Snorkeling Advice - St. John

Old Jan 16th, 2003, 05:33 AM
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Snorkeling Advice - St. John

I am planning a trip to St. John for later this year. I am interested in doing some snorkeling. I've read many posts with recommendations for great snorkeling beaches, outfitters, equipment rental, side trips, etc. It really is overwhelming! I am only going to be there for 5 days and would like to maximize the snorkeling experience. Can somebody out there help me narrow this down ahead of time? Does one really need a dinghy to appreciate getting to the reefs, or is there excellent snorkeling close to shore, etc? Is is realistic to rent a dinghy in Cruz Bay and boat to these beaches or is it best to drive/park/hike to them? Thanks!
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 07:26 AM
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In staying at Caneel Bay, I have found great snorkeling right off of their beaches. They have seven. Caneel Bay Beach is open to everyone and has good snokeling. Stay close ro the rocks along the right shoreline. Trunk Bay is a world famous beach with a great underwater snorkeling trail. It is in the national park and has changing rooms and picnic tables.

We had a wonderful experience with the dive shop at Caneel. I believe the name is Paradise Watersports. We had snorkerlers and divers and they chose sites that were great for both. Both groups received lots of individual attention. It is a perfect size boat that allows for the right amount (not too many) people.

We had a terrific all day 4 island BVI trip with Captain Cathy Packo She takes six passengers and is a marine naturalist who goes in and points out the different. Included in the day trip were Norman Island with swim up shallow caves, Indian Head Rock (fantastic visability with a huge variety of fish, a reef off of Peter Island. We stopped at Pirate Ship. It is a not to be missed experience that we plan to do again on the next trip.

We reserved the trip through Caneel Bay, but I believe she also leaves from the Westin.

You can't miss a great trip with wonderful snorkeling on St. John.
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 07:32 AM
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We just returned from St John in December. We stayed at a villa and drove to different beaches everyday. We found the best snorkeling to be at Caneel Bay, then Hawksnest, then Trunk Bay (visability wasn't great the day we were here). You usually need to go to the rocky ride side of the bay, although we saw many fish right in the bay. Have fun!
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 08:56 AM
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re trunk bay -- it is a great place for your first snorkeling of a trip -- in that there is an underwater trail and it helps you get more adventurous other places. the only thing is that it gets really really really crowded. i thought, how bad can it be, but it was. we got there at 9 and had an hour by ourselves which was great; we put down our towels and there were about 10 other people on the beach. by the time we were done snorkeling we couldn't even find our towels; there were hundreds of people (all with the same towels -- from the same cruise ship) on the beach and the water had gotten really crowded. i'd go, but early (or, i've been told late is good too).
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 10:03 AM
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Thanks everybody for the feedback. My question is for Diane re:Cathy Packo trip. Is her trip appropriate for the "medium experienced" snorkeler? I do fine in deep water, but I can't say that it's my favorite!

Also, several people have now mentioned Caneel Bay. My understanding was that only one of their beaches was open to the general public(we are planning on renting a villa). Is that accurate or do they not have a good way of determining who at their beaches is staying on the property?

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