Snorkeling in the Caribbean

by Lise - an avid cruiser

Snorkeling in the Caribbean has been one of our favorite activities (not so much my daughter's though) when we go on cruises, ever since I was initiated a few years ago in Barbados.

snorkeling in the Caribbean

We were'nt on a cruise at that time but at a resort just my husband and I. The resort supplied the equipment for free so my husband decided to teach me how!

He told me basically to just breathe normally (yeah right!) but not through the nose but through the tuba stuck in my mouth.

So here I go in shallow water and slowly put my face in the water and try to do as he said...well that didn't work out very well as I came up for air. He kept saying, don't breathe through your nose! Yeah! well I was in my 50's then and have been holding my breath under water since I was a kid. What's the saying: You can't teach old dogs new tricks?

So here I go and try again, and again and every time I was coming out of the water not getting it. After half an hour of trying, I finally managed to stay under and not feel like I was drowning. Now I know instantly what to do. It's not that you don't breathe through your nose but you do it through your mouth.

One good way to remember how to do it, is pretend you have a bad cold and your nose is blocked and you have no choice but to breathe through your mouth. Same thing when you go snorkeling in the Caribbean or anywhere else.

Now once you have master the art of all this, you will be amazed at what you see. That first time in Barbados, we were told to just walk on the beach a little bit and then just enter the water and we could make our way to a sunken ship.

There are so many different colors of fish and corals, and what I love about it is the complete silence because you don't hear much of what's above the water. Most of the time what I do is pick one fish and just follow it and discover what it does along the way.

My most memorable snorkeling in the Caribbean was:

Swimming with baby seals on the Pacific Coast - it was a tour we had booked and it was offshore. The babies were very playful and you could touch them. I remember slowly swimming around and watching them underwater, when all of a sudden this big daddy seal just shows up under my body and looks at me! He was the only adult in the bunch and was probably the babysitter :)

myself on the belly of dolphin
Swimming with a dolphin in Cozumel - I love dolphins, I even have a dolphin tattoo on my shoulder! And if I had lived near water, I would probably have become a dolphin trainer or work with dolphins.

So one time when our cruise sailed to Cozumel, we had looked at that ship excursion but it was really too expensive.

But when we made our way to Chankanaab Park on our own, we discovered it was offered right there and the price was much lower than the cruise ship excursion.

It was just wonderful, we could touch our dolphin, shook hand with it and then we got in this huge area in the ocean and put on our snorkels so we could watch him do stuff under water. Then we each got a ride on it's belly. I will always remember that experience.

swimming with turtle in Barbados
Swimming with giant turtles in Barbados - That was just a couple of years ago, we had booked a catamaran tour, again on our own, and we were lucky to be the only ones on that excursion.

We anchored not far from the shore and as we got in the water and put our snorkels on, we could see these giant gentle turtles come very close to us enough for me to take pictures.

Trunk Bay - St-John: Is another great place for snorkeling in the Caribbean.

It's just a beautiful spot and there's even an underwater trail with markers giving info on the fish you see.

See what you're missing if you haven't tried snorkeling yet. We now own our own equipment and always bring it with us on our cruises and find good snorkeling Caribbean beaches that we can explore.

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