Marine Park with huge variety of reef Fish
Regular visitors to Coconut Court will know that we have a fantastic underwater world just off our beach.
The reef balls are a sanctuary for all sorts of fish and it's well worth bringing your snorkel and mask when you come to stay with us.
But if you want to see a wider variety of fish, and some strange ones as well, you can pop along the coast a mile or two and swim in Carlisle Bay Marine Park, a free activity and a real adventure.
Protected by law
There are six wrecks which make up the park – most of the vessels were deliberately sunk to provide a home for marine wildlife. The park is protected by law and fishing is banned within the marked area.
You can swim out to the marine park from the shore – just enter the water near the esplanade using the bandstand as a marker point.
It’s less than 100 metres from the shore to the centre of the park, which is marked by buoys.
The biggest of the wrecks is the Bajan Queen, a working tug boat, later converted to a party boat and finally cleaned and scuttled in 2002.
Even though she is in about 35ft of water, the fish life around the Bajan Queen can easily be seen from the surface. The Cornwallis, a Canadian freighter sunk by a torpedo during the second world war, is in shallower water, as is a naval landing barge, which is also closest to the shore.
Kayaks or paddle boards
You'll see parrot fish, large shoals of silvery striped bream and the weird looking black bar (although it's red), with its bulging eyes and tell-tale bar near its gills. Pictured below.
And of course, you should see a turtle or two. A Coconut Court guest recently saw a spotted moray eel on the wreck closest to the shore!
The swim is perfect for confident swimmers. Guests with children or weaker swimmers can hire a kayak or a stand up paddle board from the nearby Cruising Club and paddle out. Just tie off on one of the buoys, ensuring you also secure your paddles.
Boat trips available
Alternatively, speak to Vaida Blades in the activities centre at the hotel. She can organise a glass bottom boat trip or put you in touch with one of the local dive shops who run regular snorkelling and diving trips out to the park. Enjoy!
Towel Art At Coconut Court
Guests visiting Coconut Court for a special occasion often get an extra treat.
Where time allows, room attendants bring their artistic talents to bear and create beautiful designs using simple towels.
Swans, hearts, baskets and birthday cakes are among the varied shapes that Coconut Court staff have created over the years.
For the staff, the main reward is the reaction of the guests.
“I really enjoy doing it,” said Sandra, who has worked at Coconut Court for 15 years. “Especially when you see the expression on the guests’ faces.”
Matching the design to the guest...
Sandra tries to match the design with what she thinks a particular guest might like.
“I try to observe the guests and have a think about what they might like. Once you know who it is, you can choose the right colour flowers to go with the decoration. On one occasion, I wasn't sure if a design was for a man or a woman - I just knew there was a birthday in the room.
"So when I discovered it was for a lady, I made a heart with a small basket decorated with burgundy coloured flowers.”
Based on origami?
Towel art is thought to be based on origami, the 17th century Japanese paper folding techniques.
Sandra’s favourite shape is the basket, which is easier to move off the bed. “The guests then keep it on a table and it will last for the time they are staying – and I can change the flowers or even the towels.”
Her colleague Maria is self-taught and picked up a lot of the skills from watching YouTube videos.
Her favourite shapes are swans and birthday cakes. "I love just watching the face of the guests when they see them. They're so excited!"