We woke up a bit too early for my liking, but @sushiqueen would have no sleeping in! Once I downed enough caffeine to hype an entire football team I was ready to hit the action. Our special spot is St. Andrews State Park located in Panama City Beach, FL. The park is owned and operated by the State of Florida and the entrance fee is only $8 for an entire carload.
Entrance to one of the greatest state parks in the U.S., St. Andrews State Park!
Once we got there, it was obvious that it has become more and more popular over the years and we had about a 20-minute wait to get through the entrance and pay station. We unloaded all of our gear on the sidewalk and I parked the vehicle while my wife and daughter waited with our gear. I had the bright idea to buy a beach wagon to help move all the gear, but it was just about useless in the soft sand even though it had oversized all-terrain tires. After dragging the cart to the shore we geared up and headed into the surf.
Apparently, everyone knows about “our” spot!
Across the bay is Shell Island, accessible only by boat.
This particular spot is a man-made lagoon created by placing jetties in the water. This creates a calm body of water that is still accessible to the open bay and it gives an artificial reef for all types of cool sea life to flourish on. Across the bay is Shell Island and it is only accessible by boat but a ferry runs every 30 minutes or so during the day. I doubt we will make it over there this trip, but maybe next year.
Easy ladies, I’m married!! lol
Cool little fella checking me out as I check him out.
These pictures were pulled from video, so they are not the greatest, but I plan to edit the videos once we get back home next week. The snorkeling is always phenomenal at this location and it has areas available for all skill levels. We discovered that the state had placed a new set of jetties in a more shallow area for beginners and children to enjoy. Since it was new, we hit this spot first. It was a nice set of jetties and we saw an abundance of small fish. We also headed over to the original jetties which, depending on the tide, lay in about 15-25 feet of water and larger marine life can be found here. We like to shoot through the jetties to the ocean side of the rocks which drops down to about 40 feet. We have seen just about everything you can imagine at this park including fish, sharks, rays, and an octopus! Today the highlight was some bluefish and a pretty big Sheepshead fish.
These two guys were the best buds.
Overall, the day was just as amazing as it looks in the photos. Snorkeling and diving is something my daughter and I have shared since she was very small and I cherish every chance we get to share it again. We discovered(a bit too late) that the waterproof housing for my cheap knock-off action camera was, in fact, not waterproof! lol So that camera is dead and I am hoping to salvage the footage from the card. My new go-pro hero 2018 performed like a champ and I can’t wait to get it back out there and get some additional footage.
Originally posted on Steemit
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Photos courtesy of the author.