Where to Snorkel in Paradise Island, Bahamas

Where to Snorkel in Paradise Island, Bahamas
A place like Paradise Island in the Bahamas is a natural choice for snorkelers. The usual conditions of the Bahamas---warm waters and underwater visibility that routinely reaches 80 feet---combine with a choice of four sites that are at ideal depths for snorkelers. Some of them can even be accessed from a local beach or by a small, private boat.

Rose Island Reefs

Rose Island's perimeter has a series of reefs that are ideal for snorkelers. The reefs range between a mere 5 feet to 35 feet deep, so the base of even the deepest of the reefs is accessible by skin dive, and all of them can be easily watched from the surface. Although it is sometimes reported that the reefs are degrading from too much boat traffic and too much contact with divers and snorkelers, there are still plenty of fish in the area. Also visible for snorkelers is the wreck of the Mahoney, a transport lying outside the harbor in 20 feet of water.

Gambier Deep Reef

Gambier Reef is about 15 minutes by motor boat from Cable Beach, meaning strong swimmers or snorkelers in a row boat could reach it on their own. The reef is deep from a snorkeling point of view---the bottom is more than 80 feet down. However, the top of the reef is visible to snorkelers all along its line, and much of the upper parts can be reached on a skin dive.

Booby Rock Channel

This site is sometimes criticized for being much degraded, with some reports indicating that dive and snorkel boat operators throw dog food into the water to attract fish. Booby Rock itself is a great rocky mass jutting out of the sea. There are corals and even the wreck of an old fishing boat down about 30 feet, but since that is near the upper limit of visibility and almost the upper limit for most skin divers, it seems that this area has its best snorkeling days behind it.

Goulding Reef Cays

Goulding Reef and its many cays are actually home to not just one site, but a collection of many small ones. The reef is another spot where even the base of the reef is within skin diving range, averaging about 30 feet deep. That places all the corals and fish of the reef within a snorkeler's visibility as well. The reef tops are usually in a mere 9 feet of water. The corals are said to be pristine and of mostly the elkhorn variety.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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