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Bennett's Harbor are snorkelling

Salt LakeCity
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Bennett's Harbor are snorkelling

I'd like to find out what the scoop is on snorkeling on Cat Island and specifically Bennett's Harbor? Will be staying nearby and we have kayaks, but do we need to rent a car to get to the best snorkeling places? Does anyone have a snorkeling map of Cat Island?

I'm looking at a NASA satellite map of Cat Island (no labels tho) and it looks as tho the reefs are on the windward side, correct? Is this where all the snorkeling action is?

…nasa.gov/gallery/…iss026e033193.jpg

And then I see this map, which is labelled, but doesn't have many reefs/snorkeling places identified:

discover-eleuthera-bahamas.com/images/map-ca…

And last but, not least I found this list of snorkeling places, and I can find a couple of the map, but not all:

Jumping Rocks Point – An underwater ledge with lobster and stone crabs awaits. Lots of sea fans adorn the top.

Dry Head – A multitude of hard and soft corals, lettuce corals and schools of grunts and yellow tails.

Naked Point – An underwater cave with plenty of stone crabs in a maze of small corals and ledges.

Lump of Limestone – Where friendly grouper hang out just five minutes swim from the beach.

Hazel’s Hideaway – Look for hard and soft corals with plenty of reef fish.

Greenwood Beach – Where you’ll find coral heads unlimited in size and color.

Bains Town – An expanse of sea fans and single coral heads dotted with elkhorn and brain corals.

Port Howe – This area is most noted for its proliferation of sponges and gorgonians.

Guana Keys – A chain of beautiful reefs close to a small island and only yards from the deep drop off.

Shipwreck – Old wreck half in the water and half above the water. Lots of marine life call this area home including lobster and sea fans.

cochecton
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1. Re: Bennett's Harbor are snorkelling

Hey looks like you've done ur homework.... I am going down day after tomorrow for a few weeks oh yeah.... to me the best snorkeling is always on the windward side of that whole chain of out islands.... that can make the swim out to the reef a bit tough on really windy days but because the depth drops off there deep into the ocean the reefs are full of fish, rays, sharks , turtles etc. the leeward side can be really shallow for a long way out but has a few good places to snorkel. I could'nt imagine being there without a car if you really want to snorkel ... you can find a different deserted beach every day up and down the queens Highway.... its a short slow drive to the "Atlantic " side in most places

Salt LakeCity
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2. Re: Bennett's Harbor are snorkelling

Thanks for the response! If anyone else has any information I'd still really appreciate you posting. Can you hire a boat on the windward (or leeward) side for instance? We did this in Caye Caulker in Belize—asked a local to drive us out to the reef and chill (which meant "fish", which is what he was going to be doing anyway :) ) while we snorkeled around a bit.

Anyway, sorry to beat a dead horse, but if you can help, please post!

Edited: 25 April 2013, 20:47
Westerville, Ohio
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3. Re: Bennett's Harbor are snorkelling

Hi, we just got back last night and had a fantastic time. The shipwreck is on the atlantic side and you can't reach from shore. There are spots that had great turtles (saw 8), tons of conch shells, and the biggest (dead) lobster i've ever seen. The resort owner took us to a spot that had an inlet from the atlantic side. I believe he said it was where they were initially making a marina but then gave up. Saw grouper, lionfish (which they try to kill b/c it's invasive) and a bunch of jacks, angel, parrotfish. The water is just amazing. It's so transparent. We had great snorkeling off our resort at Tail Winds which is next to Shanna's Cove. We got a bunch of sand dollars and sea urchins.

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Bennett's Harbor are snorkelling

Hi slhb, where at Tail Winds did you find good snorkeling? Would love to hear about it for our next trip. Has Rich finished the additional rooms in the back?

Westerville, Ohio
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5. Re: Bennett's Harbor are snorkelling

We had our best luck walking to the left at the second door of the little homes next to his resort. We always used that as our guide mark. He has one that he stays in complete and he is on interior finishing of the other two.

Salt LakeCity
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6. Re: Bennett's Harbor are snorkelling

Aha! I found out a few basic facts: the east side has 5-7 foot waves crashing onto shore 24/7, and huge sharks patrolling the reef, so forget that. The very north (Shana's cove resort trail to Man-o-war area) is nice place to snorkel, but there is a 45 minute walk to and from this area thru the steamy, buggy bush which is a bit harsh—flip flops are the hard way to do that walk, tennis shoes or Teva's recommended. I tried going around the dock in Bennet's Harbor, there is a family super-fast swimming turtles that live there, but that's about it. North of Bennett's Harbor there are a few spots with small populations of fish, nothing too nice.

Thus, if you want to snorkel, you must ask local resort owners (most who seem very busy taking care of their own guests) or find a guided tour, again thru resort contacts. We stayed at a private house with zero information in the house, so we had to play catch-up on the whole deal. So we were pretty disappointed with our do-it-yourself method. Some trips are like that: things either gel and you find all the cool spots or, as in our case<we kind of dallied about flailing on our own and came up mostly dry.

There is a booklet on sale at the Fernadez bay resort desk, the "Cat Island Guide" ($15) which is a must read, preferably the first night of the trip.

Edited: 22 May 2013, 21:15
7. Re: Bennett's Harbor are snorkelling

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