Our latest adventure involved snorkeling and freediving at John Pennenkamp Coral Reef State Park in the beautiful Florida Keys. Clients woke up early eager to experience the largest and most breathtaking coral reef the Eastern Seaboard has to offer. Upon our arrival at John Pennenkamp State Park, the colorful sun began to rise over the ocean in Key Largo, Florida. Shortly thereafter, we lined up to gather all the snorkel gear we could carry and proceeded to the “Dolphin,” a fast catamaran which would take us on a 5-mile journey out to the reef. With the wind blowing, we flew across the surface of the ocean – which clients described as a transcendental experience.
As we pulled up onto the reef, a large Loggerhead Sea Turtle surfaced to say, “Hello”! The water surrounding the reef turned to a clear turquoise blue with tons of exotic reef fish directly below the boat. The Captain gave us a quick lay of the land followed by an introductory snorkeling class to discuss the basics and make sure clients felt comfortable in the water. We suited up and jumped into the cool but refreshing water. Once we began to swim, we immediately saw the underwater statue called “The Christ of the Abyss.” The statue was sunk over 50 years ago, to help create and protect the reef. The statue stands 8 feet tall, sits in about 25 feet of water, and weighs over 4000 pounds. We all took turns diving down to the statue to get a closer look at this magnificent scene.
We continued to explore many beautiful coral heads such as Fire coral, Brain coral, Fan coral, with dozens of different species of fish swimming around us. Several large 4ft long Barracuda fish were spotted and looked intimidating, despite the small level of fear clients pushed on. We came together to work with and support each other as we explored the deep ocean seafloor. Once we arrived back to the boat, the captain informed us one of the boat’s engine wasn’t working properly. Down to only one engine, we enjoyed a slow leisurely sightseeing cruise back to the Island.
Upon our arrival back to the island, we enjoyed a delicious barbecue along the shores of the beautiful John Pennenkamp State Park. Clients explored the large aquarium and museum which displayed many species of sea turtles, fish, and alligators. Exhausted and sun tanned, we packed up and headed home with an overwhelming sense of satisfaction having learned about the largest living reef left on the East Coast of the US.
Director of Health and Fitness at Life of Purpose
Life of Purpose Treatment
3848 FAU Boulevard, Suite 100
Boca Raton, FL 33431