With all the water surrounding the Islands of Marathon, it practically goes without saying you just have to get wet while you’re here!
The average water temperature in Marathon during the summer months is about 85°F. Winter water temperatures average about 75°F. Those are mighty pleasant temperatures for enjoying all of our water-based sports and activities.
Diving and Snorkeling
Lying just four to five miles offshore, the reef of the Florida Keys is the largest living coral reef system in North America. It ranks as one of the most popular dive and snorkel destinations in the world.
The Atlantic waters of Marathon offer four spectacular venues for diving and snorkeling:
- Coffins Patch – Corals and colorful grunts, angelfish and snappers guard the remains of the Spanish galleon Ignacio, which spewed a cargo of coins across the ocean floor in 1733.
- The Thunderbolt – The only artificial reef in the Marathon area, the Thunderbolt is a 188-foot cable-laying work boat. Sitting majestically upright in 115 feet of water, her cable-laying spool, bronze propellers and wheelhouse are still recognizable. The Thunderbolt is part of the Florida Keys Wreck Trek.
- Delta Shoals – This shallow 10- to 20-foot shoal claimed many an unsuspecting vessel. Unique relics such as elephant tusks as well as leg irons and brass bowls lead some to believe at least one slave ship met its doom on this site.
- Sombrero Reef – The unmistakable 142-foot Sombrero Lighthouse marks this living marine museum chock full of all manner of coral and fish.
Most of Marathon’s dive shops offer a variety of beginner and specialty dive courses and rent dive and snorkel equipment.
Lobster Mini Season
The last Wednesday and Thursday of July is designated as the Lobster Mini Season. During these two days, recreational divers and snorkelers have the opportunity to take Florida spiny lobster prior to the start of the regular lobster season on August 6 when commercial lobstermen begin their annual harvest. Strict NOAA regulations are to be adhered to by recreational lobster hunters.
You’ll need a boat to get to the good spearfishing grounds on the reef a few miles offshore, but it’s well worth the effort. Our waters are filled with delectable species, such as snapper, grouper, hogfish and more. The deeper you go, the bigger the fish.