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Geoshar

"From shore" snorkeling sites??

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We are seniors who have snorkeled most of our lives.;)

Last February we decided to take the plunge (so to speak) and take our snorkel gear on our cruise.

 

My word, we had no idea how much we would enjoy it, or how much we have been missing!:D

Cozumel, Routan and Georgetown had excellent snorkeling right off shore.. and we were able to get amazing underwater photos at each location.

 

Now I need your help.:)

We will be going to Antigua, St Lucia, St Kitts, and St Thomas late November.

Are there any "from shore" snorkeling sites at those locations?

(We would prefer to spend time on a beach as well, and not on a catarmaran..or a small boat full of people.:eek: )

 

Appreciate any advice you could offer!:)

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Yes, thank you both! I will look into that.:)

 

I have heard that Trunk Bay is good in St John as well?

We certainly enjoyed Chankanaab Park in Cozumel and Eden Rock in Georgetown Grand Cayman, and are looking for something along those lines.

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Hello again,

 

We had fun snorkeling there a couple of years ago. A sea turtle was hanging around so we got a great chance to watch it for a while. I think compared to some other sites the coral is a bit bleached there (at least in comparison to say, Curacao). Of course, we are relatively easy to please - just show me the fishies - and were not disappointed that we didn't see large fish or anything wildly exotic (other than a turtle, which was pretty exotic in my book).

 

The one caveat I have read repeatedly is that it gets crowded at Trunk Bay, so it is recommended to go there early in the day if possible.

 

Is this a cruise ship itinerary? I know a fair number of people take the ferry over to St. John's from St. Thomas (or you can take a sail and snorkel tour, but it limits the amount of time you'll actually be in the water). I guess it depends on how much time you have and whether there is anything else you'd like to do in St. Thomas (I'd want to be sure to have time to purchase a few duty free items and at least window shop some of the beautiful baubles!) Oh, and have a post-snorkeling banana daiquiri if I can find one ...

 

The last time we were in St. Thomas we took a 4 person charter on a great sailing ship owned by a very gracious and interesting couple over the Buck Island to snorkel for about and hour off that national park island, but it sounds like you are more interested in beach than boat access. We were back in plenty of time for some quick shopping at the mall by the pier.

 

Even if you have no interest in other sight-seeing or shopping, if you are on a ship that's docked for the day at St. Thomas, you should decide if you'll be comfortable going to St. John on your own, or if it would make you nervous about getting back on time.

 

I haven't been to either, but I see that a number of people favor Cinnamon Bay and others Hawksnest for snorkeling on St. John's.

 

I just reserved some good resource materials from the library, so I'd be happy to pass on any recommendations they give for your itinerary, if you'd like.

 

Like you, my husband and I took our own gear on our last cruise, but we have relied on snorkeling trips (smaller ones we booked through the ship or on our own) in the past.

 

On our next Caribbean cruise, we're bringing our own gear again and aiming to find shore areas so that we can spend as much time as we want in the water, then rest and repeat!

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:) I really appreciate your input.Lots of good advice.

 

We have a good itinerary in that we spend a good 8 hours at each port of call.

We have been to St Thomas a couple of times, saw Megan's Bay and St Peter Great-house.

(We defiantly want to go back to Paradise Point.Beautiful spot!You mentioned a daiquiri?);)

 

Only one of our snorkel tours was through the ship, and that was because of the distance to the beach from port. (We had no desire to be left behind on Routan.:D )

 

It would be wonderful if you found some recommendations!

 

Since we will have most of each day..10 days in all, and will do just a couple of "ship organized" sightseeing tours..we have a fair amount of free time, and no problem going off on our own.:)

 

That is exactly what we like best about shore-based snorkeling "rest and repeat".

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Although it was written a few years ago, it was well written, very detailed and all in all a delightful read.

 

A lot of information was included..excellent find!:)

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I checked out St. Lucia in "Best Dives Snorkeling Adventures" and it sounds lovely. Best dives says two excellent snorkeling reefs lie off the island's sheltered southwest corner at Anse Chastanet Reef (off the hotel of the same name) and nearby Soufriere Bay. The whole area is a protected marine park - hurray! I'm going to have to put that on the must visit list!

 

They do CAUTION that "outside of coves strong currents rule out snorkeling." However, AC reef "has a nice shallow area with a small cavern, sponges, large brain and bolder corals at depths of five to 25 ft." Squid, goat fish, a frog fish, parrot fish, chromis and wrasse are found there.

 

Soufriere Bay has the also 5 star rated "pinnacles" - seamounts that come up to within a few feet of the surface, coral covered, "alive with octupi", seahorses, squid, feather dusters, shrimp, lots of fish, big barrel and vase sponges.

 

I'm sure a local dive shop can point you in the right direction and make sure that you know anything about currents etc. I'll check your other two stops to see if there is anything about Antiqua and/or St. Kitts and will post those separately.

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Greetings Geoshar,

My husband and I seek out the same sort of snorkeling from shore.

Re: Antigua, our one attempt to find such a place resulted only in a tasty lunch and walk on the beach, even though the snorkeling at the Galley Bay Hotel had been highly recommended by ship's personnel.

Re: St. Lucia, There is good snorkeling from the beach at Anse Chanstenet. In fact, while we were staying there, we observed lots of boats from other resorts bringing their guests there to snorkel.

Re: St. Kitts, we haven't been there, but are eager to hear your report.

Re: St. Thomas, we've never really snorkeled on St. Thomas. Instead, I'd take the boat from Charlotte Amalie (or Red Hook) over to Cruz Bay on St. John, grab a cab, and go to Hawksbill Beach. We spent a week on St. John and Hawksbill was our favorite. It is also close to Trunk Bay, which is likely to be more crowded. A take-out (or after-snorkel) lunch can be had from "D's Texas Diner" (not exactly the correct name), a convivial place, frequented by locals, in a little shopping area just up from the dock.

Have a great time.

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:) Thank you all so much! This is great, and just what I was hoping to learn!

 

I suspect by the time we leave port..we will have our homework all done and have fabulous off shore snorkel adventures.... thanks to the input on this super board! :D

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Geoshar, you started with:

 

"We are seniors who have snorkeled most of our lives.;)

Last February we decided to take the plunge (so to speak) and take our snorkel gear on our cruise.

 

My word, we had no idea how much we would enjoy it, or how much we have been missing!:D "

 

I noticed in your photo that both of you have glasses. I have not tried to snorkel because I need my glasses to see. Please excuse my ignorance, but is there a way to snorkel with your glasses on and keep the water out, or do you have to use prescription masks? Do you and your husband have prescription masks? How frequently do you have to buy new ones?

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If you search this topic for "contacts" or "prescription masks" you'll find lots about this, but in short, no - there isn't a way to put a mask on over glasses. You can purchase a prescription mask, which many people do, or you can get contact lenses, which are are perfectly fine to wear snorkeling or diving with a regular mask.

 

I asked my eye doctor for an Rx for disposable contact lenses, and I wear them pretty much only when snorkeling. My Rx is such that a mask would have to be custom made for me. I think Snorkelmart has a chart you can use to match up your prescription to see if it fits with any of the sort of "pre-fab" Rx masks they have (less expensive) if you're interested in going that route. Or you can get a custom mask (that's what my husband's divemaster uses) - but they cost significantly more.

 

Hope this is helpful!

 

HCBI

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If you search this topic for "contacts" or "prescription masks" you'll find lots about this, but in short, no - there isn't a way to put a mask on over glasses. You can purchase a prescription mask, which many people do, or you can get contact lenses, which are are perfectly fine to wear snorkeling or diving with a regular mask.

 

I asked my eye doctor for an Rx for disposable contact lenses, and I wear them pretty much only when snorkeling. My Rx is such that a mask would have to be custom made for me. I think Snorkelmart has a chart you can use to match up your prescription to see if it fits with any of the sort of "pre-fab" Rx masks they have (less expensive) if you're interested in going that route. Or you can get a custom mask (that's what my husband's divemaster uses) - but they cost significantly more.

 

Hope this is helpful!

 

HCBI

 

It was helpful. Thank you.

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I need glasses to see things clearly..(and to read, I am far sighted) so I wear them all the time, but I still don't need a prescription mask.

 

George is nearsighted (and needs glasses to drive ..or see where he is going.;) )

He doesn't need a prescription mask either.

 

It depends on your visual impairment.

If you can navigate without glasses..you will do fine with just a regular mask.

The underwater sights will look fantastic..if not in complete focus.:D

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We just found generic prescription masks at Sports Authority. They only had three variances, but my husband is very much looking forward to using them. The mask supposedly works for up to -2 for the first one, then to -4 (I think), then to -6. He went without glasses the first time (and loved it, even though he couldn't see well) and bought contacts for the second time, which he still can't get used to, although enjoyed the ability to see through the mask.

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