Activity of the Week at Alphonse Island - Snorkelling
May 05, 2016
The tropical clear waters around the Alphonse Group make superb snorkeling for those with varying levels of experience. Water temperatures range from 28-31oC, therefore rash vests provide perfect insulation as well as protection from sun exposure along with your sunscreen. Your snorkeling equipment is available at the activities centre, and drinks and snacks are provided.
The exquisite marine life at Alphonse ensures that your snorkeling experience is something truly spectacular. When you first arrive you will be given a short boat safety briefing, then taken to a specially chosen snorkel site. Your guides, who are all scuba diving professionals and honour only the highest standards in providing a safe and fun experience, will describe the site and how to have the best possible in-water experience in your buddy teams.
The Alphonse lagoon with shallow, sheltered water and massive Porties coral bommies allows you to see a great variety of reef fish close up including: Yellowfin Goatfish, Scissortail Sergeant, Bluefin Trevally and Bohar Snapper. You will see countless Giant Clam and Feather Duster Worms embedded in the coral with a good chance of spotting juvenile turtles and stingrays closer to the drop-offs and in the surrounding sandy bottom.
On high neap tides you will be able to get into the most shallow areas of reef including Alphonse’s Coral Garden and Bijoutier’s God’s Aquarium and Back Row. Here you will marvel at the way the sunlight plays on the branching corals and how hundreds of Humpback Snapper, Onespot Snapper, Stoplight Emperor, Blue-lined Snapper and Convict Tang group together in the reef depressions. Needlefish and Cornet Fish gather in swarms at the surface or the bottom. Be careful and mindful to not touch or kick the coral on these beautiful sites.
For the more experienced snorkelers and free-divers we offer excursions to the drop-offs of the outer reefs. Here the water is very clear and there can be great encounters with bigger fish such as Napoleon Wrasse, Giant Trevally, Jobfish, Milkfish, Rays and even small Sharks. You will see the different topography of a reef platform with coral spurs and sandy groove. Many reef fish like Grouper and Moray Eels hang out in these areas for a maintenance session with Cleaner Wrasse that pick off parasites.
One of the most popular snorkel sites is the all-in-one Channel drift. This is for the adventurous thrill seekers as the currents can be strong and sweep you first over our coral garden, then seagrass beds, followed by Triggerfish nesting grounds and, finally, coral bommies exploding with schools of big fish such as Snubnose Pompano, Batfish, Black and Bohar Snapper. This is a must for the confident swimmers out there.
Be sure to refer to our fish identification materials and ask your guides the name of your favourite fish and their specific behaviours. They will be only too happy to share their knowledge.