What an exciting experience it is to dive on a coral reef, to see beautiful, colorful fish seemingly just inches from your hands. You feel as though you are part of the ecosystem, that they see you as just another friendly neighbor.
Coral reefs are found throughout the world, in tropical and semi-tropical waters, near the edges of islands or continents. In the United States, there are reefs off the coast of Florida and also in the nearby Caribbean Sea. Hawai’i is another part of the US which features these interesting habitats.
Since I do not scuba dive, my experience has been limited to snorkeling which is usually done close to shore. The best place that I have ever snorkeled was at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, on the island of Oahu. Although the environment has deteriorated lately, in comparison to the first time I snorkeled here, in 1978, it is still a memorable experience. The reefs are extremely close to shore and teem with small, brightly colored fish of various types.
I have also snorkeled in the Caribbean, on various islands. Wherever it takes place, the experience is truly special.