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Old 09-28-2014, 09:33 AM   #1
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Snorkeling in the lower 48

I'm thinking about the possibilities of combining a camping trip with snorkeling. I'm not looking for anything fancy -- just somewhere where it would be possible to snorkel off the beach and/or take a boat trip out further. I want the advantages of Hawaii with my camper. Is that far fetched?
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:30 AM   #2
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Well, the scuba diving and snorkeling in Monterey Bay (CA) is fantastic; however, the water is a 'little' cold. How about off the Florida Keys?
The Best Places for Shore Snorkeling in the Florida Keys | USA Today
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:54 AM   #3
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Cape Hatteras has opportunities. As I recall Pamlico Sound was very shallow (couple of feet). Florida keys has very good snorkeling but my experience was off a boat. May be others better.
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:51 AM   #4
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Don't discount freshwater snorkeling. I love snorkeling in some of the local provincial parks where the water is clear and the aquatic vegetation supports a good population of fish and reptiles. You need to find a lake that isn't messed up by boat traffic or swimmers.

No, you won't get as much variety or colour as you get on a reef, but it's still enjoyable.
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Old 09-28-2014, 01:22 PM   #5
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Well, that's a start. I'm not ruling out boat trips, but the idea of being able to just walk into the water and snorkel is very appealing. However, I also want the water to be warm -- I've always gone swimming, no matter how cold the water (try Hull Massachusetts in April) but those days seem to be waning -- now I want warmth.
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Old 09-28-2014, 01:23 PM   #6
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Oh, and the other thing is I'm a little concerned about the mosquitoes in Florida. Otherwise Key West would be the obvious choice.
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Old 09-28-2014, 01:38 PM   #7
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I was able to go snorkeling off of Key Largo in March of 2012. We stayed in a tent @ John Pennekamp SP, but would have definitely preferred being in our Escape! (I believe that was the last time my wife EVER camped in a tent!) The sites were close together, but, you can actually snorkel right at the campground. I took a boat out so I could snorkel the reef. The mosquitoes were not bad in March.
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Old 09-28-2014, 02:06 PM   #8
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Kevin, is the water warm in March?
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Old 09-28-2014, 02:48 PM   #9
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I wore a wetsuit, but it was more to keep warm during the boat ride than to stay warm in the water. The wetsuit also gives you the ability to stay in the water for a longer period of time. I would expect that you would be able to rent a wetsuit at the dive shop @ John Pennekamp SP also.
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Old 09-28-2014, 02:51 PM   #10
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Ruth, you need to figure out how to get your trailer to the Cayman Islands. . Some of the best snorkeling on the planet!
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:54 PM   #11
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Yeah, Cayman Islands sounds good, but at least this first year with the trailer I think our vacations have to be camping ones -- plus Terry is NOT fun on an airplane.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthe View Post
Oh, and the other thing is I'm a little concerned about the mosquitoes in Florida. Otherwise Key West would be the obvious choice.
I was in Palatka Florida all last week. We were surrounded by water and marshes. My hotel was right on the edge of a swamp. There were no problems with mosquitoes at all. We visited Key West and Marathon Key a couple of years ago and no issue with bugs there either. Now the mountain areas of Montana, Idaho, Alberta and especially Alaska in the spring through fall? MOSQUITO Heaven!
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:54 AM   #13
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Well that is good to know. I think Key West is probably the place.
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:28 AM   #14
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Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key, FL should fit the bill. Take a look Tripadvisor pics. I camped there 15 years ago. Mosquitos didn't seem to be a problem, but raccoons were a different story. On the way was Everglades NP which was in a league of it's own when it came to Mosquitos on that trip.
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