Sombrero Reef Lighthouse – visiting the tallest of the reef lights via kayak!

Bringing the Sombrero to the

Sombrero Reef Lighthouse!

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Sombrero Reef Lighthouse is about 5 miles south from Sombrero Beach making for a 10 mile paddling loop.

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Ten miles of open water adventure paddling

off Marathon in Florida’s Middle Keys.

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Forecast for June 21st – the Summer Solstice of 2019 looks all clear!

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If you’ve been following this site, you might have noticed my fascination with offshore ocean paddling and lighthouses. After paddling out to Miami’s Fowey Rocks Light, Key Largo’s Carysfort Light, Islamorada’s Alligator Reef Light .. well the next one is the Sombrero Reef Lighthouse off Marathon!

They are all part of a chain of South Florida lighthouses built in the 19th century that also include the Cape Florida Lighthouse, the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse and the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse (which incidentally are all accessible on land).

So, another trip paddling out to one of the historic offshore reef lighthouses in the Florida Keys! Why go? Other than my own fascination, the answer simply – because it’s there and it’s doable. Then there’s the matching coral reef to explore – the raison d’être for each lighthouse. Well, that and also of course that I’d want to photograph it!

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Sombrero Lighthouse replica welcomes visitors to the town of Marathon (Key Vaca) in the middle Florida Keys!

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This story combines open water paddling, coral reef snorkeling and interesting bits of South Florida nautical history with a twist!

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But this is what I imagined Sombrero Reef Lighthouse must look like! 😉

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Although this was another solo excursion, I would actually discourage anyone from paddling out into open water solo. If you decide to do a paddle like this, I recommend you use the buddy system and file a float plan with someone who can check up on you. Things don’t always go as planned and there are many things that can go wrong when you are out to sea. There are unpredictable factors like the weather which can also put you into jeopardy and you do not want to be out there all by yourself.

I realize that the above statement might make me sound like a hypocrite, however there is a method to my madness! Whenever I can, I try my best to avoid weekend paddling and it can be difficult to find other capable paddlers able to go during the work week. Sometimes paddling partner(s) cancel at the last minute. Sometimes I go solo in order to be in the right frame of mind as to what “feels” right (artist’s prerogative). It lets me do all the photography I want, do the trip the way I want, etc. I thoroughly research my options before hand and then pick the most favorable conditions suitable to the trip. I am prepared to face some risk and deal with the consequences if need be!

Fitness, Adventure and Art in one trip!

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The MOJITO (RTM Disco) at the kayak launch at Sombrero Beach on the west side of the road’s end.

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The choice of boat for a particular trip is akin to choosing the right tool for a given job. Distances over say six miles will favor faster and sleeker boats. My favorite SOT (Sit On Top design) kayak is the RTM Disco model and it is my first choice for multifaceted trips like this totaling less than about 12 – 14 miles. I like to name my boats so my Disco quickly became the “MOJITO”. At 14 feet with fairly petite dimensions she makes an excellent all around Florida kayak. For a shorter kayak, she is quite fast, comfortable and stable, and the sit on top design makes snorkeling super easy. The Disco also has a lot of rocker which makes for a nimble and great surfing boat and with the addition of thigh straps can be rolled and edged like any sea kayak! It’s the kind of kayak that is easy to start with, but one that encourages and even asks to be paddled aggressively! It’s main downside is that it is always a wet ride (actually a plus in the tropics) and it is only suitable for lighter paddlers, maybe between about 140 – 180lbs tops. Even though the Disco is extremely well made with solid fittings and 1/4″ thick plastic and remains one of the best new kayak values, it is not so common in the States. It’s mainly due to marketing and that a certain percentage of the US population either does not fit it well or feels it too “tender” for them. I personally love mine and have done many trips and countless winter surf sessions in the MOJITO. I feel she is a superior and very safe setup for tropical open water touring in South Florida!

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My vintage 90’s Werner Pegasus wing paddle is my first choice for powering the MOJITO. It’s a great combination!
Disco fever kayaking in Dania Beach – Surf’s UP!

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I am a wing and stick (Greenland Paddle) guy – I almost never use a Euro blade! The Disco paddles OK with a matching stick, but paddles GREAT with a wing paddle! I prefer to use my vintage Werner Pegasus wing paddle from the 90’s. It’s a large blade with lots of twist and a symmetric design. This combination gives me instant power on tap and a stable feel throughout the stroke, not just at the catch. The blade likes to remain in the water slightly longer, thereby increasing stability and feedback as compared to contemporary “front loaded” wing paddles. This characteristic makes the Pegasus a better choice for sea kayaks and wider SOTs IMHO. The only down side is that it is all fiberglass and thus heavier than modern carbon wings. Still, it is my favorite choice for powering the MOJITO and makes a great paddling combination!

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East Sister Rock is a private island and currently a vacation rental house complete with A/C!

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The closest launch spot to Sombrero Reef Lighthouse is also happens to be the nicest at Sombrero Beach in Marathon. The kayak put in is at the west end, where the road ends in a circle. It’s a beautiful family friendly sandy beach that’s well know but kinda out of the way and not crazy over run with tourists. You can see the lighthouse on the horizon along with a couple of small islands called the Sister Rocks. The one to the east has been filled in to create a private island. However Hurricane Irma in 2017 washed away almost all that fill, leaving just the foundation on a bunch of rocks. The house itself fared much better and is now a vacation rental home!

The island to the west, called West Sister Rock is where I was heading as it lies about half a mile from the beach and is in line to the lighthouse. I spotted a couple of kayaks onshore and thought maybe I’d luck into some company!

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West Sister Rock on the other hand is untouched and about half a mile from Sombrero Beach.

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I hope you enjoy the special imagery I have created for this story!

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On West Sister Rock I ran into Richard and Willis who it turns out were also eager to paddle out to the Sombrero Reef Lighthouse!

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Lo and behold, when I pulled up, there were two really skinny guys there in SOT Ocean Kayaks. They introduced themselves as Richard White and Willis Parker, said they were also headed for Sombrero Reef!

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Willis poses in front of the MOJITO. I spy a good fitting boat for him! 😉

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Willis took a real liking to the MOJITO and I mentioned that the Disco would be a great fit for a skinny guy like himself. Both guys were properly dressed wearing large Sombreros, but unlike myself these two were strictly casual paddlers with wooden Euro blade paddles. Also I was a bit concerned that neither had a life jacket (PFD) on board, but then I thought what the hell – what’s the worst that could happen to them! 😉

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Both guys were ready to go offshore paddling in their sit on top kayaks!

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In any case, it was a nice day and both guys were eager to paddle and so was I. The water has a really gorgeous turquoise blue color and we all set off paddling towards the light together!

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Richard in his vintage Ocean Kayak Scrambler.

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Of course, for a paddling trip to Sombrero Lighthouse,

I had to wear a Sombrero myself!

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Say hello to my Sombrero! Ok, into the blue water paddling we go. 🙂

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The hot Florida summer sun – consider bringing up to twice the amount of drinking water that you think you’ll need.
Surrender to the summer HEAT!

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Note:

I am describing a 10 mile open water round trip with NO possibility of getting out anywhere. Plan accordingly and paddle within your limitations and the weather conditions!!

Be absolutely sure you know what you are getting into before considering doing this kind of a trip!

Safety first means planning and research first!!

Always have plenty of fresh water to stay hydrated!

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Blue water paddling towards Sombrero Reef Lighthouse.

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I’ve customized my RTM Disco with extra hatches and fittings for lines and bungees to make life easier. In the stern I use a low profile “fish cooler” insulated pack that attaches to the perimeter lines just behind the seat. Inside I carry the minimum needed to safely and effectively complete the trip. So I had 6 litres of water in a bladder (1.5 gallons), an extra 1 litre bottle, food and snacks, extra clothing, line, small drybag with phone/keys/wallet and another drybag with some camera gear. Underneath the fish catch pack I had my small Danforth anchor along with space for my booties and the mandatory PFD. Behind that I had my mask, fins and snorkel under bungees. In the front hatch I had my food and beverages and I also made sure I had a very nice weather forecast!

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Final approach to Sombrero Reef Lighthouse on a busy morning!

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Since this trip is all in open water, taking note of landmarks is important to be able to navigate by line of sight. There’s no need for a GPS unit, but a compass can prove useful in case weather obstructs the horizon temporarily. It’s surprisingly easy to disorient yourself miles out on the ocean!

Sombrero Reef Lighthouse is about five miles out to sea from Sombrero Beach and easy to spot. It’s only a little further out than the Alligator Lighthouse, but much, much closer than the Carysfort Lighthouse which you can’t even see when you first launch!

There are several tall towers near Marathon (Key Vaca) that are easily visible throughout the trip, even out at Sombrero Reef. You can also see parts of the famous 7 Mile Bridge and even Sombrero Beach itself if you pay attention. Navigating to the lighthouse is obviously very simple and the return trip also quite straightforward.

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Arrival of the Sombrero at THE Sombrero! 😮

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MOJITO (RTM Disco) at the Sombrero Reef Lighthouse in June 2019.

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It should take about one hour, maybe an hour and a half tops to paddle out to Sombrero Reef for a competent sea paddler. If you think it will take you longer than two, you should probably reconsider doing this type of paddling because it won’t be fun anymore. For me it only took just over an hour to kayak out to the lighthouse. On the day of my trip, the seas were actually a lil choppier than a 5 knot SE forecast would indicate. Also this area is full of boaters, almost like paddling off urban South Florida. I suppose not too surprising since boating is what Keys people do!

This is another reason to go with a quick boat!

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Willis at Sombrero Reef Lighthouse.

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“Richard’s Sombrero” at Sombrero Reef.

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Upon arrival we were all a little startled by the number of boaters already there in the morning. I’d say there were close to 50 boats! After only about 15 minutes almost half of them suddenly roared off back towards Marathon en masse in a straight line high speed procession of noise, sea spray and white fiberglass. We were glad that we had just missed them all on the way paddling out! 🙂

Richard and Willis both kicked back to relax after paddling their kayaks out to the lighthouse and even decided to cool off with a dip in the clear turquoise waters over Sombrero Reef.

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Richard decided to kick back after an hour’s worth of paddling out to the lighthouse!

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Richard cooling off in the blue water at Sombrero Reef.

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At first glance Sombrero Reef Lighthouse looks a lot like the Alligator Reef Light, only all rusty red instead of the white and black theme. It is however the tallest of all the Keys offshore reef lighthouses at 142 feet! Sombrero light was first lit in 1858 and stands in about 6 feet of water. Back then parts of the reef were exposed at low tide, and there was a small island there. Early Spanish explorers named it ‘Cayo Sombrero’, hence the reef’s name!

I made sure to wear one of my Sombreros on this trip and was glad that Richard and Willis had theirs too. Strangely out of all the boaters there only one that actually seemed to make the obvious Sombrero-Sombrero connection!

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When the Sombrero met THE Sombrero
at Sombrero Reef Lighthouse!

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Built in 1858, Sombrero Key Lighthouse is the oldest standing straight pile tubular skeletal tower design lighthouse in the Keys. The design was pioneered by Alexander Mitchell, a blind Irish engineer who also developed the screw pile foundation design used in other Keys reef lighthouses. The construction was overseen by George Meade and was his third and final lighthouse project in the Keys. Some years later, now General George Meade defeated Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army at Gettysburg! The Sombrero Lighthouse posed many engineering challenges at the time. It uses a straight pile foundation where the iron support pilings were driven ten feet down into the coral using a 2000lb steam powered hammer with an 18 foot drop! Each piling is surrounded with a 4 foot diameter cast iron disk, an innovation pioneered by Architect I.W.P. Lewis and first used on the Carysfort Reef Lighthouse to spread out the load on the reef substrate. Because Sombrero Key was still a shoal at the time, the foundation pilings would be alternately be exposed to air and sea water with the tides. Meade saw to it that the pilings would be galvanized, a new process back then and that the piling’s diameter would allow for one inch of corrosion per century while still supporting the full weight. He thus estimated the lifespan of the lighthouse at 200 years (with maintenance)!

Since being automated in 1960, the lighthouse has only received sporadic maintenance but was an active light until 2014. By 2015, the USCG had given up on all the Keys lights and in 2019 they are all now in need of new owner/entities that will be able to refurbish and maintain them.

Organizations like the Florida Lighthouse Association and Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation are working to obtain and preserve all the historic Keys lighthouses. Keys artist and resident distance swimmer Larry Herlth “Lighthouse Larry” has created scaled replicas of the lighthouses like the one at the beginning of this story that greets travelers to Marathon. He has been instrumental in raising awareness as the founder of the annual Swim for Alligator Lighthouse event.

It would really be a shame if the lighthouses were allowed to simply fall apart!

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Sombrero Reef Lighthouse has been silently standing over the reef since 1858.

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Sombrero Reef Lighthouse in the early 1900s when parts of the reef would be still be exposed on low tides. In centuries past, Sombrero Key was an actual island!
Photo credit: floridamemory.com

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The French Steamer ‘Louisiane’ ran aground on Sombrero Reef during a hurricane in 1910.
Photo credit: floridamemory.com

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Aerial view of Sombrero Reef and lighthouse in 1954.
Photo credit: floridamemory.com

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Sombrero Reef Lighthouse in 1971 also showing some wave action.
Photo credit: USCG Archives

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The original gigantic First Order Fresnel lens from Sombrero Reef Lighthouse was removed in 1982 and replaced by the VRB-25 unit show below. The original has been on display in a Key West museum since.
Photo credit: floridamemory.com

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Modern VRB-25 Marine Rotating Beacon as installed at Alligator Lighthouse circa 2012. Sombrero had a very similar setup up until 2014 when it was deactivated!
Kayaking to Alligator Light Reef (lighthouse) .. of Fishes, Wreckers, Pirates and Keys History!

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Sombrero Reef Lighthouse stands tall in 2019. It is in fact the tallest of all the Keys reef lighthouses at 142 feet!

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Access ladder on Sombrero Reef Lighthouse hangs at a precarious angle in 2019 to prevent people from climbing up.

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A Cormorant sits next to the excellent and resilient 19th Century engineering of Sombrero Reef Lighthouse.

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Paddling around and lighthouse I was impressed with the engineering at all levels of detail. The quality of construction and overall robustness is still evident even today, 160 years later! In 2019 however it is clear that the Sombrero Reef Lighthouse is in need of serious restoration and maintenance. Back when the lighthouse was staffed, routine cleaning, painting and maintenance were all part of the daily schedule. Since being automated in 1960 the lighthouse has gone through periods of neglect, as have actually all of the Keys reef lights. I have to say however that out of the four that I have seen recently up close, this one is in the worst shape of all, unfortunately!

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Sombrero Reef Lighthouse is now in need of some serious maintenance work!

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As of 2019, Sombrero Reef Lighthouse is not in the best of shape. Rusted out pieces of the structure have fallen off through the last few decades.

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George Meade oversaw the construction of the Sombrero Reef Lighthouse, his third and final lighthouse project in the Keys.
A few years later, General George Meade defeated Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army at Gettysburg!

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The underside of the lighthouse in June 2019.

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Underneath the structure it was time to dive in, cool off and explore the underwater base of the Sombrero Reef Lighthouse. It’s only about six feet deep there, depending on the tide. The wave action really tends to amplify under the lighthouse even on a fairly calm summer day however. Between all the submerged pilings and trusses there isn’t a lot of room and there are also many large growths of fire coral that encrust parts of the structure.

When combined with the waves, it made for some very tight snorkeling!

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Going underwater, looking back up at the underside of the lighthouse which sits in about six feet of water.

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Underwater view of the structure with my U/W wide adapter attached!

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This piece of the Sombrero Lighthouse has been underwater for some time.

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Directly underneath the center of Sombrero Reef Lighthouse, June 2019.

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Schools of fish under the Sombrero Reef Lighthouse.

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One of the coral encrusted 12″ diameter iron foundation pilings (Fire Coral).

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Another piece of the Sombrero Reef Lighthouse. Maybe part of a davit or truss tensioner?

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Soft corals and sea fans at the base of Sombrero Reef Lighthouse.

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One of the 8 foot cast iron foundation disks through which the 12″ galvanized iron pilings were then driven through 10 feet deep into Sombrero Reef itself. The disks were an innovation to spread out the load of the lighthouse!

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The eight foot diameter cast iron foundation disks (or “foot plates”) as seen above were designed to spread out the weight of the lighthouse over a larger area of the reef where the pilings were driven into. This was done because the underlying reef geology is of limestone and sand and not hard bedrock. I noticed that at Sombrero Reef Lighthouse, about half of these disks were no longer resting leveled on the reef surface as originally built. I’m not a geologist nor engineer, but it seems that the substrate has been eroded as the lighthouse may have actually rocked back and forth, further worsening this problem. It’s something that I haven’t seen before at the other offshore lighthouses and means that it may or may not be structurally sound enough to survive another big storm or hurricane!

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Several of these disks are no longer weight bearing onto the reef and thus the Sombrero lighthouse is no longer as steady as it was 160 years ago!

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One of the functional disks still load bearing onto the reef as originally intended for stability of the Sombrero Reef Lighthouse.

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In all the excitement of scoping out and diving under the Sombrero Reef Lighthouse I lost track of my two paddling companions Richard and Willis. Last I saw them they were chilling and swimming, when I went to see where they were – they were gone without a trace.

Only later did I find out that I had been paddling with ghosts! 😮

You see First Lighthouse Assistant Richard White was lost at sea next to the lighthouse in July of 1873 while returning in heavy seas after collecting his paycheck in Key West. The other two keepers were only left to helplessly watch, unable to help as they had no other vessel to launch a rescue with!

Seaman Willis Parker was killed while his launch was being retrieved back onto the lighthouse in August of 1959. He was struck on the head by the block and tackle of the hoist and fell into the sea. He was the the last person to die on Sombrero Reef Lighthouse. RIP!

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Now I understand why Richard and Willis wanted to paddle out to Sombrero Reef Lighthouse, for they both perished near here before their time. RIP!

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Thanks for modern technology and navigation tools, today we look at the reefs as a recreational playground to explore. However it’s important to remember that Florida’s reefs have claimed untold numbers of victims over the centuries. Before the 1960s they were considered some of the most treacherous waters of the western hemisphere! After all, the reason for building all the lighthouses was to keep ships from wrecking on this string of reefs that border on the Gulf Stream. Richard and Willis were only two of many servicemen who died in the line of duty on the reefs and lighthouses of the Keys!

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Satellite view of Sombrero Reef and lighthouse on the Sombrero Key shoal. The spur-and-groove reef “fingers” are immediately to the S-SE.

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Looking at the satellite imagery, it’s easy to see that the area where Sombrero Lighthouse sits was once a small island. The reef itself lies immediately to the south and extends east-west, paralleling the Gulf Stream flow.

I was amazed to see Frigate Birds flying around with their distinctive wing profile. These are open water birds that I rarely get to see up close and I have not seen them at any of the other lighthouses. Another thing I was amazed to see and hear was a low altitude, high speed fly-by of a fighter jet probably out of Key West!

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Moving along towards Sombrero Reef, I spotted these Frigate Birds (Man-O-War Birds) on top of the SMKF1 marker due east.

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Click for recent conditions at:

National Data Buoy Center – Station SMKF1 – Sombrero Key, FL

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Sombrero Reef is a popular dive and snorkel spot and often busy with boaters!

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Given the great ecological significance of the Keys reefs as the only living barrier reefs in North America, it should come as no surprise that Sombrero Reef is a protected area. The reef is typical of the spur-and-groove reef systems of the mid to lower Keys with many “fingers” and nooks and ledges. It has a maximum depth of about 30 feet and lies inside the federally protected Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Additionally it has it’s own Sombrero Key Sanctuary Preservation Area. Yellow buoys mark the Sanctuary Preservation Area where special regulations apply – in this case no fishing!

There is a ring of mooring buoys to tie off to. Divers are not allowed to touch anything underwater, especially not the coral!

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Sombrero Reef Sanctuary Preservation Area map.

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history

One of the 18″ white mooring buoys to which to tie off to over sombrero Reef.

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As already mentioned, the reef was very busy with boaters and I was lucky to find a “vacant” buoy to tie off to. Initially I planned to anchor in the sand, but the waves had more energy than expected and I didn’t think I could trust my little Danforth to hold my kayak in place. Drifting with the kayak while snorkeling could be another option, but with so many boats I’d surely run into some of them. So while I really didn’t want to take up a spot with just my kayak, I really had no choice!

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The MOJITO (RTM Disco) with wing paddle moored at Sombrero Reef off Marathon in the middle Keys.

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history

Periodic waves heaving and pitching my kayak over Sombrero Reef!

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history

Underwater view of the MOJITO moored at Sombrero Reef. It was a lil choppier than expected.

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history

A snorkeler dives down to explore Sombrero Reef.

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Sombrero Reef is one of the most popular dive sites in the Keys. It is pretty neat and different from say Carysfort Reef in the upper Keys. For one, it’s significantly deeper and it has a spur and groove type form with many “fingers” in contrast to the open “fields” and coral head formations of Carysfort. There are lots of nooks and crannies on Sombrero to explore and it probably should be done with SCUBA gear to do it justice!

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history

Snorkelers over the colorful Sombrero Reef “fingers”.

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One of the coral covered “fingers” at Sombrero Reef.

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Tagged coral undergoing research at Sombrero Reef. Note the shelf and drop off, Sombrero Reef has many!

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history

Back on top, it’ ime for lunch with my Sombrero at Sombrero Reef Lighthouse.

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Back on top after snorkeling some of the reef I was thirsty and hungry. As I snacked I was periodically overcome with exhaust fumes from the many boats maneuvering around.

Some even asked me “Are you leaving?” as if this were a parking lot!

Sitting in my kayak while moored it pitched and heaved enough to where I began to notice that I could easily get seasick and the fumes made this worse. Salt, heat, exhaust fumes and a non-moving but heaving boat equals sea sickness! But the timing was actually good, because right at that moment I looked astern to see a tourist snorkeling boat pulling up – and all the mooring buoys were taken. I gladly gave up “my spot” because the only cure for seasickness in a kayak is to start and keep paddling until it is gone! It’s very rare for me to feel even an inkling of seasickness in a kayak, but it’s important to recognize it coming on and then act very quickly!

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history

The waves seemed to build slightly over Sombrero Reef as the afternoon progressed!

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Paddling back towards Sombrero Beach initially felt morose, but after maybe 15 minutes my head cleared up and re-synched with my body. It’s beautiful paddling the lower Keys across the bright turquoise waters. The seas were actually building up slightly, but this made my ride more fun surfing the waves! I spotted a couple of Green sea turtles and a large Nurse shark that swam opposite me only a few feet away at speed. The return trip to the vicinity of West Sister Rock again took only a lil over the hour in the Disco with a wing paddle! 🙂

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history

The tall section of the famous Seven Mile Bridge can be seen throughout the trip to about West Sister Rock.

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history

The area just north of West Sister Rock is very shallow and supports healthy Turtle Grass beds.

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history

This is what it looks like when a careless boater carves through the shallow sea grass beds with a propeller! 😦

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The area around West Sister Rock is very shallow, like inches shallow! It’s a good place to finish snacking and hydrating while relaxing and contemplating the end of my trip less than half a mile away.

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history

Crab’s eye view from the shallows surrounding West Sister Rock and Sombrero Beach!

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history

The Sombrero trip to Sombrero Reef Lighthouse was a success. Viva!!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my Sombrero adventure to Sombrero Reef Lighthouse.

If you want more you can read about the other reef lighthouses:

Fowey Rocks Light, Carysfort Light, and Alligator Reef Light!

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history satellite

Sombrero Reef Lighthouse in relation to the other two reef lighthouses in the Middle and Upper Keys.

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history hat

“Sombrero on Sombrero!”
Sombrero Reef Lighthouse parting shot.

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flex maslan Kayakfari sombrero reef lighthouse kayak paddle dive coral keys adventure marathon photography history satellite

Satellite closeup of Sombrero Reef Lighthouse! 😉

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NOTE:

I would actually discourage anyone from paddling out into open water solo, unless you know exactly what you’re doing and have left a float plan with someone who cares about your well being. The reason being the combination of open water and unpredictable events like the weather – you don’t want to be there all by yourself if something were to happen.

If you decide to go, use the buddy system and paddle within your limitations and the weather conditions!!

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Be safe and enjoy your time on the water and underwater!🙂

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You may also like:

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Kayaking to Alligator Light Reef (lighthouse) .. of Fishes, Wreckers, Pirates and Keys History!

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Flex Maslan Kayak Miami photography kayakfari fowey rocks lighthouse Soldier Key Cape Florida paddle biscayne sombrero

Kayaking the Biscayne Bay triangle: Cape Florida – Fowey Rocks – Soldier Key!

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flex maslan Kayakfari carysfort reef lighthouse kayak paddle key largo pennekamp dive coral history photography surfski park fisheye

Carysfort Reef Lighthouse – paddling into upper Keys nautical history!

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Kayaking to Dry Rocks Reef – a Pilgrimage to find the “Christ of the Abyss” off Key Largo!

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! BLESS – Attitude

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© 2019 Flex Maslan / kayakfari.com / awakenthegrass.com . All original photographs, artworks and music in this portfolio are copyrighted and owned by the artist, Flex Maslan, unless otherwise noted. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.

All rights reserved!

DISCLAIMER:

The maps and images on this site are not intended for navigation, I am not a guide; use any and all information at your own risk! Your mileage may vary .. so use good judgement before venturing out!

This is a work of fiction. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. No skeleton, nor person, nor kayak was harmed in the making of this work. The author is sorely responsible for the contents of this work!

I hereby disclaim any sponsorship, endorsement, nor association with any product or service described herein. The photographs, depictions, products, and ideas presented on this site are for informational purposes only. Your results may vary, and I do not imply nor guarantee the effectiveness, suitability, design or operation to adhere to any standard. I assume no legal responsibility for the implementation of anything herein presented! Use any and all information at your own risk! By using any and all information from this website, you accept the final liability for any use or possible associated misuse!

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With that said..
Blessings friends!

🙂