Captain Max met our group at the appointed time and pier. She would be what I would describe as an “old salt” in the best of ways- very knowledgeable about sailing and the ways of the ocean and tides. During the intros you could tell she was sizing us up. She had very good reason to do so. Several of us were “not athletic.” She had to figure out who had to sit where in order to safely load us for the very short dingy ride to board the sailboat. During that time she took the time to learn if any of us were familiar at all with any sort of floating vessel. We ranged as greatly in our boat knowledge as much as we ranged in our athletic ability. But she made us all comfortable transferring from the dock, to the dingy and onto the sailboat.
The first priority on the boat was to go over safety features and how to safely navigate around the boat while we were at sea. Max had one quite capable deck hand, Emma. Both of them set about getting us comfortably seated and settled in for the ride. Emma was quick to help with the mooring lines, the mast, sail and other assorted boat lines and anything else Max needed. Max was very helpful picking out the right sized snorkel gear for each of us. Emma was our guide and showed us where to look for sea creatures during our snorkel time. Afterward, she helped us identify some of the fish we saw while snorkeling.
Emma set up lunch for us and kept the rum punch flowing. Lunch was plentiful, healthy and beautiful. We had a large platter of fresh fruits, cheese and flavorful steamed boneless chicken breast. Those were rounded out by a rice pilaf and bread that had to have been baked in heaven. What made lunch so beautiful was the fact they used sprigs of bougainvillea flowers around the platter and our plates were lined with sea grape leaves. Although we were floating in the ocean, the presentation of the food made it feel as though we were dining at an upscale island diner.
Captain Max and Emma were both interesting to talk to and interesting people to learn from. They worked wonderfully together to create for us a perfect sailboat excursion. We were able to completely relax and enjoy the tropical breezes and fresh salt air. In fact one person in the group got extremely relaxed from those delicious rum punches. Even then, Captain Max was able to get everyone back onshore safe and sound. Nothing seemed rushed or out of sorts even though the winds of Hurricane Sandy were beginning to stir.
The taxi/ bus ride to get to and from the pier reminded me of a ride in Disneyland called “The Matterhorn” because it had breathtaking views peeping out of the very steep hills and valleys we had to navigate to get to the pier. Two questions are always asked regarding shore excursions, “Would you do it again?” and “Was it worth it?” In my opinion, the answer to both is a resounding yes. I enjoy boat excursions with snorkeling. As scuba diving is no longer an option for me, I want to see creatures I rarely get the opportunity to do so.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.