Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Bermuda Snorkeling Remains A Thriving Activity

By Jessica Thomas

The Caribbean islands are amongst the top destinations for water sports enthusiasts and it is not difficult to see why. For underwater adventure few places can match the combination of climate, sparkling clear water and the variety of diving attractions that Bermuda snorkeling is offering.

The island has a collection of beautiful coral reefs, easily accessible shipwrecks and underwater caves plus the most amazing marine life described by some as uniquely perfect. The temperate climate for most of the year means that the sea remains comfortably warm although some divers recommend wearing wet suits between November and March. One benefit of diving in the cooler months is that visibility is improved considerably.

Those making their first visit will benefit from doing a little prior research to learn where their snorkeling ability, interest and financial circumstances can best be satisfied. Many visitors are delighted to snorkel off some of the abundant heavenly beach locations and spend the rest of their time simply lying around and simply just chilling out.

Diving off a beach can limit the size of sea creatures one is likely to come across. Typically Butterfly and Parrot fish are commonly sighted close to shore. Those hoping to see larger species may prefer to dive off boats to access deeper waters. Many organized charters can be found in most areas. Tobacco Bay is typical of the fine beaches where good snorkeling opportunities abound. Located along the north coast of St George Island and adjacent to the historic fort of Saint Catherine, it is close to the airport so visitors will lose little time reaching this remarkable dive site.

Another really worthwhile location for snorkelers is Elbow Beach located in Paget Parish on the central south of the main island. Considered by some to be among the top three beaches on the island Elbow Beach also boasts having a easily accessible shipwreck called the Pollockshields around 100 yards from the shoreline.

A hurricane in 1915 caused the vessel Pollockshields to go off course and sail into the reefs off this shoreline. This site may be suited to more practiced divers, or possibly by going with a knowledgeable tour led group, as it has a reputation to occasionally produce a strong surge current in rougher weather conditions. Nevertheless it offers breathtaking sights of the sunken vessel and it is even possible to swim within the old boiler house of the stricken ship.

For family visits the Snorkel Park beach at the western end of Bermuda is an excellent option. Designed specifically with families in mind this beach is known for its pure white sands, particularly calm and shallow water as well as other attractions close by.

These include the nearby fort which houses the National Museum and the Dolphin Quest where visitors can actually swim with and feed the dolphins that are kept here. Sightings of angelfish, doctor fish and grey snappers are common amongst the coral reefs. What is great for children is that there are actually marked trails to follow and underwater signs describing what you are looking at. Frequently visitors are able to see sunken canons under the water.

Whether a beginner or an old hand at snorkeling, Bermuda has something to offer everyone. There is always something new to be discovered. The sites mentioned are but a small sample from the myriad number of memorable locations where all tastes and styles are accommodated.

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