Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snorkeling in Key West

Let's come out and say it: Beaches and big waves and snorkeling are not very good in Key West (from the shore/beach).  The offshore coral reef breaks the waves several miles offshore.

There is excellent snorkeling at the Dry Tortugas - but that's a day trip from Key West on a boat.  Also Bahia Honda has good snorkelling - but that's 35 miles up the overseas highway.  There are many boat operators who will take you from Key West out to the coral reefs for half a day's snorkelling.

But where is the best snorkelling from the shore in Key West?

I've reported before on Fort Zach beach itself - which is by far the best on the island.

Here's a video I took in November 2012 to set the scene:

Today I tried snorkelling for the first time here.  Here are some pics of the beach today (November 2012):

It's November so not that busy.  Also it's Tuesday and only about 10.30am - the beach did get busier, but not that busy today.  That's the great thing about midweek in November - nice and quiet!
The beach at Fort Zach is 20% sand and 80% coral which makes walking and getting into the sea a tricky and sometimes painful affair!
My snorkel amongst the coral at Fort Zach beach.
Ready to snorkel.
Go! Heads down, looking.
So how was the snorkeling?  I saw 50 fish in total, maybe about 4 or 5 different types.  Even though the swell was not high, it was difficult to see because of the sand and stuff making the water murky.

This area of the beach (see pic below), swimming right up within 1 foot of the rocks, is where  I found the most fish.

You can hire a snorkel and mask from the same beach shack that hires out the deck chairs, right on the beach.
Best snorkelling rocks on Fort Zach beach

Full review and loads of great pictures of Fort Zach beach - click here.

Guide to Key West best beach.