Guest Post By Jeremy – all about Snorkeling trips while at the Social Media on the Sand Conference.
So what is a husband supposed to do when he finds himself at Beaches Resorts Negril while his wife is off learning as much as she can at an awesome blog conference? This was the situation I found myself in during my once in a lifetime trip. The awesome thing about Beaches Negril and all the Beaches resorts is that the staff is so helpful and there are so many activity options. Even if you have never been to a beach or a beaches resort they will explain everything to you and help you find the activity that suits your needs.
I have had a desire to try scuba diving, however due to my ostomy I have not been able to. However, thankfully to the amazing staff and Beaches Resorts I did the next best thing, snorkeling. When we were at Turks and Caicos last year I did informal snorkeling by myself, it was amazing however I struggled some due to lack of experience. This trip I went to the Watersports staff and they recommended me going on their snorkeling trip. It was very simple to sign up, all you have to do is find a time that works for you and give them your room number. Then you just show up. I was able to find a time that worked for me very easily. After signing up all I had to do was wait in anticipation for my snorkeling trip. Another amazing part of going snorkeling at Beaches Resorts is that this is included in your stay, so there were no extra costs incurred.
Now being completely honest I figured we would go out a little ways away from the shore and we would snorkel around for a short time and maybe see a few things and then head back. I WAS SO WRONG!!! We showed up, the resort provided the snorkel, goggles, flippers and life jacket. We went out with our awesome guides and got an awesome boating experience just getting to our snorkeling spot. Once we got there we put on our life jackets and then it was overboard! Remember this was only my second time snorkeling. Once we hit the water I was in awe. At first I thought it was silly that we had to wear life jackets, I mean I can swim, however this made my experience much more enjoyable because I didn’t have to worry about becoming too exhausted to enjoy my trip.
As soon as we got in the water, I was amazed by the coral and the views that I was seeing. I was so glad that I had brought my GoPro with me so I could capture all the sights I was seeing. Raphael our guide threw some food in the water and we were surrounded by Sergeant Major fish, they were so close to me that they even ran into my camera a couple of times. This is an experience I have never had, I mean this was my second time snorkeling and I am surrounded by sea life. As we swam around a little bit we saw a cannon in the ocean, I am serious, a cannon, I felt like I was Jacques Cousteau.
Later on we saw an anchor that was at the bottom of the ocean as well. While I was mesmerized by the sights I was seeing our guide Raphael dove down to the sea floor and brought up a sea cucumber, before I could figure out what was going on he hands it to me. It was an odd experience but pretty cool. As our trip continued this happened several other times, I held a female sea urchin and a rough-spined urchin. This experience continued and flew by. We saw trumpet fish, needle fish along with many other sea animals that I am not even sure what they were because there were so many things taking place around me.
After we got back to the boat we all loaded back up and the conversations were all about the amazing time that everyone had while we came back to shore. We arrived back at the beach and without hesitation I went up and signed up for another trip the next day. I mean if I had that great of a time on my first trip the second trip could only be better right? The next day we met back at the same place, this is one of the best parts is that you always know where to go to meet your guides and you are not walking all over trying to find a meeting spot. We loaded the boat, luckily I had Raphael as a guide again, and we hit the water again. I wasn’t sure if we were going to head out to the same place or not, luckily we went out to a different spot of the reef. Again we put on our life jackets and we hit the water. This time I felt like a pro, the guides were so helpful and allowed you to learn we were off swimming right away this time. This area was full of reef, there were a couple of times I had to quit filming or taking pictures because I was so close to the reef I was worried that I was going to hit it if I wasn’t paying attention.
While we were out on this trip our guide Raphael again dove down to the sea floor but this time was to try and show us a blowfish, I could not believe what I was seeing. I never thought I would see a blowfish live and swimming around in the ocean. This trip was a completely different experience as we were in a different area and were so close to the reef. I was able to see the fish swimming in and out of the reef and we were just observers floating around.
As we were getting ready to wrap up this trip our guide Raphael took off and starting waiving us all to follow him. As we were swimming to try and catch up with him out of the corner of my eye I saw why he was waiving us all over. A huge spotted eagle stingray was gliding across the ocean floor. I will say that to me this stingray was huge; I want to say it was about 4 feet wide. I at first was trying to keep up but then became a little hesitant due to size of the animal. Our guide knew I had a GoPro so he came up to me and grabbed my camera and swam down right alongside the stingray, score for me I got to see it in real life and have an awesome video of this amazing animal. With that last breathtaking experience our trip was over. As I type this I still got goosebumps thinking about the experience I had.
Video of the Large Spotted Eagle Stingray:
All of this started with me trying to figure out what to do with my free time while at Beaches Resorts and ended with me having memories that will last me a lifetime. The staff was so helpful and spent time teaching and giving me an experience that I will not soon forget. The provided everything needed to go snorkeling as well as an amazing time. I kept trying to find a way to go back out, sadly I wasn’t able get out on another trip, but if I ever go back to a Beaches resort I can guarantee you I will be scheduling a snorkeling trip right away.
What Snorkeling adventures have you experienced?