St. Martin is not a great place for beach snorkling. Probably best off a boat. I have been to about 8 beaches (and have my own snorkel gear) in St. Martin and none of them were good for snorkling. Maybe there is a small cove somewhere that I haven't been to yet that somebody else knows of.
Okay, let me rephrase my question here....where are good places to snorkel in either St Thomas or St Maarten? I've got my own gear and want to snorkel off the beach...any suggestions out there?
Also....has anyone heard of Sapphire Beach in St Maarten? Is it a public beach I can take a cab to?
When we were in St Thomas, we took the ferry to St John and snorkled at a sparcely populated beach called Hawks Nest. It was great - coral just a few feet off the shore. Email me is you want a picture!
There is a great spot we know of in St. Thomas. Take the ferry over to St John and then taxi to Hawk's Nest Beach. While I am not a big fan of beach snorkeling, usually just a bunch of dead coral and seaweed, Hawks Nest was really nice. There is a living reef that runs all the way up to the beach and extends out in to the bay farther than you would want to swim. Lots of coral, plants and fish. One word of caution. Hawk's Nest is a park. No restaurants, bars of refreshments so if you want that you'll have to pack your own. On the upside very un crowded. Maybe 18 - 20 people total while we were there =coolsign . In St Maarten we took a trip on the sailing ship Lord Sheffield. Wonderful and relaxing trip. One of the best shore excursions we've taken. They sail out of Phillipsburg Marina which is about a 10 minute stroll from the ship. The serve BBQ Ribs and chicken, french bread and cheese, smoked oysters and other goodies with all the beer, rum punch and other libations you'd care to drink (all free). Here's a link to their website. If you want Lord Sheffield book on their site because they don't sell it on the ship.
We snorkeled with kids from Coki Beach on St. Thomas. We had hoped to do the same at Dawn Beach on St. Marteen, but the sea was very rough and we were not able to do anything much in the water. Sapphire Beach is on St. Thomas(never heard on one by that name on St. Marteen.) We saw the beach and it was lovely, and not far from Coki. Coki was great because of the rocky formations on the side of the beach. This attracted a lot of fish.
One place we talked about going but never made it to was Pinel Island on St. Martteen. You can take a taxi, then a short boat ride. That is supposed to be nice snorkeling from the beach.