Saint Lucia

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s snorkeling! It’s scuba diving! No, it’s SNUBA! If you’re looking to explore the underwater world in a new and exciting way, look no further than SNUBA. Operated at the Pigeon Island National Park, this water activity can be enjoyed by everyone. Tropical Traveller had the recent pleasure of trying SNUBA and had an excellent experience.

We arrived at the second beach at Pigeon Island where we were greeted by the SNUBA guide. We could already tell we were going to have a safe and well-organised tour under the sea based on the set up on land. Our guide, Corinne A.K.A Cocoa Puff, gave us the forms to fill out to ensure we were physically capable of doing the underwater tour. Then we got ready for our short safety briefing on the various hand signals to use in the water; how to get water out of our masks, how to pull ourselves back to the flotation device and general rules and regulations of diving in a reef.

SNUBA is the unique experience that is more advanced and interactive than snorkeling, but without the training and certification of scuba diving. By combining the two, SNUBA allows the less seasoned swimmer to experience the same joys of coming up close and personal with the wonders of the creatures that live in these reefs. With the air supply on a flotation device on the surface of the water and a 20-foot hose that attaches the diver to the flotation device, SNUBA allows the diver to determine how deep he or she wants to go.

Wading into the water, we got our gear on and swam quietly out to the reef. Swimming over a bed of seaweed we soon came to the coral where all the fish were darting about, and the variety we saw! Trigger fish, angelfish, flounders, sea eggs, sea urchins and even an eel! It’s amazing how on the surface that water looks calm and quiet and underneath it is teeming with life. We swam through schools of fish that surrounded us, their fins glinting in the sunlight that filtered down. The best thing about the whole experience was the knowledge that if anyone needed to go to the surface for a break, the flotation device was there for a well-needed rest; although, it was hard to tear ourselves away from the performance of the fish and sea creatures.

Twenty-five minutes later, we came full circle and we’re back to the shallows where our underwater tour ended. Cocoa Puff made sure we were all good and we returned our gear to the beach to be disinfected.

Next we decided to climb the fort at Pigeon Island and Cocoa Puff happily agreed to escort our group to the top, giving us the history of the park and its importance in the annals of Saint Lucia; and so ended a marvelous day. So if you’re visiting Saint Lucia, try SNUBA Saint Lucia for a guaranteed good time.