Calabash Cove is a good location for new divers and snorkelers visiting Saint Lucia. Coral reefs run down the west coast of the island and start just a few feet from the shore. They are home to a variety of marine life, so exploring the underwater world around Bonaire Bay should definitely be on your bucket list of things to do.
Diving in Saint Lucia Coral Reefs near Castries
The warm clear water surrounding Saint Lucia make snorkeling and diving a particularly rewarding pleasure for visitors to this lovely island. There are many dive companies based in Castries, just a short distance from Calabash Cove. Their well-equipped boats and local knowledge guarantee the best possible Caribbean dive experience on coral reefs.
You are likely to encounter all sorts of aquatic animals including sea horses, frog fish, needle fish, peacock fish and batfish in this scenic underwater world. Other common species to keep an eye out for include trumpet fish, striped sergeant majors, parrot fish (which peck algae from the rocks), scorpion fish, spotted drum fish and the very unpopular lion fish.
Sometimes, larger creatures such as octopus, moray eels, stingrays, lobsters, green turtles, giant leatherbacks and hawksbill turtles can also be seen. Many shoals of brightly colored fish tend to hide in the sandy gullies and crevices covered in beautiful coral and anemones.
You will want to try and identify some of the various Saint Lucia reef corals on your dive, such as brain coral, pillar coral and five finger coral. You are also likely to see barrel sponges, black and orange gorgonians and unusual fluorescent sponges.
Coral Spawning in Saint Lucia
Coral is actually a living creature and it reproduces by releasing a cloud of eggs when the conditions are right. This spectacular reproductive process is known as coral spawning, and Saint Lucia is one of the few places where divers can actually witness it in action during night dives.
The corals release pink and white clusters of spawn that cloud the water like a snowstorm. The eggs drift to the surface to complete the fertilization process, and hopefully some will settle and form a new coral reef. Special night dives can be booked to see Saint Lucia coral reef spawning – something few people ever get the chance to see for themselves.
Top Coral Reefs at Saint Lucia Dive Spots
Some of the closest and best coral reefs for diving near Calabash Cove include the following:
Saline Point – Saint Lucia’s most northerly dive point where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic. It’s a good place to spot barracuda, scorpion fish and flying gurnard in waters reaching 60 feet. It’s suitable for all levels of divers.
La Roche (Barrel o’ Beef) – Just a quarter mile from Rodney Bay, this popular St Lucia coral reef is home to triggerfish and lobsters in the underwater trenches.
Vigie Beach Reef – Suitable for all experiences from beginner to experienced. It has some of the shallowest reefs with a maximum 39 foot depth and a 1-2 knot current.
Anse Cochon – An open water dive experience with a negligible current and a maximum depth of 62 feet. It is about 30 minutes by boat from Castries. Trenches, caverns and walls shelter a host of colorful fish and marine life. There are two artificial reefs nearby on sunken vessels: The Lesleen M and Daini Koyomaru.
Pigeon Island – Excellent snorkeling and diving with good coral reefs and boulders. Diving starts at 15 feet and goes to around 60 feet.
As you can see, Saint Lucia is far more than just a sunshine and beach destination. It offers exceptional opportunities for fishing, watersports, snorkeling and diving to make your vacation complete.
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