All of the snorkeling boats seemed to go out on this itinerary: Manta Point, Crystal Bay, Gamet Bay, and Toya Pakeh Point. Because the water is fresh, cold, ocean current-cleansed, it is quite cold for the equator and no one stays in the water long. But the clarity of this water can be remarkable, as it was for us.
Manta Point is less protected and there is a lot of motion in the water. I was flabbergasted on the way out there from TP because the ocean swells were over 6' and the guide (Eamon) said, 'we will have to see if Manta Point is ok today. We maybe have to just go to Crystal Bay.' But we got over there and already half a dozen boats with their captains enthusiastically spotting mantas in the water, so it was, "everyone in the water!" We saw so many massive mantas there, I simply lost count. Visibility was not great (no surprise, with the chop) and someone even got seasick but it was one of the most beautiful snorkels of my life. guide was concerned for the mantas and stopped anyone from getting close and freaking them out. We all stayed in the water a good 20, 25 mins despite the cold temps.
Then it was on to Crystal Bay where visibility was as good as it gets, anywhere in the world. Great schools of fish, a big turtle, blue coral, etc. But no one stayed in the water more than 20 mins here. Ridiculously scenic with craggy limestone island breaking up the bay, but choppy as hell with weird currents. Guide made sure we didn't go into the boat lanes.
Gamet bay simply had different coral and schools of fish, but it was more of the same amazing visibility. Maybe half the boat even bothered to brave more of the cold water and weird currents, but for those of us who went in, it was worth it.
Scenic ride back to TP with view of amazing blow hole, and sunshine building up. At TP, guide suggested we might see large pelagic fish. Maybe 4 of us bothered to snorkel here. It had a crazy current, like the fastest drift snorkel of my life, but after fighting it for four minutes, I finally just hung onto the boat's ladder and watched. 2 or 3 giant tuna, as promised, were there fighting the current right along with us. Cold water and incredible visibility. I know that at other times the strait can be like glass, but that week we had some big swells and tides.
I loved it!! Guide rushed no one, was helpful and safety minded. There were small bottles of drinking water for us on board. Boat had a proper sun canopy on top, so you didn't sit in the sun unless you wanted to. I'd go with these guys again, any day.
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