Posted August 26th, 2011, 10:21 AM
What I would give for the ability to place arrows, stars and circles of various colors on the map. Sadly, I don't have that skill, or not as yet.
I may not be understanding but if I do... the longest part of the kidney closest to the blue Infinity Bay label is rocks perhaps coral rubble, they are deep enough to swim over or paddle around.
Now when you get to talking about the dark areas marking the edge of the kidney... most of that reef/coral is to shallow to swim over. Ya can't really see the bit of channel between the kidney and the 1st wall but once you get out there follow the edges of the kidney til you find a way through.
Part of the reason West Bay is one of the better snorkel spots is cause the reef is so close to the shore.. I have spent many an hour wandering about in the mazes of coral in an attempt to see if there are other ways out, mostly I hit a dead end if some sort.
There are people who claim the snorkeling is better at the very end of West Bay Beach against the wall of the bay...I find it very difficult to get out to the deeper water from that direction cause the water is so shallow. So, I take a leisurely paddle down from the kidney shaped/channel.
As an added thought... I have always found it less work to swim from Infinity to the wall of the bay (this would be down on the map)... one should think about how tired they are when deciding to go back cause swimming the other direction takes a bit more effort...my guess is the current for the most part pushes you from Infinity down instead of the other way. Course you always have the option of finding a way through the coral to the beach and walking back.
I pretty much snorkel solo... for that reason I am often checking where I am in relation to the beach.
Thanks for the GREAT description. I always snorkel with my husband, but this time is going to be a little different. We are bringing our youngest with us on this cruise. So, we will have to take turns exploring (which I'm nervous about). So, I'm trying to not go too far. That's why I was wondering if that front section that was dark (at the beginning of the kidney) was a wall of coral of some sort.
This area below the kidney is a large, rather shallow reef. It can be navigated through small channels, but it takes more effort.....like a maze, you sometimes navigate to a dead end, then have to back track. In my opinion, the easiest route to the motherload starts at the kidney, then through the outer channel. It's much deeper and results in less damage. I agree with Guest about the far end route by the "iguana wall". Way to shallow to navigate. Much more damage visible. Too bad...... I would hope the cruise lines would tell the guides to keep cruisers away from this vunerable area.
I've had to snorkel in a place that the coral came all the way up to the beach and we were so far out and kept swimming back following fish and taking pictures that before we knew it, we were right over top of the coral and at the top of the water. It wore me out to try to get back out and over to the sandy part trying to be able to put my legs down to rest for a minute. I need to get better at checking where I am in relation to the beach.
Do either of you know how much it cost to rent snorkeling equipment there? I think someone was telling me awhile back it was around $8pp. We have our own mask and snorkel tube, but no fins. We usually end up using that, but some times have went ahead and wanted to rent the fins and just got the package deal for all of it. Do you know if they have the snorkel vest that blow up and deflate when you want to dive?