In the spirit of sharing, the Guadeloupe Islands National Park and its natural reserve, the Grand Cul de Sac Marin welcomes nature lovers and scuba divers all year round. This area covers 135,000 hectares and is both fragile and strong at the same time. The region must be explored with care and attention,
to make sure the treasures within are protected. Here’s the account of an excursion between two afternoon naps on the catamaran nets. We arrived at Mahault-Bay marina at 8:30 am The view is divine in the early light of the morning. The coral reef and small nearby islands protect the lagoon from big waves, surrounded by the natural environment and tropical trees.
The water is always calm and still.
The Azimut catamaran can be accessed by taking a little dinghy. After a short briefing and an introduction to the basics of sailing, the team sets sail, with a northerly course, towards the wreckage of a boat that used to supply the
Arbousier distillery. The barge went down on the coral barrier in 1989. Marked at a depth of 1 meter 20 on the maps, it is clearly visible through the crystal-clear waters. Equipped with flippers, scuba masks and snorkels, we are invited to explore the site and its new inhabitants: a multitude of tropical fish.
The second step is an excursion to the Caret islands for a drink on the water’s edge. This is a great activity for children and those who would rather enjoy the shallow depth of the natural pool rather than delve into the depths of the ocean. This little stop allows visitors to talk to the excursion leaders and learn that this little island carries the same name as the Caret turtles that come to lay their eggs in the sand here once a year. The last stop of the day is between Fageou island and the coral reef. The team makes sure to drop the anchor on
top of a buoy to ensure that it doesn’t drag along the sea bed. This is the heart of the reserve, therefore jet skis and fishing are strictly regulated. This region is marked off by special buoys: yellow buoys with the cross of Saint-André painted upon them. “We all need a purpose in life. For us, it is respecting the nvironment”, explained the Captain. While the team prepares lunch, we set out to explore a real tropical rainforest of the ocean, one of the most spectacular marine ecosystems that is home to thousands of animal and plant species. Before our astonished eyes we come across tangs, parrot fish, butterfly fish and barracudas as well as polyps (enormous coral) where some species lay their eggs, away from the eyes of predators.
The tip of Fageot Island is pretty much one of the best scuba diving spots, here just by snorkeling, you can easily see a variety of colorful fish. A clear advantage for this site is that it is hard to get to because you have to make way through coral heads, something not everyone can do. More and more protective measures have been put in place to maintain the population level and the current condition of the water. Come and see this beautiful place with your own eyes, on an excursion that is accessible to all, all year round and very day during the tourist season.