Notices

Florida Keys Reef in Lee of a Sandbar?

Old 11-17-2020, 07:04 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 10
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default Florida Keys Reef in Lee of a Sandbar?

My wife and I love snorkeling coral reefs, but she gets seasick in conditions as mild as a 12 inch chop, bobbing her around while trying to snorkel. We have such fond memories of snorkeling from Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman because it is a west facing beach which provides extremely calm water almost every day with world class snorkeling spots.

Currently we are exploring the Florida Keys. My first two snorkeling excursions around Key Largo consisted of a 3 or 4 mile run south to the reef. They were nice and calm days but the 8 to 10 knot breeze out of the south made for a moderate chop, and wifey couldn’t take it.

We have another 2 months here in the Keys to explore. My question is this... Are there any decent snorkeling opportunities in the Keys that are generally in the lee of the prevailing winds? Options that are either beach accessible, or accessible by boat are welcome. Perhaps there are a few sandbars or shoals that block the waves, particularly at low tide? If so, can you give some lat/long coordinates or names of the spots that locals would be familiar with?
Old 11-17-2020, 07:46 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cedar Key, FL
Posts: 1,144
Received 202 Likes on 136 Posts
Default

There is a protected area a few hundred yards to the southeast of little Palm Island resort (extreme southern end of Big Pine). It's been years since I've been there, but if I remember correctly it's about six – 10 feet deep. I don't know how healthy the coral is now and you will need a boat to access that area.
Old 11-17-2020, 07:50 AM
  #3  
THT SponsorCaptains Club Member
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Sarasota, FL, USA
Posts: 1,566
Received 191 Likes on 89 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by m9000 View Post
There is a protected area a few hundred yards to the southeast of little Palm Island resort (extreme southern end of Big Pine). It's been years since I've been there, but if I remember correctly it's about six – 10 feet deep. I don't know how healthy the coral is now and you will need a boat to access that area.
I’m very familiar with that area there’s not a lot of hard coral there but you can see fish, crabs etc. it’s usually calm there, but right around the corner to the south there are some huge Coral heads in shallow water with a lot of fish. You can see them on Google maps
Blue is protected area from wind 3-6ft. Red is huge coral heads in 10ft of water, but heads are 6’ tall

stay here https://parmersresort.com

also Looe key is not that far off and is great for snorkeling it’s a true reef with a crazy amount of stuff to see






Last edited by finbox; 11-17-2020 at 08:01 AM.
Old 11-17-2020, 09:31 AM
  #4  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 313
Likes: 0
Received 47 Likes on 39 Posts
Default


Right after bahia honda is an old borrow pit, sometimes its clear, sometimes its not, but its always protected. Its the dark square water shown above on the bay side. Its a nice little area with plenty of parking. I havent been since the hurricanes, but there used to be a cadillac in the middle of it. There is a fair amount of life in it. We would go and clean out the lionfish. Oh so good to eat, just dont get poked by them.
Old 11-17-2020, 10:27 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Southeast Connecticut
Posts: 527
Received 1,338 Likes on 706 Posts
Default

Some usually calm areas behind Molasses Key....which is roughly half way across 7 mile bridge.
Some nice sand flats on the north wise (usually lee side) of the islands you can drop anchor at..and a little channel running through there that's not bad.

I did sombrero reef this past January..it's quite ruined...reefs are pretty shot there from all the anchor dropping and traffic.
Old 11-17-2020, 11:24 AM
  #6  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: FT LAUDERDALE
Posts: 48
Received 17 Likes on 10 Posts
Default

Not a reef location but might help. Buddy of mine gets sick as a dog as soon as boat moves. He does Dramamine night before fishing trip and morning of trip and works like a champ. Does this morning and night on 4 day Tortuga's trips and never an issue.
Old 11-17-2020, 11:31 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Cape Coral, FL
Posts: 214
Likes: 0
Received 42 Likes on 22 Posts
Default

Sounds like a mission for a SeaKeeper gyro........................lol..........
Old 11-17-2020, 11:48 AM
  #8  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 10
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Some great responses here gang, thank you very much!

Related question... It looks like some of the tiny keys around Key West, including the national wildlife refuge, could be used to escape a chop on most days. Is there a spot or area that generally has super good water clarity there? I could bring my wife to the completely flat water but my 17 year old son wants to see and swim in crystal clear water, even if it doesn’t have coral but just has awesome sand. Can I find that somewhere around Key West?
Old 11-17-2020, 11:51 AM
  #9  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Clear Lake, TX
Posts: 165
Likes: 0
Received 62 Likes on 26 Posts
Default

Not to de-rail too much but has she tried the wrist bands? Like....wearing them all week? I know some people are predisposed to being sea-sick but that sounds excessive, particularly for someone that swims and snorkels.
I might also suggest antihistamine's if she has inner ear congestion maybe?
I also recommend a nap while floating. I know it sounds odd but I learned a long time ago when I was a kid on a dive boat (and when I was in the Navy) that if I felt a little funny, a 15min nap on my back while rocking went a LONG way in letting my brain re-calibrate to the movement.
Old 11-18-2020, 09:53 AM
  #10  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 61
Likes: 0
Received 65 Likes on 20 Posts
Default

Going one step further, has she tried scuba diving? With two months left, there is plenty of time to get certified and make good use of that training below all the waves that are bothering her.
Old 11-18-2020, 10:04 AM
  #11  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Clearwater, FL
Posts: 618
Received 321 Likes on 140 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by finbox View Post
I’m very familiar with that area there’s not a lot of hard coral there but you can see fish, crabs etc. it’s usually calm there, but right around the corner to the south there are some huge Coral heads in shallow water with a lot of fish. You can see them on Google maps
Blue is protected area from wind 3-6ft. Red is huge coral heads in 10ft of water, but heads are 6’ tall

stay here https://parmersresort.com

also Looe key is not that far off and is great for snorkeling it’s a true reef with a crazy amount of stuff to see





this area was my first thought. The area off Little Palm is a protected area so no fishing inside the markers. Last time there was before Irma, but it was a very nice, easy snorkel. And as stated, Looe Key.
Old 11-18-2020, 10:18 AM
  #12  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: South East Pa
Posts: 9,588
Received 1,008 Likes on 536 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by offshorewahoo View Post
My wife and I love snorkeling coral reefs, but she gets seasick in conditions as mild as a 12 inch chop, bobbing her around while trying to snorkel. We have such fond memories of snorkeling from Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman because it is a west facing beach which provides extremely calm water almost every day with world class snorkeling spots.

Currently we are exploring the Florida Keys. My first two snorkeling excursions around Key Largo consisted of a 3 or 4 mile run south to the reef. They were nice and calm days but the 8 to 10 knot breeze out of the south made for a moderate chop, and wifey couldn’t take it.

We have another 2 months here in the Keys to explore. My question is this... Are there any decent snorkeling opportunities in the Keys that are generally in the lee of the prevailing winds? Options that are either beach accessible, or accessible by boat are welcome. Perhaps there are a few sandbars or shoals that block the waves, particularly at low tide? If so, can you give some lat/long coordinates or names of the spots that locals would be familiar with?

Thats too bad, Looe Key is great and holds a lot of fish
Old 11-18-2020, 11:33 AM
  #13  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 10
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by DRAGGINBAITS View Post
Not a reef location but might help. Buddy of mine gets sick as a dog as soon as boat moves. He does Dramamine night before fishing trip and morning of trip and works like a champ. Does this morning and night on 4 day Tortuga's trips and never an issue.
Thanks for this. Yep, she does Dramamine but still has issues. She has the scopalamine patch and we will try that as well, starting with a half patch for safety reasons.
Old 11-18-2020, 11:34 AM
  #14  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 10
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Steelers0355 View Post
Going one step further, has she tried scuba diving? With two months left, there is plenty of time to get certified and make good use of that training below all the waves that are bothering her.
That’s a good idea! I *highly* doubt she will be able to deal with that but I’ll give it a ride!
Old 11-18-2020, 11:36 AM
  #15  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 313
Likes: 0
Received 47 Likes on 39 Posts
Default

Or a hookah rig.
Old 11-18-2020, 02:04 PM
  #16  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Big Pine Key, FL
Posts: 404
Received 61 Likes on 18 Posts
Default

Another for the sanctuary South of little palm. Go there very often with the kids.

Old 11-18-2020, 02:56 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cedar Key, FL
Posts: 1,144
Received 202 Likes on 136 Posts
Default

A Key west area known as "the cuts" between Crawfish and Man Keys of has a lot of islands and flats around it, so you can snorkel in the cuts with the wind coming from any direction and be fairly protected. There is not any live coral in the cuts, but a fair number of fish. A couple of handfuls of crushed potato chips can attract a lot of small fish very quickly. The tide rips through those narrow channels pretty quickly, so you want to swim there an hour on either side of high or low tide.
Attached Images  
Old 11-18-2020, 06:15 PM
  #18  
Admirals ClubCaptains Club Member Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 6,751
Received 537 Likes on 320 Posts
Default

Content keys on the gulf side and processing west towards Key West, lots of rocks and coral heads, fish, etc. Normally it is in the lee, unless a cold front comes and the wind comes around from the North. You have rock formations from 5-6’ depth range and bigger heads from 10-20’.
Old 11-19-2020, 10:45 PM
  #19  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Creek Village
Posts: 5,600
Received 505 Likes on 278 Posts
Default

Y'all, OP stated his first dives were in Key Largo. The places you're mentioning are at least 80 miles away from Key Largo. Wahoo, where are you staying?
Old 11-20-2020, 05:51 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 173
Received 51 Likes on 28 Posts
Default

Pictures of the wife ?? Can't believe no one has mentioned that already

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.