John Pennekamp

Glass Bottom Boat

The main attraction at Key Largo is John Pennekamp State Park. This mainly underwater park hosts the world’s third largest coral reef. We had hoped to snorkel this reef, but wind and waves conspired against us. The park service canceled all of its snorkel tours, because of the weather. As consolation, we booked a tour on the glass bottom boat. This large, two-deck catamaran had the center part of each of its hulls replaced with eight 1.5″ thick Plexiglas windows. The windows sat at the bottom of a well, which we and all of the other tourist crowded around. It really was a sweet arrangement that brought the top of the reef within two feet of these windows. We saw pufferfish, barracudas and even a sea turtle, along with a host of other colorful tropical fish. As a photographic expedition, it wasn’t all that successful, but you can’t have everything. 

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