We have been cruising for the last ten years, snorkeling every chance that we can get. We have snorkeled at St John, St Thomas, two different Buck Islands, Bahamas, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Antigua, Barbados, Belize and Isla Roatan. After a couple bad experiences with masks leaking, we bought our own and have been much happier. When you are cruising and selecting shore excursions, you have no idea what the weather will be like. Obviously if you have a storm with lightening, the excursion will be cancelled, but what about rain or clouds?
The success or failure of a snorkel site cannot be measured on the weather conditions when you are there. Instead you need to just select a good sight and adapt. When we snorkeled in Cozumel, there wasn’t much to see, but this was only a few months after a major hurricane hit the area. Much of the coral had been destroyed by the storm. From that point on, I would not go snorkeling in a location that could have experienced the same destruction. It just wasn’t as good to see.
Another thing to consider is what you want to see. Are you looking for beautiful coral and reefs or are you looking for a wide variety of fish species? What about specific other animals, like turtles or stingrays? Or do you just want to see a lot of fish, regardless of the types? These are important questions to ask yourself when selecting a spot.
We have snorkeled in a mangrove, which was very different in terms of vegetation and sea life than when we snorkeled on the Belize barrier reef. We’ve gone to shipwrecks and areas specifically to see sea turtles. Our trip in Barbados took us to three sites, a shipwreck, a turtle cove and a reef. Very different at all sites, even though they were around the same island.
Our best snorkeling experiences would have to be in the US Virgin Islands, Belize and Isla Roatan, Honduras. We saw the most varieties of fish, sea life and coral in those places. The pictures that follow were taken in Belize and Isla Roatan this week.