Underwater Beauty, Florida Keys

By September 2, 2016Florida Keys

IMG_0485I am diving off the coast of Islamorada with a group of other divers who have booked an excursion on a commercial dive boat.   Here, the crew does all the heavy work of loading the gear and setting it up.  When we reach our destination, the multigenerational divers don the equipment and jump off a plank into the ocean using a split leg posture called the giant stride for a guided tour of the coral reefs.  Above water, dive tanks are heavy and the gear makes me feel like a clumsy frog.  But, once we are are underwater, the gear feels almost weightless as we swim along the ocean floor.   We follow our guide to a colorful reef of hard and soft corals to admire this natural masterpiece.  Today the water clarity is excellent on this shallow dive and the colors of my underwater photograph pop with only minor computer adjustments.  We are careful not to touch the fragile coral that is home, refuge, and feeding grounds for many species of fish that could not thrive without it.  With this global photo story, I salute the look but don’t touch rules of diving the coral reefs that protect them for the fish and marine life that depend on these fragile habitats to live.