Don't Forget The Squid
When You Dive Samantha Reef
At Samantha Reef you may have to spend more time feeding Florida Keys shark than actually reef diving.
The marine life at this popular Florida Keys dive site has actually become rather "friendly". The small group of nurse shark and stingrays in the area will come up to you expecting their daily hand out.
Once you're done feeding the Florida Keys shark you may want to get down to the business of Marathon diving.
This Florida Keys dive site has a long ledge that spans a depth of about 15 - 25'. The ledge is rather like a winding path you can follow along as you explore the crevices.
Along this "path" you'll encounter numerous schools of fish and see a variety of coral and crustaceans.
Nurse Shark Swimming Below a Ledge
www.noaa.gov, Photo FKNMS
At-A-Glance Reef Dive Description
and GPS Coordinates
Off Marathon Florida
24 39.494N 081 00.316W
20 - 25'
Reef Site Description
This coral reef is closer to the drop off than most of the other reefs so visibility can be better. Long ledge to follow along and look for marine life
Very good snorkel site
Nurse shark, coral
including brain and starlet, grunts, stingrays, yellowtail, chub,
The clear water and the diverse marine life found along the ledge make diving or Florida Keys snorkeling a lot of fun at this reef. Of course, many of the locals consider it "shark reef", and they're certainly correct.
It's not every day a diver gets to pet and hand feed nurse shark and this definitely adds another level of "charm" and interest to anyone on a Florida Keys diving holiday.
A word of caution. These sharks
and stingrays have basically lost their fear of humans. They are "friendly" but they are still wild and dangerous creatures. Typically any creature that expects a handout and doesn't receive one gets angry.
Even though nurse sharks are timid by nature, they have shown aggression when mating. These sharks appear to be juveniles but caution should always be exercised around them. That being said, enjoy your time petting and feeding the sharks - just remember to be careful.