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Florida's Fragile Coastal Treasure: Snorkel the Coral Reefs

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Program #14677RJ
7 Days | 6 Nights
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
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Discussion Board

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Warren Lind Feb 12, 2015 at 10:11 PM

I will see you there. This is my first trip to the Keys.

Lillian Oberjohn Feb 08, 2015 at 07:31 PM

I'm going on the March 8 trip. Will the water be clear enough to take underwater pictures using a one-time-use Quick Snap Waterproof Fujifilm camera?
Richard van den Heuvel Feb 17, 2015 at 07:41 PM

Hi Lillian - the captains select the specific reef each trip based on several factors - one of which is water clarity. So you should be fine for pictures. But I should add that I am not a photographer and don't have a clue about the Fujifilm camera that you mentioned. When you get to the dock you can ask the staff about pictures and they'll be glad to guide you. I hope this helps. ---Rick

Warren Lind Jan 29, 2015 at 07:33 PM

Any recommendations re clothing for this trip in early March? I assume that it is warm in Key Largo.
Richard van den Heuvel Feb 17, 2015 at 07:43 PM

Hi Warren - I have simply added Key Largo to the cities included in my weather browser - watch the 10 day forcast as you get closer to your arrival (and also plan for variation because things can always change :) good luck ---Rick
Warren Lind Feb 17, 2015 at 08:20 PM

Good idea; thanks!

Warren Lind Jan 06, 2015 at 05:20 PM

If anyone is going on this trip on March 8th, perhaps we could share a shuttle, as I don't think my flight will arrive in time to catch the 3 p.m. shuttle arranged by RS. I called RS today and there is another service - 'Keys Shuttle' - that runs frequently. So I'm thinking about a 4 p.m. pickup from the airport. Please let me know if you want to share a ride. Thanks!

Richard van den Heuvel Jan 05, 2015 at 09:11 PM

Hi Again Warren - sorry that I didn't notice that you had two posts until after I responded to the first. So - there is no need to reserve a wet suit in advance - they have plenty of them and the staff is great at guiding you according to the weather and water temps - and then fitting you for the right size if you decide to take one out with you. You'll have a great time

Richard van den Heuvel Jan 05, 2015 at 09:03 PM

Hi Warren - We don't go to the statue during the snorkeling trips (I think that it's located a lot closer to shore). Another comment about fish identification. REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation - www.reef.org) is located in Key Largo. They have a dvd called "Reef Fish Identification - Florida, Caribbean Bahamas - A Beginning Course - it is fabulous. The leader the first time I went on this RS program (Estere) showed it to us. I'm not sure that it is still part of the program since Pennycamp has closed their theatre - but you can buy it and it is extremely helpful. (I recommend buying it and bringing it to share with the group if RS no longer 'officially' shows it). Since it displays the fish in motion and gives identification memory aids, it is lots better than a book.

Richard van den Heuvel Jan 04, 2015 at 10:07 PM

Hi Friends - a thought about fish identification. I have been using a great small book which shows the most common fish of Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean. It is water proof so I bring it on the boat. Guide to Corals and Fishes by Idaz and Jerry Greenberg; Seahawk Press. I was surprised how much having the book added to my snorkeling experiences.
Warren Lind Jan 05, 2015 at 08:05 PM

I bought a couple of the books recommended by RS, and then AAA sent me two. But none are waterproof. Did you get to see the underwater statue of Christ with his arms raised up?

Warren Lind Jan 04, 2015 at 09:21 PM

Rick: Are you referring to a "life vest"? We are swimming in salt water - why the need for extra flotation? What if you want to dive to the bottom to get a photo? Will the vest impede that?
Richard van den Heuvel Jan 04, 2015 at 10:04 PM

Hi Warren - great questions. First, the vest is not a life-vest - it is a 'bib-like' air vest with a tube where you can puff air up to the level of your preference for some added boyancy. Insurnace regulations require us to each wear them while we are in the water - but there is no requirement that you blow any air in (the staff will explain this during their orientation). I didn't get into the details and options in my response to Doris because her concern was feeling safe - so I wanted to make sure that she knew that there would be a floatation device for safety and confidence. I usually put a puff in my vest just to make it easier to float in one place and really look carefully. As for diving down for pictures - the empty vest will not be a problem. I've been out 14 times - all but one of those trips were to Grecian Rocks or White Banks. They are quite shallow - so I haven't felt any need to dive down. My last time out went to Molasses Reef and the coral mounds were various heights - so someone who likes to look closely might enjoy diving down if the boat goes there. If you like diving you'll have no problem with the vest. And, for anyone else reading this - you can vent the vest easily while in the water, so if you put a little air in and go out and later decided you want to dive down - you can just roll over on your back - pull the value on the air tube and 'hug' your vest in order to push the air out.
Warren Lind Jan 05, 2015 at 08:01 PM

Thanks for the clarification; I've never heard of that type of vest before. Do you think I should reserve the wet suit before the trip, or can I wait until I get there?

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
17 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
6 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences


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