Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Used Pontoon Boats - A Southern Caribbean Snorkeling Sampler

Hi gang, Rick here from Used Pontoon Boats with a A Southern Caribbean Snorkeling Sampler

Feb 3 – St Thomas: Ship’s snorkel with Capt Nautica .
A high speed (35 knots) pontoon boat takes us to Buck Island. First stop is over freighter wreck, visibility is very poor, few fish and less coral. Second stop is on lee side of island, Turtle Cove. Visibility is much better. Did a swim-along with a turtle family, also Stingrays and a Barracuda.

Feb 6 – Bonaire: Catamaran snorkel with Woodwind, .
Boat is crowded with 25 passengers, but both the crew, Deirdre (Dee) and Ulf, and the snorkeling is first rate. Lots of marine life and live coral with some fish and turtles. First stop is near shore, mainly for orientation and any who require snorkeling guidance. Second stop, near Klein, is much better. There’s a strong current, so we drift snorkel.

Feb 7 – Aruba: Booked NW Sail And Snorkel. Operator is Red Sail Sports, so I figure why not? Huge mistake!!! 125 people are crammed onto a catamaran, like sardines in a can. There aren’t even enough seats, unless you count the foam pads placed on the net. This is a disgraceful instance of squeezing every last dollar out of the suckers, that’s us folks. I can’t envisage suffering thru this so I immediately leave their boat and request a refund. There were no questions asked.

Feb 11 – Barbados: Full Day Snorkel trip on Silver Moon II.
Good crew with 24 snorklers on board, but it’s a large cat affording adequate space. First stop is the ritualistic swim with the turtles. Second stop is at a near shore reef. There’s lots of large, live, coral formations, but few fish. Lunch on board follows.

Feb 12 – St Lucia: Full day snorkel with Dive Fair Helen.
Boat meets us at ferry dock just across from cruise ship. Bumpy ride to dive shop at Marigot Bay. Ten snorkelers and nine divers board boat and head for Anse Cochon. Excellent marine life. The reef is easily accessed from the Tiki Village beach. Lunch is served on board, then a second stop at Richmond’s Trench. Large coral formations on each side are near the surface. A good day with an excellent operator. A big thumbs up for DFH.
A previous report faulted DFH for poor performance, but they apparently have righted their ship. I noticed that the guides were very attentive to the divers and their gear. All of the divers seemed very pleased with the service and the condition and safety of DFH's equipment.

Feb 13 – Antigua: Full Day snorkel with Eli’s Eco Tour:
Today’s boat Captain is J.D., not Eli. Tony was both narrator and snorkel guide. Tony proves to be a good replacement for Eli. A very windy day, 25 knots, makes for a rough ride to the North Shore. First stop is Bird Island beach for a short hike and/or snorkel lesson. There were two more stops, the last at Hell’s Gate. The weather and seas are too rough to snorkel over the reef to the Atantic side, so I just snorkeled between boat and reef. Nice coral and reef, but sand covers most of it and few fish venture out. Lunch is served on board. There are other options here including a climb to the top of Hell’s Gate via the island cave, which most choose to do. Good or bad weather, Eli’s is the best snorkel excursion in the Caribbean.

Feb 15 – Tortola: Full day snorkel with Patouche.
It’s another windy day. We sail Shamwari to the leeward, smooth, side of Norman Island. The first stop is at Treasure Caves. We snorkel along coral reefs and gardens and enter three of the caves. The island and caves were reputedly the inspirational source for Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island. Lunch is at Willy Ts, a floating restaurant. Willy T’s is a good divergence from the inevitable barbecued chicken on the snorkel boats. Patouche is a class act. Be aware that Patouche, on the close of this day, relocated their operation from H.R. Penn Marina to a location near the airport.
Thank to Stevesan, Blue Ribbon Cruiser. Houston, Texas for this.

1957 USS General A.E. Anderson Tokyo to San Francisco
1999 Norwegian Sea W Carib & RVI Europe
2000 Mercury W. Carib & Volendam S Carib
2001 Viking Star Danube River & Veendam E. Carib
2002 B2B Veendam Alaska
2003 B2B Zuiderdam W&E Carib
2004 Maasdam E Carib
2005 Grand Princess W Carib,
RVI Europe & Veendam S Carib
2006 Grand Princess W Carib
2007 Grand Princess WCarib
2008 Feb 2 Crown Princess S Carib

Be sure to check out this weeks latest Pontoon Boat Videos

Used Pontoon Boats, By Rick Ostler
Pontoon Enclosures-North American Waterway

Also we value your comments, if you can add more info in regards to this article please do so. Thanks............Rick

No comments: