Stephen from MN's Dive Log

@stephen_from_mn

6 dives

Ile Pinel on 5/8/2008
Stephen from MN
Stephen from MN
May 8, 2008, 12:00 AM
scuba
We went on the protected side of the island. Vis was poor due to the February winds, but once we got out some distance it was ok. This is a big island, but it seemed the interest spot was two large boulders about the size of a car that attracted small fish. Bottom content was sand with turtle grass. I liked the experience, but if more than a dozen people it could get crowded. I think the windward side of the island would be much better had we gone there. I still would return, but other Caribbean spots stand out better for just about everything. Some nudist activity made it odd for me to take my kids to the windward side, but that is common throughout the islands.
John Pennekamp on 6/23/2013
Stephen from MN
Stephen from MN
Jun 23, 2013, 12:00 AM
scuba
The shore diving was just average, nothing unique. The whole of hwy 1 up and down the Keys looks very similar to me. To really see what this park has to offer, you have to take the guided boat snorkel tour. That takes you several miles offshore. This park has in my opinion one of the most amazing shallow reefs to see. Full of larger fish and lobsters. Keep in mind that this park fills up and closes once full head capacity. And also that the guided boat tours don't run if weather is bad.
Excellsior Bay on 3/20/2014
Stephen from MN
Stephen from MN
Mar 20, 2014, 12:00 AM
scuba
Vis is improving due to zebra muscles. Winter vis 40-75ft fall vis around 30-40. Summer best is mid week. Friday-Sunday vis drops. This is the best Tonka video I have yet made. Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HuV4wNIGdY
Coral Princess Hotel on 8/20/2018
Stephen from MN
Stephen from MN
Aug 20, 2018, 12:00 AM
scuba
We stayed at the hotel but it might be possible to get a drink and occupy a beach chair. No access to shore without walking thru front of hotel and right at front desk, thru right door and hallway. Down the stairs and out to pool and ocean side access. Current is typical on main civilized side of island, but current keeps the dead floating algae away which can pile up to a rotting stinking mess on the other side of island and main land. We both day and night snorkeled it. Also was fun to feed fish bread. Due to current, we swam up current and drifted back. A ladder is exit point. Waves were too strong to try climbing out on rocks. Depth is roughly 15ft against the wall entry point dropping off to probably 20-30 ft of featureless sand. All the fish are against the wall, starfish, sea urchins, corals, tiny tropical fish. Swimming around 400 yards towards town yields a shallower sandy spot according to another guest I talked to. Rental snorkeling gear is available at the dive shop which closes around 5pm. Happy hour 2 for one drinks is 5-6pm. There is a bar in the pool with underwater stools. Also a fresh water shower to wash off.. Due to current it's not much of scuba diving and more of a snorkeling spot. Also keep in mind this has rocky reef like shoreline full of life, which is different than shallow sandy shoreline that exists farther down towards town.
Chankanaab State Park on 8/20/2018
Stephen from MN
Stephen from MN
Aug 20, 2018, 12:00 AM
scuba
We actually came to swim with dolphins. The taxi cost us 280 paso, and swim was $129 US dollars a person. Extra $75 for a picture. Camera in the swim area was not allowed. Had I know that I probably wouldn't have come. Dolphin swim was interesting. I found dolphins intimidating as they are meat eaters and have large teeth. The manatee swim I found more is impressive. Big water cows. The park closes early. Like 5pm. One person said jokingly that on rare occasions salt water crocodiles have come in at dusk. Not sure on that. I did see an iguana. This is massive park with lots of stuff to do, like zip lining, diving , snorkeling,.. shore is sandy and shallow. Our package came with quick buffet which was simple but good. Water at pier distance looks deeper like 20-30ft and I could see what looked like large 2ft long yellowfin tuna zipping back and forth along the edge of the net pens. Originally when the park opened it was cheaper, like $20. But at current price we paid it seemed over priced. Much like a lot of Mexico in last few years has gotten more expensive as average income has gone up, and foreigners are now buying property... another guest I was talking with had snorkeled the lagoon and seen the impressive tarpon. Also seen the sculptures out at depth. If I was to do this again, I'd plan to come early.
Stephen from MN
Stephen from MN
Aug 8, 2020, 12:00 AM
scuba
We dive/snorkel a lot. 1-4 times a week the entire year round or more depending on work schedule. We visited this site after reviews here. The first attempt was with 22mph shore winds and wasn't successful. Second attempt wind died to about 13mph after a week of waiting in hotel. The surf was kinda a lot, as was current. Visibility was about 5-10ft. We were snorkeling and swam out past the first set of buoys which marks the swim area. We were half the distance of the buoy to shore farther out from the marker. We didn't see anything. The locals told us eventually the bottom comes back up to get shallow for the first reef. Maybe like 9 ft. We were in the first trench where depth is 20ft+. We saw small shads swim by. The current goes north, then switches south depending on tide. It starts slow then picks up faster than it's possible to swim. You need to consider tide. The lifeguards watch with binoculars and Will ticket and call police if you are seen with a speargun. It's not allowed on public beaches. Overall I was disappointed. I booked a room close by and spent 10 days in area. I will try this site again and update. It's too far a swim to do as entry level dive or snorkel. Go to blue heron Bridge instead or get a local guide to accompany.