The 5-foot gray-colored shark glided smoothly past as if I weren't there. He was swimming straight on as if he had a specific destination in mind. He seemed to have an agenda and took little or no notice of me. I've been snorkeling and SCUBA diving in Florida waters for more years than I like to admit, and I can count on one hand the sharks I've seen while I was in the water. So, it was a special thrill to see this one so close.
In fact, it's a thrill just to be in the water here in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Located some 7 miles to the south of Bahia Honda Key, Looe Key is not a piece of land at all, but the name given to a reef in the Straights of Florida where the depths vary from about 2 to approximately 30 feet.
What there is to see. Life on a coral reef. Visibility in the water can vary, from perhaps 100 feet to 15 or 20.
How to get there. From Key Largo, take U.S. Highway 1 south past Marathon and across the seven-mile bridge to Bahia Honda Key at Mile Marker 37. Bahia Honda State Park is on the ocean side of the road.
Reservations. Concessionaires within the park operate the Snorkel Express, which makes at least two daily runs. Carry your own snorkeling equipment, or rent it there. For the latest information on reservations and costs, check the web site of the Visitor Service Provider, provided in the Contact Information table.
Trip Information. General Description: A daytime adventure (a 3-hour tour!), snorkeling in the shallow waters of the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, located about 7 miles in a southerly direction from Bahia Honda Key . Take the Snorkel Express snorkel boat out of Bahia Honda State Park, and spend the morning or afternoon snorkeling 5 miles offshore in 2-to-30-feet-deep waters.
Starting Point.Bahia Honda State Park, located on U.S. Highway 1 in the Florida Keys, just past the Seven-mile bridge, at Mile Marker 37.
Bahia Honda State Park
Finishing Point. Same place.
Maps. None needed.
Contact Information. Bahia Honda State Park, 36850 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key, Florida 33043. Tel 305-872-2353Reservations 800-326-3521.
Visitor Service Provider. For the latest information on snorkel boat runs, costs, reservations, and equipment rentals. 305-872-3210