A Snorkeling Trip Aboard the Sundiver III
Our afternoon snorkeling trip this sunny summer day began at the Sundiver Station Snorkel Shop, located on the Overseas Highway at Mile Marker 103, bayside. Sundiver has been in business for I don't know how many years. I seem to recall buying a TUSA mask there on my way to Marathon over 20 years ago.
Sundiver Station at Mile Marker 103
On our August 2010 trip to Key Largo, my wife, Sue, and I had been in town only a couple of days and were eager to get out on the water, so we booked a snorkeling trip with Sundiver. The shop's manager, Laura, was friendly and welcoming, assuring us they'd take good care of us and that we'd have a good time. Both predictions came true.
Inside Sundiver Station
Sundiver normally runs three snorkeling trips a day--at 9:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 3:00 PM. This is, of course, weather permitting. We decided on the afternoon trip, showing up at the shop almost an hour early to get our boarding passes, as well as directions to the boat, which was docked at the Key West Inn, on Ocean Drive, at Mile Marker 100.
The boat--the Sundiver III--is a roomy 46-foot vessel especially made for snorkeling. For me, it didn't have the cramped, stuffy feel of a crowded "cattle boat." Plus, the crew, Ken and Carey, were friendly and competent. They treated the passengers with courtesy and respect, and didn't talk down to us, even though some were totally inexperienced when it comes to snorkeling, especially snorkeling in the open ocean.
The Sundiver III Moored at the Dock
Our trip out to the reefs went by quickly. Sundiver III is a fast boat designed to get people out to the snorkel spots quickly, so you can spend more time snorkeling, and less time boat riding.
A Fast Trip Out to the Reef
After a brief pre-dive safety talk, we jumped overboard into the clear, warm, and super-inviting waters.
Sue Snorkels a Key Largo Reef
Our whole snorkeling trip lasted about three hours, and we spent most of that time in the water. I never did catch the names of the reefs we visited that day, but off Key Largo, it's all beautiful. That afternoon's viz was great--maybe 80 feet, as I recall.
A Snorkeler's View of the Ocean Floor at Key Largo
Parrotfish on a Key Largo Reef
Too soon, it seemed, we were headed back to shore--a bit sunburned, perhaps, but relaxed, thrilled at just being here, and ready for our next Key Largo adventure.
You can call Sundiver Station at 800-654-7369. They are located at 25 deg, 7 min, 48 sec North and 080 deg, 24 min, 35 sec West, MM 103 B/S.
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