the Florida Keys