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Sargasso Update & Changes from Half Moon Bay Vacation

Murray, Kentucky
4 posts
2 reviews
Sargasso Update & Changes from Half Moon Bay Vacation

Just returned from a 7 day trip to HMB. Also stayed there 13 years ago, so would like to share my experiences with fellow travelers. First, the grass is bad in many, many places along the YP. The intensity seems to vary - based on the beach and wind direction, available labor and just pure bad luck. A beachside breakfast (7/31) near the PDC ferry pier revealed 20 yards of brown water and a mild amount of sargasso. Akumal's sargasso issues were present each day, although the intensity varied. Please note that not only are you dealing with 8-12" deep matting in places, but the stench can be repugnant. Again, intensity depends on the above factors.

Now for HMB. Grass was covering the middle third of the bay. On some days this same section experienced matting (and brown water) stretching out 40-50 yards from the shore. The breadth would change day 2 day. Also dotting the beach were piles of rotting sargasso which caused the intense smell. The worst was centered around La Lunita. Of special note, the beach laborers were working heroically to remove the piles but were obviously fighting a losing battle. On a good note, the northern third of the bay (iron shore) had very little grass issue and the water was as beautiful as I remember 13 years ago. We stayed at La Sirena, and enjoyed our stay immensely. Cannot recommend this property enough. Great location and property. For us, the grass was merely a nuisance while snorkeling in HMB. It appears that the iron shore's shallow reef protects this section of HMB. From our vantage point, we watched wave after wave of grass float into the southern 2/3's of HMB. The snorkeling in HMB was a mixed bag. Made 8 trips and saw no turtles. 13 years ago I saw a half dozen in just 3 trips. It appears that most of grass they feed on was absent. That said, I only covered the northern 2/3's of the bay. We did see 2 nurse sharks, one a good 5-6 footer along with what looked a barracuda. Also saw many rays, including southern, yellow and a small eagle ray. General fish population was good. To summarize, we had a great trip. With some research, we successfully targeted La Sirena as our defense against the grass's ill effects. The people and food were great. Weather was perfect. I would not hesitate to go again in the future. I hope this helps those considering a visit to Half Moon Bay.

4 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
66 posts
50 reviews
1. Re: Sargasso Update & Changes from Half Moon Bay Vacation

This is so very helpful! Thank you! We are also returning to La Sirena for the first time in 5 years this November. I was beginning to become discouraged with the posts about the seaweed and changes in Akumal in general. We made regular trips to La Sirena when my boys were younger but then began traveling to new places as they got older and more independent. Now they are teenagers and they requested to return to La Sirena because of fond memories of our annual trips there. I know it will be different now but I am hopeful that maybe the bliss of HMB and Akumal will help unplug and relax my teenagers. Okay...that might be a little optimistic but I do hope we have a nice vacation. Teenagers are a little like the seaweed....there is no way to predict or control them ;)

Saginaw, Texas
Level Contributor
3,194 posts
4 reviews
2. Re: Sargasso Update & Changes from Half Moon Bay Vacation

Gracias for the report!

Last year we stayed at Playa Caribe Condos. We too never saw a turtle the whole time we were there. Great snorkeling, though.

Level Contributor
2 posts
16 reviews
3. Re: Sargasso Update & Changes from Half Moon Bay Vacation

Update-Arrived to HMB yesterday evening and accommodation is directly above La Lunita. The mat of seaweed extended out 10-20 yards but lessened as you went north. This morning mat has shifted further south and no mat at all directly out front of our place.

On another note, a nest of turtles hatched directly out front as we finished our lobster dinner at La Lunita.

Level Contributor
289 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Sargasso Update & Changes from Half Moon Bay Vacation

Just looked at the lo ha webcam

Holiday makers are helping to clear the sargassum.

It looks horrendous.

A solution must be found

As this will cost tourism throughout the Caribbean .

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