The Best of the Pacific Ocean: You Told Us!

By Marcia and Jan Chaiken

Living close to the Pacific Ocean is one of the great joys of having a home or visiting the Oaxacan Coast. In our most recent survey, we asked our readers to provide details about their enjoyment of the coastal waters. Most of our readers (64%) selected sunrise or afternoon as the best time to watch the waves on a Oaxaca beach. If you want to wave-watch in splendid isolation, choose noon since none of our respondents deemed that a good time. But, if you go at noon, be sure to use sun block and watch out for those proverbial mad dogs and Englishmen.

The best tide for snorkeling, according to our survey completers, is high tide (42%) followed by a rising tide (37%). No one suggested snorkeling during an ebb tide perhaps based on experience of being stranded out beyond a suddenly exposed reef.

On the other hand, high tide was the least favored time for swimming. Cumulatively 65% of the respondents favored swimming during a rising tide (40%) or low tide (25%). If you take our readers’ advice and swim during a rising tide, watch out for us snorkelers since we’re watching fish and pay no attention to two-legged marine life.

Although we snorkelers can spend hours watching our brightly colored, finned friends, less than 5% of our respondents said that fish are the best animal to watch in the ocean. The top favorite was whales (43%) followed by dolphins (33%). We find it interesting that the preference of our mammalian survey-takers involves other mammals. One day, we’ll figure out how to communicate with our biological cousins, whales and dolphins, and confirm our hypothesis that their favorite animal to watch in the ocean is homo sapiens.

Survey takers were pretty much in consensus about the most exciting fish to catch and the best fish to catch for eating in our coast waters. For excitement, most of our readers (54%) selected the marlin; the sailfish and dorado were the only other types nominated in that category. Although the dorado may not have been selected as the most exciting fish to catch, half of our respondents said it is the best catch to eat. Other nominated fish for the dish, including tuna and huachinango, didn’t come close.

Our readers were also in consensus about the best type of boat to cruise the Pacific waters. Most (57%) said private yachts are best. When we add in private sailboats and private catamarans, the vast majority (81%) prefer vessels of the private kind. Finally, we asked our readers to tell us what is the best feature of the Pacific in Oaxaca. Water temperature was selected by 47% followed by our beaches (37%).

That’s it in a seashell, folks. Enjoy our glorious beaches and take a dip in our warm waters. Who can ask for anything more? Marcia and Jan Chaiken’s Huatulco home overlooks a beautiful beach and warm waters of the Oaxaca Coast.

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