Florida Keys for Families a to z guideS
SNORKELING AND SNUBA AND SCUBA
SNORKELING AND SNUBA AND SCUBA
Upper Keys Recompression Chamber
Diving Emergencies ................... 911
Divers Medical Emergencies 852-4418 ext 345 ............. 1-800-NO-BENDS
Viewing the reef is one of the main reasons visitors come to the Keys, and with proper supervision snorkeling and SNUBA are safe ways for children to view this underwater paradise.
Snorkeling at Coffins Patch
You can rent a boat and do it yourself or use one of the many of the providers listed below are located in Key Largo, home of world famous John Pennykamp Coral Reef State Park . Excellent snorkeling is also available in the Middle and Lower Keys. Tour operators in the Duck Key and Marathon areas provides trips to Coffins Patch or Sombrero Reef. Operators in the Big Pine and the Lower Keys either go to Looe Key or other favorite snorkeling areas.
Make reservations ahead of time and reschedule if conditions aren't good for children. Usually a good tour operator will cancel a tour or advise you if the water is too rough or visibility isn't good.
Several of the larger tour operators with large roomy boats or unique providers are listed below:
PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE FROM DATE OF THIS LISTING
The SNORKEL CENTER at Hawks Cay Resort - MM 61 - The Snorkel Center on Duck Key is the island headquarters for Snorkeling. Located at the Hawk's Cay marina docks, the Snorkel Center is less than a two minute walk from resort rooms at the Hawk's Cay Inn and villas at Hawk's Cay Village and about a fifteen minute drive from Islamorada or Marathon For reservations and information, contact (305) 743-9000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tropical Reef Snorkel Trip - The Snorkel Center goes to Coffin's Patch Reef in the early afternoon - $30 per person includes equipment and beverage on the "Osprey" . The Snorkel Center also provides Snorkeling lessons for kids on site for patrons of the Resort.
SCUBA RANGER PROGRAM offered at TILDEN'S SCUBA CENTER - Certified scuba instructors and the Scuba Ranger Program are available for kids 8 to 12 at the Tilden Dive Center. Children work their way through 5 levels from basic water safety techniques, swimming and snorkeling skills, scuba skills and underwater photography. They learn through fun and games at skill level 5, Demo Ranger, demonstrate their newly learned skills to parents, family and friends. More information contact the Dive center at 305-289-4931 or 305-743-7000 Ext. 3717, Fax 305-289-4932 - Also 1-877-FUN-DIVE (386-34830), E-mail: email@example.com
ONE DAY RESORT RANGER
Wil llearn basics of the scuba sport and use real scuba gear designed for children. Games in the pool and activities underwater! Costs include:
Instruction, rentals, animated videos, hands on pool skills, snacks and drinks! Course cost $200.00 each session.
Rates are subject to change without prior notice.
SCUBA RANGER VERIFICATION - Four half day sessions. Includes all the same materials as the Resort Ranger and more.
Costs include: instruction, equipment rentals, textbook, scuba video, log book, tee shirt, club membership, snacks & drinks. Course cost $750.00
Rates are subject to change without prior notice.
For general information on the national scuba Ranger Program visit http://www.tildensscubacenter.com/scuba-rangers/
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park - MM 102.5 - Key Largo, Open daily, 8 a.m. - sunset. General Park information - 305-451-1202 , Entrance fee for car $4 and 50 cents a person. (See also Beaches for Additional Information on John Pennekamp)
It is a Pennekamp that divers and snorkelers can see the Chris of the Abyss statute at the Florida Reef. The statue began as a memorial to those lost at sea. It was commissioned by Italian diving pioneer Duilio Merchant with the original artwork lowered into the water off of Italy in 1954. In 1962 Egidio Cressi, an Italian industrialist and dive gear maker commissioned a second statue as a gift to America. Because of its religious association finding a location to set the statue was not an easy task. Eventually it found its way to the Florida Keys , where it is now among the best known dive and snorkel sites in the continental United States.
Snorkeling is excellent here. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first under-water state park in the United States, is known for its coral reefs located five miles offshore. "Dry Rocks" a key dive spot is the location of "Christ of the Deep", a famous statue resting in 25 feet of water.
Snorkel Boat - The snorkel concession at John Pennekamp offer 3 snorkel tours a day. The trip which lasts about 2 1/2 hours and provides 1 1/2 hours of water time costs $20 for children under 18 years of age. Adults are charged $25. Rental of mask, fins, and souvenir snorkel costs another $5. 305-451-1621
Sail and Snorkel - Two trips a day which includes a sail on a 38 foot catamaran out to the snorkel area and 1 1/2 hour water time costs $32 for adults and $27 for children under 18. Rental of mask, fins, and souvenir snorkel costs another $5. 305-451-1621
Capt. Anne Baxter - Adventure Tours - MM 81.5 at WideWorld Sportsman. Islamorada, 305-852-4553
Easy Adventures offers private snorkeling charters for families and groups up to 6. Snorkeling sites are shallow, sometimes only 2 feet, ideal for beginners. Cheeca Rocks is a nearshore patch reef with 7 foot tall coral formations in 10-12 foot depth, the tops of the corals in many places only 3 foot deep. Alligator Lighthouse is an offshore bank-barrier reef with 3 foot depth in the shallowest portion. More advanced snorkelers can try their luck at catching a lobster. Lessons and equipment provided, free. For more information, click on Easy Adventures - Adventure tours for the kids and family, specialty tours, Indian key ruins, Everglades, ocean reefs, photography, wildlife identification, learn ecology and science while in search of dolphin, reddish egrets, bald eagles, roseate spoonbills and sea turtles. half day or full day of exploring the waters of the Florida Keys, remote shallow bays and narrow creeks where tropical wildlife lives.
For more information click on Easy Adventures at www.keysboats.com
Regional SCUBA Guides and Diver InformationSouth Florida Scuba - The Guide To Scuba Diving in South Florida at http://www.southfloridascuba.com
ScubaClicks - The Divers Guide To The Web - http://www.scubaclicks.com
Florida Scubahound: Home of everything about Florida scuba diving! Welcome to Florida's ScubaHound, home of all the SCUBA information you have always wanted, but couldn't find! We've sniffed out some of the most useful, up-to-date information available to divers on the internet today. http://www.floridascubahound.com
It's A Dive - Key Largo - MM 103, 103800 Overseas Highway, 305-453-9881 or 800-809-9881 snorkel and dive trips, equipment rentals, rental boats, parasailing, eco-tours and more
Strike Zone Charters - Big Pine - MM 29.5
Snorkeling is just one of several activities Strike Zone provides for children. Strike Zone uses a large catamaran with glass bottom to take patrons touring the back country . Visitors experience the Keys history, see an assortment of aquatic birds and marine life, fish a bit, snorkel over a coral reef, and enjoy Strike Zones fish cookout on a private island. $45 pp. for 5 and 1/2 hour tour. 800-654-9560 or 305-872-9863
Snuba of Key West - located at the Garrison Bight Marina on Palm Ave., Key West -http:www.snubakeywest.com (305) 292-4616 or (305) 923-4320. email firstname.lastname@example.org
SNUBA is safe family fun, and it's easy to learn. No prior diving or snorkeling experience is required and the minimum age is 8 years old. 15-20 minute orientation during your sail out to the reef, professionally trained SNUBA guide will personally take you on an underwater tour of the beautiful marine environment. - full hour in the water at the reef , Snuba is offered on our 2 1/2 hour snorkel and combination trips and includes all equipment, instruction, a personal guide, and of course, complimentary beer, sodas and water
9:30am - 12:00pm, 1:00pm - 3:300pm, 4:30pm - 700pm - reservations are required.
Captain Hook's Marina and Dive center. - 11833 Overseas Hwy. Marathon, FL 33050
Two dive and snorkel trips daily, http://www.captainhooks.com, 305-743-2444 (800)278-4665 Email:email@example.com
Snorkel and Fish at Sea Dog Marina - 1/2 day fishing plus 1/2 day snorkeling 305-743-8255 located MM 47.5 next to Seven Mile Grill, Marathon - www.seadogcharters.net, wwwstarfishswimandsnorkel.com
Sharky's Snorkel and Dive Trips - MM 100
Holiday Inn Marina at Key Largo - High speed catamaran travels to shallow reefs of John Pennykamp for snorkeling three trips a day. 1-800-935-3483 or 305-451-5533. About $25 for adults and $19 for children. Snorkel gear $5 extra. A non-diving parent may go along for the ride for $15.
Snuba Tours of Key Largo - Key largo
The SNUBA ® Adventure - Half-day Snuba/Snorkel. SNUBA ® gear, and underwater guide, Orientation and SNUBA ® diving on a guided tour of the marine environment of coral reefs of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park - $75 per person -
Pool Lesson - one hour lesson in pool before diving, gear included - $45 per person
(305) 451-6391, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SNUBA ® Locations - Silent World Dive Center, Key Largo, MM103.2 Bayside, (305) 451-3252 or (800) 966-3483
SNUBA ® is an exciting shallow water diving system - bridging the gap between snorkeling and scuba diving. Enjoy breathing underwater with SNUBA ®
KeyLypso - Snorkeling aboard power catamaran , mask, fins, snorkel included, rest room on board, safety vest - Marathon, MM 53 at Vaca Cut Bridge at Marathon Lady Docks - 305-743-7655, 1-888-248-4452 - http://www.keylypso.com
Sombrero Reef Explorers - 19 Sombrero Blvd., Marathon, FL 33050 , 305-743-0536 -
snorkel trips twice daily to Sombrero Reef Marine Sanctuary , children welcome. http://www.sombreroreef.com
Spirit Snorkeling Catamaran - MM 47.5
Next to Porky's Bayside Restaurant in Marathon Spirit Snorkeling travels twice daily to Sombrero Reef Marine Sanctuary and Lighthouse on a power catamaran. Spirit takes no scuba divers and goes to only shallow water snorkeling locations. Trip includes equipment and floats and costs $26. First timers and families welcome. Free snorkeling instruction. Kids can float on toys or snorkel or watch if they choose. 305-289-0614.
Quicksilver Catamaran - MM 100
Sailing and snorkeling combined at John Pennykamp Park on a 50 foot catamaran. Twice daily, AM trip has one stop for snorkeling $22, PM trip starts at 12:30 and includes two stops and two hours of snorkeling $30. Family rates available, Special summer rates, Holiday Inn Docks, Key Largo 305-451-0105.
Key Divers - MM 100 - Office located next to Wendy's, Boat at Marina del Mar Resort
Offers 3 Snorkeling tours - 9 AM in Morning for price $24, 1 stop and 1 hour water time, Afternoon Tour begins 12:15, $32, 3 stops and over 2 hours water time
and Sunset trip departs at 5:30 PM, $24, 1 stop, 1 hour of water time
305-451-1177 for reservation or purchase tickets dockside
SunDiver Snorkeling - MM 103 - SunDiver Station is red building and located Bayside
Ask about family rates, feel safe and comfortable while snorkeling at Pennekamp State Park's shallow-water reefs, 3 trips daily. No Scuba allowed to assure so that crew may devote attention to snorkelers. 1-800-654-7369, 305-451-2220
San Pedro Under Water Archeaological Preserve - offshore about 1.25 miles south of Indian Key, 305-664-4815.
For this you need a boat. You can tie up at mooring buoys and snorkel or scuba to explore the San Pedro Under Water Archieologigical Preserve. The ship San Pedro is part of a fleet of Spanish treasure ships which left Cuba with a cargo of gold and silver for Spain. A hurricane sent the entire fleet to the bottom of the sea on July 13, 1733. Divers and snorkelers who explore the San Pedro site will see "concrete" cannons, an anchor, other relics, tropical fish and other marine life in 18 feet of water. Loran coordinates: 14082.1 by 43320.6
Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, MM 30, Big Pine Key, (305) 872-4039.
Looe Key Marine Sanctuary is located five miles offshore. The water is extremely clear and very shallow which makes Looe Key a popular diving and snorkeling destination. Visible are a variety of coral reef formations, sdand flats, sea-grass beds, marine life and tropical fish. Kids can also view the remains of the HMS Looe, a British frigate that sank in 1744.
Key Cut - snorkeling trips aboard the catamaran Key Cut, 305-294-4515, located at Sunset Pier Marina, Ocean Key Resort, zero Duval Street, www.keycat.com
A to Z INDEX OF CATEGORIES
SAILING - LESSONS, SAILBOAT RENTALS, SUPPLIES, EQUIPMENT
SANDALS AND SHOES
SCHOOLS - REGISTRATION, IMMUNIZATION (public),
SNORKELING AND SNUBA,
SUNSET CELEBRATIONS AND CRUISES
YOUTH GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND CENTERS (see also CAMPS),
ZOOS (see ANIMALS )
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