A thinking persons guide to exploring the rich maritime history and vital ecology of south Floridas reef system, laden with fascinating historical nuggets and practical tips for novice and experienced snorkelers.Susan Cocking, Miami Herald
From Carysfort Reef to Indian Key to Dry Tortugas National Park, the Florida Keys provide many excellent and diverse snorkeling opportunities among brilliant corals teeming with remarkable sea life and sunken ships from long ago. Snorkeling the Florida Keys dives into more than forty unforgettable sites, including reefs, wrecks, and beaches.
The third largest barrier reef system in the world runs along the east side of the Florida Keys and is fed by the nutrient-rich waters of the Gulf Stream, which support the abundant growth of bright-hued corals. These warm waters are also home to spectacular animal life. From seahorses to manatees, natures most intriguing wonders can be found right around an outcropping of coral or grazing in algae.
While today these reefs are a playground for snorkelers, fishermen, and divers, these same waters were once feared by leery sailors. The corals lurking just beneath the surface were ship wreckers, stony daggers capable of carving up a wooden hull. Today those sunken ships provide stunning backdrops for snorkeling exploits.
Brad Bertelli takes the guesswork out of navigating and exploring the Florida Reef. He provides practical travel advice and GPS coordinates to easily access each site, as well as useful information such as water depth, marine environment, notable shipwrecks, and engrossing historical facts. Snorkeling the Florida Keys is more than a valuable guide for divers seeking adventure. It is also a great read for armchair travelers, who, without setting a fin in the water, can enjoy the conquests and mishaps of the historical figures who sailed the great Florida Reef.
Brad Bertelli, afreelance writer living in the Florida Keys, is the author of Snorkeling Florida: 50 Excellent Sites.