John Pennekamp Park Snorkeling Tours a Viable Option
I live in the West Palm Beach area and like the snorkeling tour options that are available at John Pennekamp Park. Going with a small group is the most IDEAL and I have done that at Key Largo. However, due to being a two hour drive away, I can book last minute (if I see some ideal conditions arise - low wind with flat water!!). I was able to book the day before for the the 4 1/2 hour extended snorkeling tour for $38.
They go to the 'usual' reefs - Dry Rocks, Grecian Rocks, Horseshoe Reef, etc. Yes, there can be (and most likely will be) a large number of people on the boat, but the snorkeling area is large and I have found that you can easily spread out and stay away from others.
The convenience of this option is great as last minute reservations are mostly impossible to get with the companies taking smaller groups - especially in the high season.
My impression is that the reefs are showing some signs of bleaching and algae, but they are still AMAZING with much healthy coral - fans, rods, plumes, large Brain, Boulder Star Coral and very abundant and large Elkhorn Coral at Horseshoe Reef. The fish are vibrant and numerous (all the usual and beautiful expected fish species - angels, parrot, butterfly, damsels, grunt, hogfish, snapper, sergeants, rays, etc).