Snorkeling

Snorkeling St. John USVI

St. John Island is listed as one of the best snorkeling destinations in the world. Two-thirds of the island, about seven thousand acres, are protected by the Virgin Islands National Park. Why is St. John’s Island such a paradise for snorkeling?

First of all, most of the snorkeling locations are in shallow waters making getting to them extremely easy. You can just walk off the beach and start snorkeling. You don’t necessarily have to worry about renting a boat or booking a charter. These snorkeling locations have an amazing diversity and colorful marine life and coral formations.

 

Snorkeling Etiquette

One of the most popular vacation activities on St. John Island is snorkeling. The ocean holds many beautiful wonders to see, especially below the water. But, there are some things to keep in mind while enjoying this fun activity. Snorkeling etiquette is a very important piece of knowledge to have and here are few tips you should be mindful of while you are enjoying your underwater experiences. These important tips will help you to minimize any ill effects on the underwater environment.

 

Be Smart, Be Safe!

  • Do not exceed your physical/mental limitations!
  • Do not exceed your experience level!
  • Never snorkel alone, Always snorkel with at least one other person!
  • Always know the weather conditions when you go snorkeling!
  • Always know the water currents when you go snorkeling!
  • Always pay attention to all weather advisories!

Watch where you are stepping!

Coral St. John IslandWhen you stand on or kick coral, you are, in essence, destroying decades of its devolpement. Remember, coral serves the purpose of a habitat for varying sea life. You wouldn’t want someone coming in and destroying your home. To help prevent your mask from fogging up, use the tried and true method of spitting onto your goggles and smearing it around or, if that grosses you out, you can purchase an anti-fogging spray. You will have a much clearer view of the beauty of your underwater surroundings. While you are snorkeling and you find that you are in  need of an adjustment, be smart and find a shallow spot with only SAND to safely place your feet and/or fins onto. If you aren’t a good swimmer, be safe  and please remember to wear a life saving flotation device.

If you don’t want to “FEEL THE BURN”, Do Not touch with your bare hands and/or feet

Bacteria flurishes on Coral that causes painful stinging and, in some cases, alergic reactions. Stepping on or touching coral with your bare hands and/or feet can leave cuts, scrapes and infection.

Beds of Sea Grass

Sea grass beds serve many purposes:

  • A food source for sea turtles, conch and fish.
  • A nursery/shelter for small fish, coral and crustaceans.
  • Important to the marine eco system.
  • Note: It is illegal, in many places, to damage sea grass beds.

The Majesty of sea turtles!

Sea Turtles are amazingly beautiful creatures! As tempting as it may be to grab the turtle’s shell and swim alongside with it, the turtles don’t actually appreciate it. If you can manage to remain motionlessly drifting and simply look at them, they will remain there for hours feeding.

Respect the Diet!

Fish have natural feeding habits and diets. Please do not alter! If you feed the fish, you risk getting injured within a feeding frenzy.

Sea Turtle in St. John IslandThe Ocean is NOT your personal “free souvenir shop!”

Starfish are living creatures – do not kill them for your amusement!

Shells are used by other sea life as shelters and protection – do not steal their homes, you wouldn’t want someone to steal yours!

Dead coral dissolves and its calcium and minerals get re-used by living coral to keep developing – do not take awat their livelihood!

Taking these things does cause havok on the eco system. So, try your best not to take “souvenirs.”

Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute!

  • Do not leave plastic bags or bottles in the ocean.
  • Do not leave your trash in the ocean.
  • Do not go to the bathroom in the ocean.
  • Do not spill chemicals or other unnatural items into the ocean.

All these things have a negative impact on marine life, plants and habitats. So remember the motto, “Give a hoot, Don’t pollute.”

 

Keeping these things in mind, go ahead and discover the beauty and diverse life hidden under the water. With this knowledge and great care everyone can have a wonderful snorkeling adventure!

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Virgin Islands Ecotours – Experience the best of St John on a 3 hour Kayak, Hike & Snorkel Guided Adventure at Caneel Bay in the VI National Park! Departs daily!