Rope Snorkeling to deal with strong currents
Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:26 PM
Posted 04 March 2011 - 11:55 PM
Punte Sur is one place to snorkel with the reef a good distance off shore. They have kayaks that for tips will move weak, lazy or tired swimmers the extra distance to and from the reef area. Even macho swimmers will take advantage of kayak service as it is a good distance to swim.
Posted 05 March 2011 - 06:51 AM
Texas guy, I believe what you are saying, but in my experience the water right in front of the Coral Princess has never been even to close to as strong as you report. The current at the Coral Princess should be no stronger than the other hotels in that area. However I am talking about snorkeling.next to the sea wall. You should NEVER swim off-shore without a support boat. The rope idea is bad for two reasons: 1) If the current is really strong and the snorkeler was tied off to it, such as you describe, the current will force the snorkeler underwater and since they are tied to the line they might not be able to return to the surface without some kind of quick-release and that person would have to respond very quickly. 2) To leave the rope there would be a navigational hazard. Boats props could become fouled or worse yet another snorkeler could be fouled in it and pulled down. Besides it is illegal to leave anything like that in the water without permission from the Capt. of the Port.
The sea wall as Charles pointed out is fun to drift along as the current is weak and there are many animals, but no corals. The snorkeling at the marina Caleta is very good. Just pull into the marina, take a right and follow the road until you see the beach. Once again....stay close to shore. There is some snorkeling along the West coast, but frankly the corals have not recovered much from the hurricanes of '05 and there is really not much to see any longer. Hardly any corals, but still a lot of fishes swimming around the iron stone.
I always end up repeating this, but for the best island snorkeling option, IMHO, go to the Palancar Beach club and take the boat to the Columbia Shallows. The trips leave frequently, need no reservations, cost around $30-35USD PP and the Captain Felipe is one of the best on the island.
Posted 05 March 2011 - 08:29 AM
As has been suggested, wear your vest, and purchase a short board (available at the super markets here) for added confidence.
We have stayed many years at the CP. The key is to stay close to shore (lots to see) snorkel against the current first, then drift back to the steps to get out.
The most important thing in life is not knowing everything, it's having the phone number of somebody who does!
Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:46 AM
Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:40 AM
Between CP and Fontan you will see hundreds of fish pretty much all of the time.
If your friend gets tired, just get out at any of the many condos to the south and walk through to the street. No one will bother you. There is a new pedestrian/bike path connecting all of these areas so you don't need to walk in the street.
Nah Ha 602
Posted 12 March 2011 - 10:39 AM
Posted 12 March 2011 - 11:55 AM
as mentioned before, use fins (they really help propel you and steer when in currents), go in and swim against the current. ask a local which way the current is going. float back, and come back to shore. don't make it more difficult than it needs to be.
Calle 11 % Melgar y 10av
Edificio Portales, Local 1
Dressing Fishermen and Triathletes from Head to Toe
Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:55 AM
1. You MUST have fins! Those who have trouble getting back to their starting place, swimming against the current, are those who do not have fins. Its nearly impossible to hold your own in any sea water without fins. Even to stay in one place. You can rent anything you need to snorkel from Frank at Pepe's Dive Shop right at the CP.
2. If you drift North on the current and get too tired to kick back with your fins, just get out at the next house or hotel, on their ladder, and walk across the beach back to the CP. Its not a big deal. DO NOT hang on to the coral wall or try climbing out over the wall! There are sea urchins and fire coral on that wall that will make the rest of your holiday a misery. Not to mention the damage done to the fragile coral and sponges that are trying to make a comeback after Hurricane Wilma.
3. A good flotation device for intrepid swimmers is a water skiers belt. It is much easier to use and to maneuver than the life vests, yet gives you plenty of security. I used one for years. I now use a wet suit. It not only keeps me warm, it is like full body flotation device. I love it.
Have fun and enjoy your holiday.
Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:28 AM
Punta Sir was also good, but its a long swim out. Im a very strong swimmer but my fiance is not and she had to turn back after about 100 meters even with fins and vest (yellow flag current). I went alone and was thankful for the 2nd platform to rest for a moment. Once to the reef the current takes you north right along it. be careful as its very shallow in some spots and I had to only swim with my arms on occasion because using legs would have kicked coral. I enjoyed this quite a bit. Getting back took some effort but wasn't terrible, id swim to stay in place and let the bigger waves push me in. I wouldn't reccomend snorkeling here (at yellow flag) if you are out of shape or a weak swimmer. make sure to wear flotation because if you have problems that far out you wont be seen or heard from shore.
Posted 25 April 2011 - 08:48 AM
"I always end up repeating this, but for the best island snorkeling option, IMHO, go to the Palancar Beach club and take the boat to the Columbia Shallows. The trips leave frequently, need no reservations, cost around $30-35USD PP and the Captain Felipe is one of the best on the island."
I have been snorkeling and diving off Felipe's boat (El Nazareno) for about 7 years now. The snorkeling experience there is one of the best anywhere. The Columbia Shallows and Palancar Gardens provide all kinds of opportunities to see beautiful reefs and corals, sharks, sea turtles, and every carribean fish you can think of. And the guys on the beach who serve as guides are top notch. They change from time to time, but Pedro, Luis, Pablo and Cello have all been there for at least the last three years, and I suspect still are (I'll know for sure when I go back next month). Quality guys. Don't forget to tip them (and Felipe) if you have a good experience (which I guarantee you will).
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