Let me start out by saying that I made a last minute reservation with Big Blue to go snorkeling the next morning. Their rate for a half day snorkel was MUCH more than say, Dive Provo ($195 vs. $65), but no one else had any spots left, so I justified the expense because of everything I'd read about them being eco-conscious. I expected an educational tour and figured that I would find out what made them "eco." When I found out that the weather forecast was supposed to be gorgeous and that the trip was to French Cay and Molasses Reef, I was thrilled!
I did not find out that I was in the bathroom when the guide asked everyone if they needed fins until we got to French Cay, which was an hour by boat away from the marina ;-(( So, I found myself fin-less and not a strong enough swimmer to make it back from the reef around the Cay against the ocean swell (I was informed there was not a strong current, but to me, it doesn't really matter, if I couldn't swim back to the boat against the swell, then there was no sense in swimming out to the reef!) So, while everyone else snorkeled, I gave it a try and snorkeled around the boat. The guide dropped the anchor away from the reef, which was good for the reef, but didn't make for good snorkelling.
The guide's suggestion was for me to borrow someone else's fins after they snorkeled, but I declined to ask because i didn't want to burden the rest of the group. So, after two dives at French Cay, we pulled up to the shore and the guide asked us to walk around the Cay while he prepared a "snack." We then went to Molasses Reef, which is the controversial site of the wreck of Christopher Columbus' Pinta.
The guide came up with a solution to my problem when we got there that ended up being incredible for me. He offered to do all the swimming if I was willing to hold his hand. Uh, yeah!! It was amazing. I didn't have to do anything but stay out of his way and I got a private tour of two amazing sites along Molasses Reef!!
But, ultimately, the only "eco" aspect of the trip was the suggestion by the guide that everyone on the boat use "reef safe" sunscreen, which he offered but no one took him up on and the guide admonished one of the group about standing on coral.
I'm guessing the fee was so high because of the price of the gas to get us there?
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