We really like to snorkel. DH can snorkel for hours without getting bored or cold. I only make it about an hour before I start shivering violently (yes, even in the Caribbean), but I still really love to go. So no matter where we travel, if there is an ocean, we try to snorkel.
While they don’t always offer afternoon trips out, the ladies at Scuba Caribe (the water sports provider at Riu) were willing to put together a trip for us the afternoon before we left. (Thanks to Matt, Jen, and Fred for indulging our snorkeling habit, too).
They were a bit scattered with payment and figuring out where staff was, but once we were on the boat the trip was great. Plus, they allowed us to use $10 off coupons, so it was only $20 per person.
While most snorkeling trips in Jamaica–including the one we took earlier–go to the Montego Bay Marine Park, this one stopped at the Sandals reef and a nearby spot. They usually stop a bit farther out, but the whitecaps were out, the wind was whipping, and the current was pretty strong so we stayed closer to shore for stop two.
We actually thought that this reef was a bit better than the Marine Park–the coral was more colorful and there were a ton of different types of fish. I was really hoping we would see some marine life like maybe a ray or a little nurse shark, but no such luck. They say that they do see them there pretty frequently.
There were a ton of the long, skinny, pointy nosed fish–which I think are trumpet fish or cornet fish. Including one that was striped and looked way to close to comfort to a sea snake for me. It was moving like a snake, with that weird swerving motion in its body. In fact, my exact words to my husband when I saw it were “that better not be a sea snake otherwise I’m getting the hell out of the water.”
There were probably a few more choice 4 letter words littered in there, too.
I am SO petrified of sea snakes.
It was obviously not a sea snake.
We saw angel fish, parrot fish, Bermuda chub, and I think some tuna. Plus tons and tons of the little stoplight fish that are impossible to get a picture of, I swear. There are a lot of sand dollars (dead and alive), as well as urchins (dead and alive), which are fun to swim to the bottom to pick up (just the dead ones, obviously).
It was absolutely worth another trip out. Montego Bay may not be the best snorkeling ever, but you never know what you might find.