Best Island for Intermediate/Advanced Snorkeling

Old Nov 26th, 2008, 05:34 PM
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We stayed at Emerald Palms. Small Hope was a bit to diver-oriented thou the snorkeling in a number of places off Andros is said to be very good. Tiamo Rersort I understand offerred a snorkel trip a day included but it closed at the beginning of the year, I heard. It was in an excellent location, do not know why.
As for GC each of us have our own unique standards.That does not make one right and the other wrong.
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Old Nov 26th, 2008, 05:59 PM
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snorkelcat: You said you snorkeled around St. John incl. Waterlemon Cay, but in my experience, I thought Waterlemon Cay was okay. The swim to the island was kind of boring and then only portions of the Cay were interesting. I don't get too excited with shallow snorkels. On St. John, some of the best snorkels I've had are the more unusual and out of the way ones. For example, I did not expect to like the mangroves of Hurricane Hole but it blew me away. We accessed by a small boat, and it was like swimming in a mythical mermaid kingdom with great columns of seaweed and moss and the outrageous amount of variety of the "nursery." Aside from dozens of different species, we swam around with about 20 juvenile sharks. I kept looking around for "mama" to show up. Then there's Turner's Point which we also accessed by boat. Amazing coves of mini canyons of rock and coral. Schools of different fish, losts of larger fish, and one time, we swam around in a group of jelly fish the size of dinner plates. Of course, they were so big it was easy to see and avoid them, but they were amazing to observe up close and it was fun feeling like "Nemo." The last time, we went to our old favorite, Little Lameshur, but we swim way to the mouth of the bay close to where the old "TekTite" site was. There are amazing rock and coral formations. This time, I found a square shaped tunnel about 20 feet down and maybe 12 feet long and I had so much fun swimming through it. Schools of blue tangs and huge angel fish. There are other great snorkel sites around the Virgin Islands. The Indians and of course, Norman Island are just two that come to mind.
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Old Dec 1st, 2008, 01:13 PM
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Have been an avid "advance" snorkeler for many years. Been to most of the Caribbean and several places in the Pacific. IMHO the best Caribbean was around the outer perimiter of the Blue Hole in Belize and the shore snorkeling from West End Beach, Roatan. I do love Cozumel, but only because we spend a month there every winter right on top of a large reef, so its quite a different experience. I spend many hours finning in one spot to observe the micro-communities and am rewarded for the patience.

Our very best snorkeling experience had to be the three weeks we lived on and sailed a boat in French Polynesia. The motu reefs are pristine and the access was amazing -- right off the back of our boat. While Austrialia was beautiful -- its difficult to get to the reefs. While some reefs in Thailand were also nice, there is quite a lot of trash in the water from commercial fishing boats. FP is clean and clear and never overcrowded -- at least, not when you have your own boat and go to the motus. I can't speak for the resort areas there. Those reefs may be over used and damaged.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 12:26 PM
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I just want to point out that a lot of damage to coral reefs around the world over the past few years consists greatly of "bleaching", a phenomenon caused by unusually high water temperatures. While there has been some recovery, a great deal of coral has suffered from bleaching and not necessarily from "overuse." Snorkelcat: if you do give St. John another try, I'd highly recommend going to places way off the beaten snorkel track. You'll find more and varied experiences. If you can arrange it, take a boat out to small islands like Leduck for a few hours.
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Old Mar 15th, 2009, 08:23 PM
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My husband and I will be taking a cruise to St. Kitts, St. Maarten, and St. Lucia. Can someone recommend off the beach snorkeling and the best way to get there? My husband had knee surgery and cannot get in and out of a boat so we are going to try from shore. Thanks for your help!
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