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How to get to the reef?

Atlanta, GA
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252 posts
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How to get to the reef?

We are fairly experienced snorkelers -- lots of shore and boat snorkeling experience, freediving, etc. definitely have our own gear, etc. DH SCUBA certified but this trip will be snorkeling only.

So...I've found information on dive operations, and on snorkel trips with the AIs. If we're staying in a small hotel around the middle of West End, what are our best bets for snorkeling, besides dropping in behind the hotel? What are the good reefs? Do you have to do an organized trip to go to, say, Booby Cay ($35pp for 45 mins? What?) or are there water taxis/boats you can pick up for a trip out to the reef? Any place good for shore snorkeling? What are the logistics of Half Moon Bay? What do you recommend?

Does everyone feed the fish so you get chomped by sergeant-majors the whole time? ;-)

Connecticut
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1. Re: How to get to the reef?

Negril does not have water taxis. There are numerous glass bottom/snorkel boat operators along Long Bay beach. Perhaps one of the best known is Famous Amos (do a search here for contact info). Have read that Amos will motor over to the cliffs for a pick up/delivery. Having said that, there are maybe some 10 (or more) snorkel operators along the beach. Perhaps your small resort has a connection.

My favorite site is the reef with the cannon and anchor. My experience of the snorkel around Booby Cay was a bit difficult as the Cay is surrounded with a dense fields of long-spined black urchins.

The reefs are fairly close to the shore line so perhaps a 10 minute ride outbound. 30 or so minutes in the water and then a 20 minute return (takes time to get folks back into the boat).

Not many take food out; I would be more concerned with the Damsel fish. Don't take too many rolls out as they are not all that healthy for the fish.

Atlanta, GA
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2. Re: How to get to the reef?

Thank you HDM! I am not a fish-feeder or coral-toucher; I've just been snorkeling where people feed the fish, and it seems they just end up biting me the whole time. :-) That was def. the case in Thailand and Honduras.

Will definitely try to check out the reef with the anchor. If there are folks crusing the cliffs for quick trips out to the reef, that sounds kinda cool as long as it's remotely legit. I think about the random cars I got into 25 years ago thinking they were legitimate taxis...jeez...but otherwise what you've described sounds lovely.

I definitely appreciate the advice re: the spiny urchins. We took a friend to St. John a few years ago and the first morning's snorkel he got spined in the big toe. Fortunately he's a tough mountain bike dude or it would have ruined his trip, but he was a very good sport about what I know was a painful experience.

Thank you!

Ormond Beach...
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for Vermont, Ormond Beach
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3. Re: How to get to the reef?

Chuck - Did you mean Famous Vincent? (I'm never heard of Famous Amos.... except the chocolate cookie company!) I've done short boat trips w/ Vincent and he's superb. Usually charges ~$20pp for a ~1 hr snorkel trip to nearby reefs from the cliffs or beach.

Katlanta - There are small coral heads here and there along the whole west end. I've snorkeled along several miles, from Citronella toward town along the cliffs and checked out a few nearby reefs ~200 ft offshore. No particular areas that I thought were more spectacular than others, though it all was nice - the usual assorted small coral and reef fish. A boat trip from Vincent or others is the way to go to see more significant reefs a bit farther offshore.

Connecticut
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4. Re: How to get to the reef?

You are right, I had a brain fart. It is Famous Vincent.

Atlanta, GA
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5. Re: How to get to the reef?

Awesome, thanks!

Nampa, Idaho
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6. Re: How to get to the reef?

The best snorkeling around Negril is at Rhodes Hall. About a 25 Min. Taxi ride from the West End. $10.00 per person for the day pass. You can swim to the reef from the beach. No jet ski's or boats to worry about! We have snorkeled all over Jamaica and this place is by far the best in this part of the island. Rhodes offers a nice quiet beach, a restaurant and bar on site. They also have a glass bottom boat, not sure of prices, we just swim out. Message me if you would like to see some photos that were taken of the reef. My profile pic was taken @ Rhodes Hall.

Kansas City...
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7. Re: How to get to the reef?

Here is the website with information for Samuels Bay National Marine Park at Rhodes Hall. Has maps and stuff. If you call a day ahead they will pick you up for free, but I'm guessing you pay your way back and the $10 fee to enter. Can also rent gear there. https:/…SamuelsBayNationalMarinePark

Atlanta, GA
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8. Re: How to get to the reef?

Seriously, y'all are awesome. Thank you!!

Boston
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9. Re: How to get to the reef?

A couple of the glass bottom boats regularly cruise along the cliffs and will take you to the reef.

Kingston, Canada
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10. Re: How to get to the reef?

Nice little video shot at Rhodes Hall http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFEqguBzxpM