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Which beach should we and our novice snorkelers visit first?

Bethesda MD
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Which beach should we and our novice snorkelers visit first?

This keys off the helpful recent thread with a similar title, but I thought it made sense to start a new one.

Family of 4, parents experienced snorkelers, kids 14 and 10 with one brief snorkel experience in the wild, getting some practice in a pool this summer. Considering calm water, easy entry, and rewarding viewing, where's the best place for that tribe's first unguided snorkel off Vieques? Based on the other thread and its VBG link, I'm thinking Pata Prieta, La Chiva, or Esperanza pier, tentatively ranked in that order. Thoughts?

Cleveland, Ohio
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1. Re: Which beach should we and our novice snorkelers visit first?

My first thought would be Esperanza. The Malcone beach has decent snorkelling nice water, Restaurans and pubs.

NYC
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for Isla de Vieques
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2. Re: Which beach should we and our novice snorkelers visit first?

The ideal spot for what you ask is Rompeolas, or Mosquito Pier.

I cant think of another spot with more calm water, easier access and lots of stuff to see. You go from the beach on the left(south) side and follow the rocks. you will see stuff immediately.

Second, blue beach, if you go to the beach at #10 and go about 100 feet out there is a small interesting reef. shallow water, close to shore and usually calm water.

Third I would say the pier at Esperanza.

Mackinac Island...
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3. Re: Which beach should we and our novice snorkelers visit first?

I would go with Blue beach, if you swim out from the beach at #10, as Frankipoo suggested, and head to the west side of the small offshore island there are some nice spots with interesting fish and coral. It is very shallow the whole way out through the seegrass, and would be a nice introduction for your kids.

I can't speak to swimming from the beach at Mosquito Pier, as we entered further down and swam under the pier itself (great, but perhaps a little intimidating for kids), but I thought the best snorkeling in Esparanza was pretty far off shore, to the west of the little island. When we mapped our swim via Google it came to just over a mile in choppy water.

NYC
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4. Re: Which beach should we and our novice snorkelers visit first?

just to clarify, with blue beach, I was not suggesting swimming out to LA Chiva Island. I thought for novice beginners that might be too much of a swim. what I suggested is the small reef right off shore. its close and not daunting.

and the pier in Esperanza because there are fish and lots of very interesting things attatched the the pylons. its an easy swim and again close to shore so no one should be intimidated by it.

I wasn't making suggestions for the best snorkeling. just what I thought was the best mix of ease and safety with interesting. Places calm and close to shore that offer interesting things to look at. If I read it correctly, thats what the OP was looking for.

Bethesda MD
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5. Re: Which beach should we and our novice snorkelers visit first?

Your read correctly, and thanks. We'll be there almost 2 weeks, so I don't mind saving the best reefs for later -- but I do want to set the hook! I'm thinking we'll see what the weather brings that day, if winds are light go to the small reef off blue beach, if they're heavier Mosquito Pier. But if it's nearing lunch by the time we get going, Esperanza Pier.

Boston...
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6. Re: Which beach should we and our novice snorkelers visit first?

I think the notion of using the Esperanza pier as an easy first snorkel is a good one, as it's not only calm but easy to get to. I would note that another calm place to snorkel that I found to be the best in terms of snorkeling from a beach was Green Beach (following the directions to go all the way to the left when driving there until you hit the fence). It makes for a fun, adventurous drive (which my older teenagers loved and your kids might enjoy as well) but it's not a place to go for a quick first snorkel.

7. Re: Which beach should we and our novice snorkelers visit first?

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