Yes we were one of those dreaded cruise ship passengers, but we were one of the first people off our ship so were at the beach by 8:30am. At this time we had it all to ourselves other then a couple of local residents and a paddle boarder. (Life guards arrived about 9:30-10:00 cruise ship passengers and tours from about 10am on) It was really beautiful on this morning as the waters were very flat and clear.
I grabbed my snorkel gear as an after thought just before leaving our room on the ship and I am SO glad I did. We actually parked ourselves on a picnic bench way over to the right when facing the water and after getting settled I decided to give snorkeling a try even though I did not have high expectations. I was in the water five minutes and paddling around near the rope line when I caught site of a turtle below me! Of course I did not have my underwater camera so swam back to shore to get it and hoping I could remember where the turtle was and that it would still be there. I really did not need to worry however as not only did I see this turtle again but at least 5-6 others. I also saw several rays, and swam in the middle of a HUGE bait ball of baby aquarium size fish. That was really cool as the pelicans were also just diving into the waters all around me getting a great meal! Anyway snorkeled for about 1.5 hrs and when I came out of the water I was surprised to see the beach beginning to get packed with taxi's and tours arriving, also saw that the turtles and rays were moving on to other spots. So dried off in the sun, enjoyed a cold beer and then headed out by 11am. It was the perfect way to spend about 2.5 hrs at this lovely beach, but I definitely would not want to be here after 11am as it was WAY to crowded for my likes.
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