Destin Snorkel – Review of Destin Snorkeling & Snuba & More, Partnered Post…
My absolute favorite experiences in Destin, FL were mostly thanks to the wonderful family-owned and family-run Destin Snorkel. Not only do they truly love the area themselves but they go above and beyond to help you feel the same way. Destin Snorkel would be my number one recommendation for Destin activities – you’ll see why as you read on!
Located right outside the Emerald Grande, at the heard of Harborwalk Village, you’ll see two opposing storefronts. After signing our waivers and getting any other paperwork in order, it was time to get fitted. Just give them your clothes and shoe size and they’ll get you set up. I chose to be adventurous and snuba for my first time ever. Snuba is a combination of snorkel and scuba as you don’t go as deep and, instead of carrying them on you, the air tanks float on a raft above. Oh, and you don’t need any certification since a certified instructor will accompany you.
The particular day we were going snorkeling / snuba was cold, overcast, and rainy. Fortunately, the crew secured some towels for us to warm up a bit. Complimentary soda and water were on board but most of us couldn’t bear the thought of refrigerated beverages as we cowered from the nippy breeze.
The crew, by the way, was fantastic! They were friendly but not overbearing. knowledgeable, skilled, professional, put safety first, and did their best to help our group have so much fun.
After reaching a section of Norriego Point, we were given our equipment. The group going snorkeling set off first. For those going to do snuba, special instruction was provided. We were told how to use our regulators (breathing piece), specific hand signals, tips on dealing with increased water pressure, safety reminders, and basic tips so we wouldn’t freak out. I’m so glad Trisha from MomDot.com got these cool shots below so I could share them with you!
Even after entering the water, I was still kind of nervous. That’s especially why the small student to guide ratio was so reassuring. My group had a lot of ‘issues’ with breathing, staying down, and general anxiety. Fortunately our guide / instructor, Ty, was very kind and even more patient. (I found out later that he’s the son of one of owners.) After several delays and a strong current, we finally were able to actually snuba.
I got the hang of it pretty fast. Well, that is, after a gazillion weights were put on me since I kept floating up. I keep telling myself that it’s because I’m so light 🙂 Hey, a girl can stay positive, right? I was also encouraged to pinching my nose to prevent any salt water from getting in. I guess I had the tendency to still try and breathe through my nose…
After some time below, the nerves calmed down and I was able to see some amazing sights! There were comb jellyfish, flounders, hermit crabs, and even a pufferfish! I think it was a pufferfish but I wasn’t going to get close enough to find out for sure. Our instructor would also spot interesting things and point them out. The current was strong so sometimes he would have to pull me over to see it. For the same reason, if he needed to go check on one of the other girls, I was supposed to grab on to a rock to stay put.
At one point, this monstrous blue crab was creeping out from under a nearby rock. When I saw those those spines and huge claws, I was thinking to myself, “Don’t come near me! Don’t come near me!” Sea (gulf) life is stunning but a little intimidating as well. There were so many things going on that I’m glad the resident photographer got some great footage and photos from our expedition – thanks, Gregg at DivingDeep.biz! Despite the weather and water conditions, I really had a great time and would snuba again in a heartbeat!
There’s another reason why I praise Destin Snorkel so highly. It has to do to what they did the next day. The day that everyone was leaving to fly home, the weather turned out gorgeous! The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and the water was finally the emerald color it’s known for here. What a bummer that we couldn’t snorkel / snuba on a day like this! Before I left, I needed to head to Destin Snorkel to pick up a picture I ordered. Another couple of gals (Tiffany of babesandkidsreview.com and Amy of grinningcheektocheek.com) that were still in town came along to the shop with me. One of the ladies working there, Laura, recognized us.
It turns out that her husband is one of the owners and, since it was so beautiful out, offered to take us out on a boat ride. She called up her husband, he got a pontoon boat from their sister company, and gave the three of us a private tour. We went back to the area that we snorkeled / did snuba the day before to see what it ‘would’ have looked like if the weather was better. We also got up close to the local dolphins, who kept trying to race the boat. To top it off, they took us to the nearby Crab Island. This is a small island that is submerged under a foot or two of water through most of the year. It’s a place that people come to hang out, play, eat from the floating restaurants, listen to music from the radio stations that dock here, or whatever else they feel like.
This extra excursion was the icing on the cake, making our trip to Destin fill satisfying and complete. You have no idea what a difference this made to me! Oh, and their rates seem extremely reasonable for the time and service they provide. It’s obvious that this is a business run by families, for families. The three partners work together to provide a one-of-a-kind experience whether it’s underwater or above. Thank you, Laura and Val (of Destin Snorkel)! Your family really gave me some unforgettable memories and smiles.
If you are ever in the area, you must, must, MUST book an excursion with Destin Snorkel!
Snuba / Snorkeling trip was provided free of charge to attendees of Brandcation. The second outing was completely unplanned and unnecessary – the owners are just that sweet! All opinions are 100% my own.