Wednesday, March 19, 2014

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park...

Today turned into a great day here to explore John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park... what a spot. It is America's First Underwater State Park. The Park extends 3 miles out into the Atlantic underwater, and about 27 miles long... an incredible spot to visit. We have passed this park many times in the past and never bothered going in... mistake!!!

The weather was 78 degrees F. and just perfect for spending a game on the water...John Pennekamp, above, wanted to preserve the incredible coral reef here in Key Largo.

One of the many beaches above in this Park...


We all started by sitting on the fence above... trying to figure out what to do today! Did not take long to figure out...

First on the list was to explore 3 different nature trails in the park... the one above being a board walk in the mangrove trees.

We ran into a small problem when we ran out of boards... yikes...

We found a small orchard on one of the trails, where they were growing limes above...

Then, after our picnic lunch all the fun began... above is a snorkelling boat, (not a great picture...) so we decided to take a tour to the coral reef.

All of our participants were ready to rock and roll for this tour...

I no sooner got off the boat after we arrived on site, when I found a barracuda!!! He was over 2 feet long...

I used our underwater Fuji Film Camera... there was all kinds of life on the coral reef... hard to believe. Soon I realized that I was probably on the best snorkelling tour of my life, and I have been on a few!!!!

The water was about 78 deg. F. and was not too bad for swimming... although if you look below, we did have our wet suits on...

If you look above, you can actually see an old canon left on the bottom of the reef, with a few canon balls to the left of it! Would love to know the history of this canon! THEN IT HAPPENED!!!!!

This amazing Sea Turtle swam right into my view... I could not believe it!

I had to quickly figure out how to get the Fuji Camera into video mode... did not take long.

I ended up following this turtle for over 10 minutes... he was hungry and was eating the sea grass on the bottom of the reef... I was just fascinated by this turtle... it sure made my day out on the coral reef.

We stayed out on the reef for about 1 hour and 20 minutes... I never came out of the water, and was the last one to get back on the boat this afternoon! I am doing a flipper wave below for Deb!

You get tired after swimming for that length of time, but I felt like I could have stayed out for another hour real easy! Don't give up the chance to come to this State Park if you are out at Key Largo! It will not disappoint!

Made it back to camp in time for refreshments, and then walked out for a nice Italian Dinner...(again...) what a day!

Till tomorrow...


  1. What a wonder day, underwater tour and great pictures.

  2. Nice tour. I can understand your desire to spend even more time in the water. Beautiful place.

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  4. Great pics and video of the sea turtle and the coral reefs.

    What a great spot - it sure looked like a lot of fun.