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Better snorkeling--the Virgin Islands or St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

Better snorkeling--the Virgin Islands or St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

Old Nov 18th, 2005, 05:05 PM
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Better snorkeling--the Virgin Islands or St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

We returned from the Virgin Islands a few weeks ago, and the snorkeling was phenomenal. We snorkeled all over (St. John, Peter Island, Virgin Gorda, Caves and the Indians, Congo Cay, etc) and I have never seen anything better. I'm wondering how the Grenadines compare? Is the snorkeling great? Is there good snorkeling from shore, or is the best from a boat? Any hotels with good snorkeling from their beach? Is it as easy to travel between the islands as it was in the Virgins? I was thinking about going there for our anniversary. Thanks very much!
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Old Nov 19th, 2005, 04:45 AM
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Snorkeling is much better in Virgin Islands. SVG are terrific sailing grounds, but the water is a little rougher than in VI. There is decent snorkeling in the Tobago Cays, and a little sand spit called Mopion. (Sometimes Mopion is called Sir Richardson Cay) VI are a little more compact, easier to hop around. At SVG, you have to go on certain days to the certain islands. The scenary in SVG is absolutely gorgeous, but a little more of an adventure than VI.
St. Vincent is volcanic, so the beaches are black sand. They have ferries to Bequia. To hop around daily, Bequia, while it can be done, is farther from the rest of the Grenadines. It is more open water, so it can get rough. Bequia is closest to Mustique.
The rest of the Grenadines are closer together and easier to hop around. The best beaches are in the this grouping of Grenadines. Union Island and Canouan have small airports. you have to take boats to the others, Mayreau(spelling?), Palm, Petit St. Vincent, Tobago Cays, and Mopion. Most are alot smaller as you can walk around most, except for Union and Canouan. (and I mean walk around the whole island) Tobago Cays are spectacular.
You can also stay in St. Lucia, or Barbados, or Grenada, and take day trips through the Grenadines. The day trips consist of a flight to Union, with a Catamaran through Tobago Cays, Palm, and Petit St. Vincent.
I stayed in Tamarand and Raffles (it was the Carnage then) on Canouan, and the snorkeling was not great there. You can also stay at Palm, or Petit St. Vincent, although PSV is big bucks, and very quiet. (no phones, no tv's, they use a flag service to have food delivered.) Personally, I did not think the food at PSV was great, especially for the money.
I hope this gets you started.
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Old Nov 19th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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lauren: could you tell me, please, where on Virgin Gorda the shore snorkeling is particularly good? We love St John for that reason (endless!), but I'm under the impression that off-beach snorkeling from VG isn't all that great. E.g. we sailed in the BVI's a number of years ago (several times) and we didn't think the Baths was especially good for snorkeling. (Did like the Indians and Norman caves tho) Thanks
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Old Nov 19th, 2005, 01:31 PM
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Having been to both areas numerous times St. John-Hawks Nest, Turtle Bay, plus 5-6 other spots within 10 miles of St. John are great as you say. Areas near Pter Island are very good as well.
If you want to improve by a large margin spend 5-7 days on one of the islands of Belize-Lighthouse Reef Resort or several on Ambergise Cay (though this is a little too touristy now).It was great 10 years ago.

Also, Anthony's Key Resort on Roatan, Honduras has many spots that they take you to twice a day.It is an easy trip being non-stop from Miami in 2 1/4 hours 6 days a week. I would avoid August-through October in Belize or Honduras because of hurricanes (this year is most unusual) and higher temps and humidity.Hope this helps.
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Old Nov 19th, 2005, 07:38 PM
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Poss, the only place we snorkeled was at the Baths and Devil's Bay, and also Spring Bay nearby. The snorkeling was better at the baths than I expected, but still not as great as most of the other spots I mentioned. Spring Bay and Devil's Bay were pretty good, but we didn't have our flippers with us, so we didn't get very far out, and it was mostly smaller fish.

blamona--thanks for all the info on the Grenadines, I have some research to do!

Stankase--thanks for the info on Honduras and Belize. I have been to Belize before on a cruise, and we did an independent excursion for snorkeling at the coral gardens and shark/stingray alley. The snorkeling was not good at all, and I was very disappointed after hearing so many rave reviews on Belize snorkeling. I think they just didn't take us to the best place though. The shark/stingray alley was interesting with the rays and sharks swimming between your legs! But I was hoping to see lots of coral and fish on the snorkel stop and didn't see too much, the coral we did see was mostly dead. But I haven't given up on Belize yet!
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Old Nov 20th, 2005, 03:25 PM
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There is very good snorkelling on Virgin Gorda and places nearby, you just have to know where.

Savannah beach is very nice and you can swim out from shore to the reef. There are also plenty of good spots in the North Sound. If you go to Sunchaser Scuba http://www.sunchaserscuba.com/ they will take you to several great spots closeby. After going with them once, you will get a feel for the area and you can then rent a small dinghy and hit many more spots all in this very protected area. There are several island and many with reefs and great snorkelling.

You can also try the South Sound. Not many people bother with it because there are no (or very few) companies on that side of the island wjich is why the snorkelling is so good!

Trust me. There are loads of really good snorkelling spots on Virgin Gorda and in the North Sound in particular. The Baths are ok and I like to snorkel there because I know where to go, but its certainly not the best place on Virgin Gorda.

BeachHound

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Old Nov 21st, 2005, 05:07 AM
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BeachHound: thanks for replying, but I've got another question. We simply don't enjoy snorkeling from a boat, i.e. having to take a boat out to get to good spots. Would much appreciate if you'd detail the places on VG where one can have great snorkeling by swimming out from a beach. (Again, that's what's so great abt St John and Cayman-- dozens of terrific spots that are easy to get to. It may be that VG isn't that good in that sense, which doesn't mean it's not a pleasant island in other respects.) thank you!
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Old Nov 21st, 2005, 05:28 PM
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On Bequia, there is snorkelling from the beach in Lower Bay (far end). It gets better and better the further along the shoreline you go.

Also, a short watertaxi ride (or longer hike) away is Rocky Bay which also has neat things to see including (one time only for me) a seahorse.

In Friendship Bay, you walk out to the end of the hotel jetty (carefully as it is in ill repair), drop off the end and swim westward till you hit the small reef and follow it into shore. Then keep going till you hit the reef again in front of the A frame chalet.

At Park, there is a drift dive that takes you from the outside of the reef all the way down to Spring Bay, two bays over. Make sure you do this at full tde, and with someone who's done it before. Spectacular.

Of course the snorkelling in Tobago Cays is excellent both near the islets and out on the reef but you will want to take a daysail to get there (Friendship Rose is recommended).

Also decent snorkelling at deserted Isle A Quatre but again, a short boat ride away. Go with Michael Tours and have a boildown/beach BBq at the same time.

Great fish and coral and Anse Chemin but I would recommend going with a dive boat as the hike in is a bit extreme.

Snorkelling is recommended around some of the Moonhole beaches but I have found the currents a bit strong.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 02:58 AM
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CuriousX -
Sounds like you know the Grenadines quite well.
Any comments for in and around Union Island?
We have Tobago on the list for at least 2 trips
during our week on Union Island. We also dive.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 03:25 AM
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Those keen on snorkelling or diving (and seeking advice on destinations, trip organizers etc) might also want to post their questions on scubaboard.com. It has lots of friendly, experienced divers who can provide great advice.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 07:28 AM
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For best snorkelling in the Union area, I would hitch a ride with Glenroy Adams of Grenadines Dive, based on Union, when he takes a group out to the Tobago Cays. Glenroy is the greatest.

I don't know too much about snorkelling on Union itself but have been told that the spit that reaches out beyond the Anchorage Hotel is interesting.

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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 10:37 AM
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Thanks CuriousX, all this info is so helpful and making me very excited to plan this trip! I'm just trying to figure out how to swing getting to the Grenadines and Roatan in the same year.
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