Research Snorkeling: All Over Pinel

The small, offshore islet of Pinel is a well-known snorkeling area, but most of my favorite snorkeling spots on Pinel are outside the designated snorkel course. Earlier this month we visited three of the areas.

Since we were having lunch at Karibuni, the first one was around the coast just north of the restaurant. The sandy area around the restaurant’s pier gives way to seagrass, and then shallow rock formations covered in soft corals. Tropical fish were plentiful, and the area is relatively well-protected from waves.

Our next stop was the beach on the north shore of the island. It’s a beautiful beach that is generally quite quiet. Offshore, there is a large lagoon area that is protected from waves by coral formations that ring the beach with a few small breaks leading out to the ocean. Inside the lagoon the water is usually relatively calm and soft corals and fish abound. There are also numerous elkhorn corals, some of which reach over six feet in diameter.

We also took a few minutes to explore a series of shallow tide pools on the eastern side of the northern beach. Mostly less than a foot deep, they are populated primarily by juvenile fish.

On our next visit we’ll hopefully get a chance to explore the shallow drift zone and southern beach, two other great snorkeling spots at Pinel!

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