Champagne Reef Snorkel – Paperwork
We chose to do our cruise ship’s Champagne Reef Snorkel. It was interesting and also pleasantly inexpensive. There was extensive paperwork to complete before the excursion. The tour staff proudly informed us that they would keep the paperwork for 5 years. This was a marked contrast to our Aruba 4×4 excursion where we drove the vehicle without signing any paperwork or even proving that I had a driver’s license. What a contrast.
The catamaran headed out from the port at Roseau, so we had beautiful views of the town, the Caribbean Princess and the shoreline of Dominica. During the excursion, senior guides scolded subordinates in front of clients. Their process was very structured and unfriendly. The coast line along the way was gorgeous though. The snorkel site was less than 20 minutes from the cruise port. You could see the town of Roseau in the distance when we anchored for snorkeling.
Champagne Reef Snorkel – Bubbles from the Deep
Our Champagne Reef Snorkel started in deep water and we swam to the champagne reef. The parrotfish and exotic tropical fish were hard to see from above. In 15 feet of water, you can’t see the beautiful colors of the tropical fish. The sighting of an eagle ray crossing the reef was an unexpected pleasure. The guides had never seen one here and it was magnificent. It dwarfed the Southern Rays we had seen at our Stingray City Snorkel in Antigua. Its bright spots were beautiful.
The “champagne reef” was also magnificent. The bubbles are caused by the release of gases from volcanic activity deep in the seabed below. They rise in a pattern resembling champagne bubbles. You could feel the heat if you got close to the sea floor where the bubbles first appeared. It was somewhat disconcerting to realize I was swimming in the remnants of an active volcano. I kept going back and forth through the bubbles over and over again. Eventually I was exhausted. I barely had enough energy left to swim back to the catamaran. The eagle ray and the “champagne” both made the Champagne Reef Snorkel a special excursion.