Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Snorkeling spots...
Old 09-21-2009, 10:38 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
GusLevy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 98
Snorkeling spots...

I am in the "half-pregnant" stage of working vis-a-vis retiring as I have been in the middle of early retirement negotiations for several weeks. The hardest part, of course, truly was getting to the point of having that initial conversation with Management: Basically it felt like asking a pretty girl out on a date for the first time as it was weeks (for some perhaps months or even yrs...) of thinking about the actual event and then getting over the sweaty palms and thumping heart as the event horizon is reached. (A sidebar thought: Dealing with Management on a voluntary early retirement package is more fun than I could ever have dreamed of as it basically is the equivalent of going through divorce proceedings while living together.)

Anyhoo, this website is a great resource but certainly seems to be focused on the money issues of early retirement more than the actual lifestyles once in or planning for retirement. I will probably always worry about money issues in my general life but am immediately concerned more about focusing on goals/plans for the stuff that I want to experience in life.

My desire is to travel and explore the great beaches and oceans of the world with an emphasis on those that facilitate snorkeling activities (and eventually scuba diving). I have gone to Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Maui, Big Island and the wonderful spots south of Playa del Carmen since 2006 and would like to get thoughts/opinions on other spots - hopefully on spots that are fairly and reasonably accessible.

I would like to try Belize in the near future so those with thoughts about that location would be appreciated in particular.
__________________

__________________
GusLevy is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-22-2009, 01:56 AM   #2
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1
Yes,this website is a great resource but certainly seems to be focused on the money issues of early retirement more than the actual lifestyles, I agree your idea to travel and explore the great beaches and oceans of the world, I really want to travel and like to swim in the ocean.
__________________

__________________
malia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 03:25 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,152
One of the first things that I did after retiring was to go on a 7 month trip through SE Asia. And one of the highlights of my trip was becoming a certified diver in Nha Trang, Vietnam. It is a place well known for diving and diving schools. I was able to become certified for less than half the price of what it would have cost in the USA, and the instruction was absolutely first rate. It is a 4 day course that includes 5 pool dives and 4 open water dives and also a lot of classroom material. The certification is Open Water PADI, if I remember correctly.

Scuba diving is a lot more expensive than snorkling, though!

Kramer
__________________
kramer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 04:58 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
heyduke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 348
I have been SCUBA certified for some time now and have logged many hours underwater... I finally got to the point of actually preferring snorkeling over SCUBA for many reason... there are tons of snorkeling opportunities in the Caribbean and in Mexico and Central America. Even quite a few decent spots in Florida and Puerto Rico.
__________________
heyduke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 07:16 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,643
I used to do a ton of diving in the 70s but only get wet every few years now. My favorites were Cozumel (great drift dives) and Bonnaire (great shore dives). For snorkeling my favorite was the Galapagos Islands, although that is a pricey trip. I just spent the weekend with a friend who was in Palau with the Peace Corps years ago. He said the snorkeling there was the best he ever encountered.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 02:25 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 88
I think my most interesting snorkel adventure was over a shipwreck just off Aruba. The ship was on it's side and as I swam past the deck and the ocean bottom suddenly dropped 60 feet, I had the same feeling in the pit of my stomach that I get when I'm up really high.

On the other hand, I can be pretty happy snorkeling if about all there is to see is sand. LOL!
__________________
bhoferp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 02:37 PM   #7
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 20
We have made reservations for Ambergis Caye, Belize over Christmas - so I will let you know. Plan to do alot of snorkeling. Also booked three days at one of the jungle lodges.
__________________
chasinva69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 04:50 PM   #8
Administrator
Andy R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 1,184
Molokini Crater accessed from Maui
Unfortunately it's such a popular snorkeling destination that it's typically crowded but the density of sea life in a small area is unparalleled.
Molokini - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Ilha Grande on the Costa Verde between Rio and Sao Paulo Brazil
A beautiful island with amazing beaches (some of the nicest in the world) and fun snorkel day trips. So laid back you might forget to get our of the hammock. One of my favorite places on earth!
Ilha Grande - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


You can't go wrong having fun in Australia. Queensland is fantastic, Brisbane is a beautiful city and then you can head north on a driving journey to Cairns. The great barrier reef will be just off the coast the whole way. I got my Advanced Open Water certification in Cairns before going on a 5 day live aboard boat trip. I really enjoyed Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef but it's SO BIG that the density is not always as good as a place like Molokini.
Cairns, Queensland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Man, now I am craving some adventure!!!
__________________
Lagom är bäst - Enough is as good as a feast - There is virtue in moderation
Andy R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 09:14 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
GusLevy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 98
Thx All for the replies and thots thus far. Our planet Earth is such a paradise that I wish I had all the time to explore the wonders. Having said that I have promised myself that I will venture at least to a few of the places mentioned thus far: Vietnam (thousand miles of beautiful coastline and a country full of friendly people), Great Barrier Reef (prob the greatest natural wonder on the planet) and, of course, the wonderful Ambergris Caye (chasinva69 pls give us the full report upon return - obviously that is one of the snorkel/diving meccas).

I love Maui and the Big Island (have gone 3 times this summer) and thot that Molokini was only a diver's spot so I will get out to that spot next time on the Islands...I am a poor swimmer at the moment which is why I haven't yet gotten my PADI certificate.

I have not yet ventured to the Caribbean Islands as I am a West Coast guy but clearly that is an eventual destination for me as well...Aruba is certainly on the list given the amenities that exist there but I have been told that Bonaire is truly another snorkel mecca so will definitely try to combine the two if logistically feasible.

As for Palau, I am in love with the South Pacific after spending time in French Polynesia (viewing the Southern Cross for the first time on the deck of an over-the-water hut with a nice bottle of wine was pretty much as close to a religious experience as I am going to achieve!)...if $ and time allow I would love to do the magestic tour starting in Papeete before going to Marquesas, then to Fiji, then Samoa, then Vanuatu, then Palau, then New Zealand, then Australia with the GBR and then circle back to Kona or Lahaina. Or perhaps keep on heading from Australia to Indonesia, then the Vietnam tour before the Phillipines and then Kona or Lahaina...
__________________
GusLevy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 09:19 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
GusLevy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 98
BTW Andy R, that picture of Molokai is wonderful to me because it peeks a glimpse of Kahakuloa in Maui in the background...by far the most fun drive I have ever experienced thus far in my life! For all the acclaim the Road to Hana gets imo the Kahakuloa drive is more memorable for me...
__________________
GusLevy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 09:21 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Guam and/or Chuuk. I particularly enjoyed the Val Bomber and the American Tanker. Chuuk is mostly boat dives and drinking surface intervals; not much to see or do on the island. Guam's a little busier.

On Guam when a shipmate and I were entering one of the tanker's cargo holds, he politely motioned for me to go first. I shined my dive light all around, didn't see any obstacles or critters, and slowly started sinking in. My shipmate got a little eager and followed right behind me... until his fin gently brushed the back of my neck.

I must've lost half a tank of air before I settled down.

When we become empty nesters we're looking forward to a Chuuk encore and Cairns. But heck, we haven't even done Molokini yet.

We learned our diving at Monterey where the kelp forests are some of the world's best snorkeling/diving. That is, after you put on a quarter-inch wetsuit (with hood & gloves & booties) or a drysuit-- the water temps even in August are in the mid 60s. But the wildlife is unbelievable, and you can compare your wildlife experience to the displays at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We bought a lot of cheap used SCUBA gear from people who'd learned in Hawaii and moved to Monterey. At the time we couldn't understand why they were giving up so easily...

Quote:
Originally Posted by heyduke View Post
I have been SCUBA certified for some time now and have logged many hours underwater... I finally got to the point of actually preferring snorkeling over SCUBA for many reason...
SCUBA in the morning and snorkel in the afternoon, right? And maybe residual nitrogen gets low enough for a night dive!
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 10:25 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
GusLevy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 98
Greetings Nords...one of the most precious and personal spots on the planet to me is a spot in Pt Lobos with a big rock that I would climb and look out into the ocean from. And afternoons hanging out in the tide pools in Asilomar is one of the free wonders of the world. I grew up in Marina before heading down to SoCal for college and have always loved the ocean (ironically never learned to swim though - but the fact that the Bay is so cold will be my excuse for now)...and the Monterey Bay will always be my hometown no matter where I end up.

As for scuba diving, I certainly have plans to get into that venture at some pt but certainly the ease and freedom of snorkeling is hard to beat...
__________________
GusLevy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2009, 10:17 AM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusLevy View Post
I would like to try Belize in the near future so those with thoughts about that location would be appreciated in particular.
Highly recommended. We spent some time on Caye Caulker in Belize last year and not only is it a really cool laid back little island that's not too expense, there are a ton of dive/snorkel operations that offer various tours to the surrounding islands.

We went on a snorkeling tour that hit several spots... the water was crystal clear and warm, the barrier reef was beautiful, and there was plenty of sea life. Most snorkeling tours there include a run thru shark-ray alley where schools of large sting rays come floating by bumping you on the legs. One woman on our boat from Iceland absolutely freaked out, apparently she was padding along and looked over to see a six foot crocodile calmly swimming past. Guide said that's very rare they're usually closer to shore in the mangroves.

We're not scuba types but I know their big prize is to go dive the blue hole.

Also recommended if there = take a bus inland a couple hours (catch at terminal in Belize City only $3) to San Ignacio. That's a neat little town from where you can arrange all sorts of trips for stuff like cave tubing, rainforest night walks, Mayan ruins, etc. and yes a day trip into Guatemala to see Tikal is a must you'll never forget it.
__________________
tuixiu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2009, 01:50 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,643
I really enjoyed diving on this school bus:



Unfortunately it is best in winter (me on the left in the water - I think):




__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2009, 02:56 PM   #15
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2
tiuxiu,
I have looked into Caye Caulker and have read numerous times that their beaches have loads of sand flies, pesky infection spreading insects. Anything you can tell me? Also where did you stay? Were you satisfied?
Thanks
Ruby
__________________
ruby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2009, 12:58 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,695
DW & I like snorkeling, we have only done a couple scuba dives in the Cook Islands. Anyway snorkeled there, Hawaii, Belize and various Tahitian islands. Our favorite there was a drift snorkel in Bora Bora. Another good place is Fiji. Our limited exposure to Mexico, Belize, Honduras all did not compare to the South Pacific.
Would like to get to Australia GBR someday.
__________________
T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
yakers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2009, 07:39 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,471
I grew up snorkeling in Fiji, it was fantastic. My sister and BIL tell me that Suva Harbor is no longer the underwater paradise I remember growing up, but the snorkeling is still fantastic on the outer islands.

I remember snorkeling as an adult in Hawaii and thinking - where is all the colorful coral? The fish weren't quite as varied either.

Audrey
__________________
audreyh1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 12:02 PM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruby View Post
tiuxiu,
I have looked into Caye Caulker and have read numerous times that their beaches have loads of sand flies, pesky infection spreading insects. Anything you can tell me? Also where did you stay? Were you satisfied?
Thanks
Ruby
The sand flies are mainly a walking on the beach during dawn/dusk thing. We didn't have a problem during the day, and simply walk to/from whereever you're going using the roads at night instead of the beach.

I think I got hit maybe three times the whole stay, although I did see people who had it way worse. It definitely didn't impact us too much.

We stayed with the nice lady who owns this place, called Barefoot Beach:



They have cool little bungalows on the sides, and it's got a nice angle in that it's very quiet since outside of town but only a five minute walk.
__________________
tuixiu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 12:08 PM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by chasinva69 View Post
We have made reservations for Ambergis Caye, Belize over Christmas - so I will let you know. Plan to do alot of snorkeling. Also booked three days at one of the jungle lodges.
If you've got three days for inland try San Ignacio. There are all sorts of day trip type outfits in town, including to Tikal acrosss the border in Guatemala:



There are all sorts of relatively cheap places to stay in town.
__________________

__________________
tuixiu is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Top Retirement Spots With Today's Retirees simple girl Life after FIRE 1 10-03-2006 09:55 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:54 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.