This is a cruise aboard a Trimaran, a first for me and a huge thrill!! The owner and captain of the Octopus, Jethro Gesterkamp, has been sailing the Octopus for 28 years!! It was originally built in Holland and sailed to Aruba by it’s owner at the time, so, it is a very sturdy and safe boat!! This is a sail-powered sailboat. No motor, just the peace and quiet of the wind in the sails and the splash of the water!!! The trip starts at the pier by the Holiday Inn and sails about 40 minutes north up the coast to a spot called Boca Catalina. It is an absolutely incredible spot for snorkeling!!! It is an area that is pretty well protected from the wind and the water is crystal clear!!! The depth is only about 10 feet, so, it is a great snorkeling depth. We truly felt like we were swimming in a tropical fish bowl!!! The sheer abundance of fish was breathtaking!! There were so many different kinds of fish!! We saw French Angelfish, Wrasse, Damselfish, Yellowtail, Goatfish, Cowfish, Tang, several kinds of Parrotfish, Butterfly fish and even a Green Moray, to name only a few!! The huge schools of fish were just incredible!! The coral in this area was pretty healthy and the water was a bit warmer, owing to the shallower water depth, I am sure. This snorkeling spot is totally accessible from the beach and I am hoping that we will have time to come back by ourselves tomorrow and spend more time there!!
I chose this trip for a few reasons, the fact that Jethro is geared toward smaller groups, and we lucked out, there were only 6 of us on board, and there were no other boats with snorkelers there, so, we had the place to ourselves!!! I also want to experience as many different snorkel spots as possible and Boca Catalina was one of the places I had on my list. I read reviews on this trip and saw many positive reviews.
Important details: We took the shorter afternoon cruise and Jethro provides an open bar, refreshments and some sandwiches of Gouda Cheese on Baguettes. ( I am so loving the bread and cheese here on the island!!!)
Overall, I would highly recommend this trip!! Jethro is a really great guy, as well as his sidekick, J.J.!! (His son!! Just adorable and so well mannered!!!) A great time and great way to see the island from the water!!!
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