Snorkel Research: More Pinel!

We took Jenn’s mom to Pinel last week, which was also a good opportunity to photograph some of the other snorkeling spots on the island. We started at the beach in the southeast of the island. There’s a little bay that is ringed with coral, including a number of coral heads in the sandy areas. Some areas are also covered in seagrass, where I saw a southern stingray. I would say overall it’s not as awesome as the north beach on Pinel, but it’s pretty nice.

Next I walked out on the rocky shore to access the Extreme Shallow Snorkeling drift zone that is just to the north. This very shallow area probably averages 12-24 inches in depth and has strong currents sweeping down towards the southeast beach. Here the coral fans are bent over like fir trees on a windy coastline or mountaintop. Even fighting against the current, it was a pretty quick ride back to the southeast beach.

Between the dock and the snorkel course is another extremely shallow shoal that can be fun to snorkel. The terrain is mostly covered by algae, but there are quite a lot of juvenile fish to be seen. If you look carefully, sea hares and nudibranchs can be seen here, too.

Our last stop was the designated snorkeling track. We saw a gigantic hermit crab and a bunch of sergeant majors that were behaving suspiciously like they are being fed in this area (immediately swarming around me). I think heavy traffic may have taken a toll on this area. In some ways, I suppose, this is good if it means that some of the more pristine reef areas around Pinel are disturbed less.

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