May 16th, 2012 by Shayne Benowitz

Fury Girl & Captain Drew.

Spring is in the air and the temperatures in Key West have definitely heated up this week. When it gets sweltering on land, there’s no place I’d rather be than on one of our catamarans reef bound. I joined Captain Drew and crew last week on an afternoon Key West Snorkeling Trip that was so much fun!

First of all, anytime I’m on a boat with Drew, I’m a happy girl! We both started working at Fury back in 2005 and we love sharing “old school” memories when we get the chance. It was such a hot day, but as soon as we raised the sail and headed south, the ocean breeze felt amazing.

We got to Eastern Dry Rocks and there was no other boat in sight. The water was sparkling deep blue, green, and aquamarine. Drew had just finished telling me that the blue water of the Gulf Stream was nearby, which means awesome visibility. He was right. I jumped in and the water clarity was amazing.The temperature was just right too, cool and refreshing.

I began swimming towards the canyons covered in healthy yellow corals with outcroppings of purple sea fans fluttering in the gentle current. So pretty! I was delighted to see an abundance of parrotfish (my favorite!) all over the reef. There were large midnight blues swimming with large rainbows and juvenile stoplights. They’re just so colorful and beautiful, especially when there’s a whole school swimming together.

I had a fun time diving deep to see what was lurking underneath ledges. All of a sudden an enormous silver fish swam past me and I realized it was a tarpon. They’re always cool to spot at the reef. I kept swimming further out to other canyons exploring all that there was to see. I found myself swimming above a large sandy patch when I spotted a really big shark underneath me.

Having snorkeled with Fury for years now, I’m accustomed to the regular shark spotting. Sometimes it gives you a little fright, sometimes it’s just plain exciting. This time was kind of scary! The shark was so big–probably eight feet–and there was so much open water. I didn’t really see other snorkelers nearby to share my sighting. It was a large grey reef shark, and I idled to let him swim off until he was out of sight.

I couldn’t wait to get back on the boat and share my story, but I took my time in the water searching for more. I love being the last one back on the boat and taking full advantage of my time in the water. The sail back to shore was great. I’m definitely looking forward to more perfect snorkeling days as spring turns to summer, and I certainly look forward to seeing you all on board!

Shayne Benowitz is a Fury crew member and freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter @ShayneBenowitz or email her at shayne@furykeywest.com.

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