A ferry ride to Egmont Key for Snorkeling
Having lived in the Tampa Bay Area for 25 years I found it odd I hadn’t explored Egmont Key before. Afterall, it is easy to get to and is a wonderful outdoor experience filled with all the things I enjoy.
We set off with friends for the 11:00 ferry ride from the Pier at Fort Desoto. Hubbards Marina runs service quite regularly and the staff on the ferry couldn’t be friendlier. There is up to date information on the Fort Desoto Ferry to Egmont Key site. There are underwater cameras for sale, water, sunscreen and all of it reasonably priced – a nice surprise.
I don’t recall the price offhand but it was well worth it and you can buy your tickets on the ferry. If it is full, they will make another trip – they’re that nice. So we opted to go snorkeling around the old historic and sunken fort which means that the first stop will be Egmont Key for sunbathing and exploring.
We stayed on the ferry while others got off. The beautiful white sandy beaches and no cars on the small island must be wonderful and we will go back to experience that. The trip takes about 15 minutes.
Once we let off passengers for the beach, and the ferry literally pulls up to the beach, we all get to the back of the ferry so it dislodges from the sand and we’re off to the other side of the island and at our snorkeling spot in about 15 minutes. We always bring our gear but they have ample gear onboard the ferry and were quick to offer help to anyone who had never snorkeled.
We got out and there were quite a few boats near the ruins with a lot of people snorkeling. This was a Sunday and beautiful weather so we expected the water to be a bit cloudy with all the activity and we were correct. The water was incredible and we snorkeled out to one of the partially submerged ruins and went around it and back to another.
There were people actually out on the ruins but we stayed in the water and saw quite a few interesting fish in and around the ruins. It was very interesting and relaxing to see, however, I’d suggest being careful if there are swells as you can run into the ruins if you’re not careful and that would hurt!
In all we spent probably 45 minutes in the water snorkeling around and seeing some great fish. If there were fewer people there we would have been able to see more and people have told me that normally it is very quiet in this spot on weekdays which makes sense.
Regardless, this was an incredible experience and I can’t wait to explore the beach and island another time. It looks gorgeous from the sunken ruins. If you plan to do the island, remember there are absolutely no services on the island.