Category Archives: snorkeling tours

snorkel tour

My dreams of being a mermaid for a day come true

If you had told me a few months ago that my English degree would have me exploring reefs and swimming with fish I probably would have laughed. But that’s exactly what I got to do this week as part of my marketing internship with SIOC.

Throughout my first week on the job, I’ve been constantly learning new things about the place I’ve called home for over 20 years. Did you know a sea urchin’s closest relative is a starfish? I sure didn’t, but now I am prepared with this very important piece of trivia. As I sat behind my computer writing press releases and doing other things that marketing interns do, our knowledgeable manager and tour guide, Matt (he’s TripAdvisor famous; check it out!), was helping people plan their perfect kayaking trip or telling snorkelers about his favorite spots and pointing out the kinds of fish they might see. And I soaked it all in. I was gaining a whole new perspective on the world of Florida’s waterways.

When I was asked if I wanted to go on one of the snorkel tours to see what it was all about, I jumped at the chance. Any day I get to take my work outside the office and try something new is a good day, so I was humming tunes from Little Mermaid about flipping ones fins as I headed to the back to get out the snorkel gear. I hadn’t been snorkeling since I was about 10, so I was definitely in need of a refresher. Luckily, the other members of the tour were first time snorkelers, so I wasn’t the only fish out of water.

We got down to the beach and Matt showed us the trick of the backwards shuffle to get into the water with fins on. I was grateful there were other divers all doing the same thing, because I definitely felt a little ridiculous. Once I made it through the shock of cold that always comes with getting in the water past your torso though, those fins weren’t so clumsy anymore. There’s no description that quite captures what it feels like to dive under the water, gliding effortlessly, surrounded by the vast silence of blue. But it was magical. If you move just calmly enough, the fish will swim right up to you. I had a parrotfish brush against my fingers while several yellow grunts swam inquisitively up to my mask. Angelfish and sheepshead abounded. Under the water, the rest of the world disappears for a little while and you feel weightless, every movement graceful.

After we got back to the shop however, is when I discovered the greatest part of this whole experience and every millennial’s dream: Instagram worthy photos! Matt had been capturing photos and videos of the tour on his GoPro and was in the process of uploading them to Facebook for us. After all, what good is being a mermaid for a day if you can’t make all of your friends jealous?

lake worth lagoon

Lake Worth Lagoon

The Lake Worth Lagoon is teaming with life. There is an entire community that most people do not realize is swimming just under the busy waterways we drive over every day. I have had a chance to swim in this thriving ecosystem and find it to be enchanting. As I learn the role each type of fish plays in the reef structures found at Phil Foster Park and Peanut Island I begin to personify their jobs. This may seem senseless to some but they all have a niche in this world as do we.

Take for instance the filefish. It is a detritivore or in other words it eats dead coral and barnacles which provides room for new life to grow. There is also the sea star, crustaceans, and worms that help to clean up the reefs. These guys can be thought of as the sanitation workers. Then there is the coral which provides the protection to the fish. It is the home builder of a reef. Their structure creates terrain that can only be traversed by the smaller species.

There are so many roles that are portrayed by the fish of a reef. But the Lake Worth Lagoon community as a whole is a magnificent sight to me. I really enjoy leading snorkeling tours to show others how this unique symbiotic relationship has developed into a community teaming with life. If you haven’t snorkeled the Lake Worth Lagoon yet, come down to Phil Foster and take a swim along the snorkel trail. You will not regret it.

Snorkeling Palm Beach

Blue Heron Bridge Snorkeling

When you think about snorkeling in Florida most people think about the Florida Keys. Without prior knowledge you wouldn’t think the Intracoastal Waterway off of Singer Island and Riviera Beach in Palm Beach county would be a snorkeler’s paradise but it sure is. Located underneath the Blue Heron Bridge out of Phil Foster Park is a world class snorkel trail with over 600 different species living at the snorkel Blue Heron Bridge year round and over another 100 transient species. With such an abundance of wildlife snorkelers can see starfish, octopus, spotted rays, and even sea turtles on any given day at high tide. The snorkel trail was built with over 600 tons of limestone along with a wide variety of other structures from a shopping cart garden to boat wrecks, and you may even spot three hammerhead shark statues down there. The convenience of being able to walk off the beach and swim out to water that is only 8-15ft deep while swimming through schools of sergeant majors is like no other location. Ranked as one of the best shore dives in the Eastern United States for the past several years the bridge is a premier destination for those looking to enjoy a great day in and around the water.