one of the main activities for visitors of dry tortugas national park is snorkeling. the islands take up something like 1% of the actual park, the rest is marine life. the waters around fort jefferson and garden key are normal crystal clear and filled with excellent coral reefs, especially for beginners such as anna and myself. anna loves all things marine wildlife, so we were super excited for this adventure.
derek hooked us up with all of the possible gear we would need, hoping to ensure a positive first experience and anna had given it all a test run before our arrival. so, when we woke up on the second day, and the weather was sunny and warm, we were excited to check things out.
then. we hit the waters. unfortunately, it was all really quite murky from the previous day’s storms. we still gave it a go for a bit, before anna spotted something moving out of the corner of her eye (i suspect coral), and freaked out a bit and declared she would never snorkel again and would just be the kind of marine biologist who looked at things from above the water or at pictures someone else showed her.
she played in the water later that day for awhile, so i was sort of hopeful for the next day, but fully prepared for snorkeling to not be on the agenda. but, after we woke up, we strolled along the wall, and realized that the water was crystal clear and we could see all sorts of sea life carrying on down below. we even saw a shark! anna declared that she was willing to give it another try, so i wasted no time letting her rethink her decision and had us in the water by 9am.
this time was 100x better. we could see stuff. and anna was a bit more confident with better views. she was a little worried about the shark we spotted earlier, but hung in there with my encouragement. (we both knew that it was mostly likely a harmless nurse shark, but it was still a shark, amiright?). eventually, anna took a break, but walked along the wall, while i got to do a bit more snorkeling further out. she even took some pics for me. lovely girl.
so. we saw a lot of cool stuff. and i had the go pro. but it didn’t always capture the views as well as i was seeing them. but i snagged some screenshots from our videos for your viewing pleasure…
so. pretty much, the snorkeling situation was a rollercoaster of emotions. i was bummed at first, with the weather. then excited to try. then disappointed with the murkiness of the water. and then really bummed that anna was over it. and then hopeful when she was willing to try again. and mostly pretty happy with the experience. i do wish she would have tried another place that people were reporting was pretty great, but she was only comfortable with this spot along the moat wall, so that’s what we stuck with. maybe next time…