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.
Sergeant major fish on patrol at Carlisle Bay Marine Park.
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.
Bandstand on the esplanade. Parking is nearby too.
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 (thought 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!