The Gulf Coast is known for its beautiful beaches and the amazing wildlife that calls it home. It’s one of the things that makes it a popular destination for those who love to snorkel. Snorkeling gives you a chance to see some of the beautiful creatures that live in the ocean, and as it turns out some of them are actually quite friendly.
Fish are plentiful in the Gulf Coast region. You might see fish like the Blue Tang, made especially popular by the films Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, the Banded Butterfly Fish, Angelfish, Snappers, Groupers, or Parrotfish. There are so many varieties of fish to see that you might not know where to look next. Just be cautious – the dorsal fin on the Blue Tang has been known to deliver some nasty cuts to those who don’t exercise appropriate caution, and the Lionfish, a beautiful, yet invasive species to the Gulf of Mexico, has spines that can deliver a nasty venom.
Dolphins are some of the most fun, enthusiastic, and overall friendly animals you could hope to encounter while scuba diving. They’ve been known to approach humans in search of a playmate. If one comes close, just relax, stay quiet, and enjoy the experience. Resist the temptation to follow, touch, or try to feed them. This will allow you to enjoy their presence without causing them too much stress.
Sea turtles are beautiful, graceful creatures in the water, and seeing one while snorkeling can be a real treat. There are a few different species of sea turtle that can be found in the Gulf of Mexico including the Green, Hawksbill, Leatherback, Kemp’s Ridley, and Loggerhead turtles. If you happen to see one, give them plenty of space while you observe them. It’s especially crucial to let them be if you see them on the beach, as that means they’re likely in the process of laying eggs.
If you want to see some awesome marine wildlife in their natural habitat, going snorkeling in the Gulf Coast can be a great way to make that happen. Fish, dolphins, and turtles are just a few of the animals you could find yourself sharing the water with. Just make sure you’re respectful of them and their space. Remember, you’re in their home now.
Snorkeling can be a ton of fun, but it can also put you in some tough spots. Learn about Tricky Situations New Snorkelers May Find Themselves In and What to Do about Them.