Snorkeling at the Antilla Wreck

Winter is arriving where I live and it’s the time of year when my mind starts to drift to the future or the past.

I think of sunny, warm places I would like to visit. And I think of all the beautiful places I’ve been to.

I remember snorkeling at a shipwreck in Aruba in 2012.

We took a boat tour to snorkel around the shore off Boca Catalina, towards the west side of the island. A sunken ship, the Antilla, lay there and it had grown corals, attracting plenty of colorful fish.

The wreck was an old freight ship and it made for a good snorkeling spot, sitting there at the bottom of the sea, not too far from the surface.

Snorkeling at a ship wreck was an unforgettable experience – despite the crowd.

Several tour boats had arrived simultaneously, dropping way too many snorkelers into that same small patch of water. Getting kicked in the face by a random stranger who doesn’t even notice doing it can spoil the experience if you let it. But I kept calm, and tried very hard to only focus on the beautiful underwater views.

Seeing a ship lay on the bottom of the sea feels surreal. It looked like something you shouldn’t be seeing.

Onboard the different tour boats that had gathered, tanned and rasta-haired crew members were tossing bread crumbs into the sparkling water to attract even more fish.

After a while, so many fish had gathered that they were everywhere, bumping into my snorkel mask with a surprised look on their fish faces, making me want to laugh underwater. I imagine the look on my face must’ve matched theirs.

While I was snorkeling on the surface, hubby was diving underwater, getting very close to the wreck. It looked like he was having fun, gliding away from the crowd and eventually I started doing that, too.

Another day, we took the bus to Arashi beach to do some snorkeling on our own, directly from the beach. Arashi is very close to the Antilla shipwreck and you could clearly see the spot where our tour boat had taken us the other day, because the boats were there again.

It was an easy trip by bus but once we arrived, we noticed that the waves were much rougher than we’d thought. Hubby tried going snorkeling but finally gave up. I didn’t even try because it didn’t look safe, with the sharp rocks in the shallows. Advancing past them was too difficult in the current that day. We decided to just hang out there for a while, sunbathing and admiring the little lizards with blue spots on their tails.

So a few days later, we ended up taking the bus to another beach, Boca Catalina, where we found snorkeling bliss in shallow, sandy waters.

We also took the same boat ride for a second time, but with a different company, and went back to that shipwreck, again, to enjoy the snorkeling. We would have preferred to snorkel independently, without the plus 100, but sometimes going with the flow is just so much easier.

Well, on a scale of problems, that’s pretty small. We were lucky.

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22 responses to “Snorkeling at the Antilla Wreck

  1. A really interesting post. I have always adored snorkeling, too. so apprecaite what you say about the +100. But, we genarally head out on a tour boat too … easier, as you say. Lovely photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Snorkeling is so much fun, wish I could do it more often. Nothing wrong with boat tours, they just kill the “Indiana Jones” ambiance a bit – the illusion of being a great adventurer! 😀 But honestly, I remember thinking that I would’ve loved to do that for a living, work as crew on a tourist boat in the Caribbean 😉

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  2. Nice! Great story! Reminds me of moments during our travels when we encountered some not so pleasant crowds. But we too thought that we were lucky to be able to be there. Making the best of an unfavorable situation is better than spoiling the adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh…you’ve made my day. I’ve wanted to go to Aruba for years…decades. Just the name sounds so exotic. I’m not much on diving, but like to snorkle if it’s good. I’ll be heading to the Maldives soon…see what kind of shots I get from there?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Maldives, lucky you! Can’t wait to see your pics! Aruba’s Eagle beach was very relaxing – Palm beach not so much but luckily we didn’t stay there. Every time I think of Aruba, I hear Beach Boys’ Kokomo in my head… Aruba, Bahama, come on pretty mama… 😉

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  4. I’m not surprised you’re thinking back to your time in Aruba as I look out at a wet, grey London! I love snorkelling but have never done a shipwreck (although I have dived one). Sometimes, the calm of being in the still warm water is just amazing. Aruba sounds wonderul. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

    Liked by 1 person

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