Marilyn Craig of Theodore, Alabama joined us in January of 2009. One of our guests this year asked to correspond with someone who had joined us before. Marilyn wrote this informative reply to her, and sent us a copy.
“I bought a full body wet suit and Dick bought a skin for snorkeling. I am pretty cold-natured and was very comfortable snorkeling for a couple of hours. TAKE THEIR ADVICE on the fins and booties. We both had fins that fit like a shoe over thin snorkel socks. Mine are short – Dick’s are longer. We had no problem in the water but the problem was getting to deep enough water to snorkel when you walk from the shore. We bought booties – they were a life saver but we realize that we should have bought the ones suggested by Slickrock. Ours were OK but a thicker sole would have been better – you can not use your Tevas. Believe me we thought it was wasteful to spend the money on the booties but were glad we got them and wished we had bought the suggested ones. We also wished that we had bought new fins that could go over the booties. We would walk out in our booties – then balance to take them off and in the water put on our fins and either tow our booties or get someone to take booties back to beach and go through the process when we got back. SPEND THE EXTRA AND GET NEW FINS WITH STRAP AND SUGGESTED BOOTIES. You will wear them everywhere. You will not regret it. Once the staff was comfortable with our snorkeling we were able to go out on our own. We loved going to the end of the island – it was like being in an aquarium.
We brought all light quick drying clothes – Magellan shirts, zip off pants/shorts. Everything gets damp if it rains. Do bring a rain jacket and if you have waterproof pants if you have them. A fleece is a good idea also. Plan on cool temps with rain – layering clothes- and if you have sun and light winds the whole time Great!! Bring a headlamp with batteries. Bring a couple of paperbacks. You will also want a robe or something to go to the bathroom if needed in the night as it is a little walk to the facilities from your cabin.
We enjoy air conditioning and comforts of home but knew that being on a private island would be a change. It was like going to camp when you were a kid. If you want 4 star resort style vacation you will be disappointed. If you like a change, beautiful scenery, away from tourist crowds then Long key is the place for you. You will have lots of stories to tell. I agree that the only way to travel is light but we were not able to fit everything for 2 weeks into carry on luggage. We did bring a gear bag for our snorkel stuff.