There is not a better way to see what the Florida Keys is all about until you immerse yourself in our crystal clear waters teeming with marine life among out living coral reefs. Snorkeling is a great bonding experience for family and friends and has such a profound impact on visitors that they will cherish the experience forever.
There are a number of snorkeling options here in Marathon, but the best way to see it all is on a private guided trip with an experienced captain. This gives you the freedom to make decisions on when to come and go on your terms, comfort level and weather conditions. Having mated on snorkel boats, I want to offer an alternative to a predetermined trip that was operated within certain parameters and often in poor conditions, where a rewarding outcome was not likely. I see no point in snorkeling in poor visibility and rough seas because a trip was scheduled to go and the customer’s didn’t know any better! There is usually a better option and I personally hold myself to a higher standard!
In Marathon, we have two dedicated marine sanctuaries ideal for snorkeling. Coffin’s Patch is located about 4 miles off the beach and is a thriving coral reef with thousands of tame fish that are unafraid of your presence. The water depth ranges from 10-25 feet deep and the average visibility is 30-40 feet with plenty of 80ft days, all depending on weather.
Sombrero Reef is located about 6 miles off shore and is more oriented to where the reef drops off into the deep ocean. The 120ft tall Sombrero Lighthouse stands guard over this marine preserve and is a prominent local landmark. This reef here is larger and offers deeper coral corridors and an abundance of marine life. Depths here are 12-35 feet deep and the average visibility here is 40 feet with days of 100 feet of crystal clear water.
In addition to the two sanctuaries, there are hundreds of reefs to explore, each offering their own unique character. There are even a few ship wrecks out there that can be snorkeled by the first time snorkeler! All of these are yours to explore when you want to be “alone” without the distraction of other visitors crowding you on the sanctuary sites. When the water is clear, the options are endless. Don’t forget to ask about additional snorkeling options for collecting sand dollars and shells!
For snorkeling, you will need to bring your own snorkel gear or rent it from Capt. Hooks Marina. Capt. Hooks has all the equipment and goodies to keep you outfitted properly for your day on the water. There is an iced cooler on the boat for your lunch, but don’t forget to bring bottled water, snacks and lots of sunblock! Also, a long sleeved rash guard is excellent for keeping you protected from the occasional encounter with a jellyfish and it also keeps the sun off of your back and arms.