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snorkel day trip

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New York City, New...
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snorkel day trip

We will be staying on Tortola next week and would like to take a snorkeling day trip to St. John. We did this 8 years ago, and went to Waterlemon Cay (wonderful) and Trunk Bay (underwhelming). This time we'd like to go back to Waterlemon which we've read is still the best place but would like advice on another good snorkeling place to go that we can fit into a day trip before we have to take the ferry back to Tortola. Thanks.

New Jersey
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1. Re: snorkel day trip

Francis Bay the rocks all along the right heading out toward the point.

Assuming you are parking at Annenberg:

When you leave the parking lot at Annenberg just go straight instead of taking the 20 loop ,follow the signs for Francis parking, go to the lower parking area , it's down a rutted dirt road but parking is right at beach. Once on beach and you are looking out toward Whistling cay, head right walk all the way to end enter water and start heading out toward the point, further you go the better it gets.

Austin
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2. Re: snorkel day trip

We're staying at Caneel Bay next month and I've been reading alot of recommendations for Haulover Bay on the East end for snorkeling. Is it worth the drive from Cruz Bay ??

Ohio
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3. Re: snorkel day trip

For the OP, I second Francis Bay. Watch the soft corals for evidence of current, as the snorkel back to beach can be more difficult than the snorkel going out.

Seashellmom, Haulover North is supposed to be a great snorkel, but it's quite a ways from Cruz Bay, and often the water is not optimal for snorkeling once you get there. Entry is reportedly not easy, either. If you hit it on a good day, it's supposed to be terrific, though. We've never found good conditions there. If you get there and can't snorkel, you can continue on to Vie's, which has a pretty neat but shallow snorkel, or Pelican Rock past Vie's, that has a deep snorkel with a swim to get there. Or you could turn around and go to Salt Pond, which some people really like (me included).

New York City, New...
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4. Re: snorkel day trip

Thanks for the Francis Bay suggestion. Last time we took a taxi from the dock at Cruz to Leinster which picked us up later and dropped us off at Trunk. If we want to do Francis after Leinster, would it be better to rent a car for the day? If so, is it easy to rent a car at the ferry dock?

Norristown...
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5. Re: snorkel day trip

First, for Stan...I am also recommending Francis, but for slightly different reasons. I have not done the right-side-along-the-rocks snorkel, but there is something to be said about the central part of the bay as well, especially as a contrast to Waterlemon. While it is mostly sand and grass, it's a good place to spot both turtles and rays, often from very close up. i'm sure if you've looked at enough of these posts you probably saw some mention of the Manta ray that was going between Maho & Francis a few months back; we saw it at Francis in late February. And Francis is always so calm, it would be a nice ease-down from the decidedly more strenuous Waterlemon snorkel. And it's probably worth it to rent the car - it just opens up your options if you find yourself with a little extra time and want to explore or just drive and enjoy the adventure.

For Seashellmom - everybody talks about Haulover North, but it has long been my opinion the Haulover South is unfairly treated in the Great Haulover Debate. We have always seen good stuff at Haulover South, especially out and to the right (west) side of the bay - really nice coral heads in fairly deep but generally calm water, and we've seen rays closer in. Every time we have tried Haulover North, the water was choppy, but that was never a problem on the southside. And the beach on the south side is a lot more inviting as well. Is it worth the drive? Well, the drive itself is part of the adventure, isn't it? I absolutely love driving on St. John - even tried to start a thread for people to post their favorite rides on the island. So, yes, definitely worth the drive.

I hope you both have tons o' fun!

Austin
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6. Re: snorkel day trip

SmilinJack and minde,

Another thread mentioned Hidden Reef Eco Tours for a kayak and snorkel trip as highly recommended. We are staying at Caneel bay for a week in July and are also planning a day trip charter to the BVIs to snorkel and explore some beachfront. That's what got me thinking about Haulover to begin with. That, and the fact that I'd snorkeled Trunk Bay exactly 20 years ago, was not all that impressed then, and have read similar feedback on this forum recently. Also considered Waterlemon Cay, but I don't know much about it except folks rave about the water clarity and sealife and that someone had an accident there recently.

So, trying to decide if spending the day with HRET at Haulover Bay is so much better than a day at Caneel, when they provide us with free kayaks and lots of snorkeling opportunities, since we will also get a chance to swim with the fishies in the BVIs.

Snorkeling is one of the main reasons we travel to the Caribbean and our daughter is now 12 and old enough to really enjoy it as well. We are all strong swimmers although I sure don't mind just floating along with minimal effort - better for my soul than meditation!

Madison, Wisconsin
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7. Re: snorkel day trip

I second the Haulover north suggestion. It looks like a mermaid's playground. It's My favorite snorkle, even over Waterlemon, which I also thought was amazing.

New Jersey
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8. Re: snorkel day trip

Op is only on Island for day, so not sure if they have time to do Waterlemon and Haulover. Francis was the closest to Annaberg/Waterlemon Parking lot although you would still need to drive from Annaberg to Francis it's not even 5 minutes away.

As for the car rental you may want to look into that and book ahead of time , there are only a limited # and they go fast.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: snorkel day trip

Thanks everyone for your help. I guess it's Francis for us, Haulover looks too far away. Just 2 more questions:

If we rent a car, how far is the parking lot at Annenberg from the entrance to Leinster. It was still somewhat of a walk to Waterlemon from where the taxi dropped us off. How much further would this be?

Who do you recommend calling to rent a car in advance?

Thanks again.

New Jersey
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10. Re: snorkel day trip

Probably the same place the Taxi dropped U at as Leinster road dead ends at Annaberg lot and start of Leinster/waterlemon trail. as for francis same Leinster road opposite direction. Not sure best day rental, maybe someone else can help with that one