December 2016 – I don’t think there are powerful enough words to describe how gorgeous this island is. We spent a day here on a cruise stop, and we would return in a heartbeat if given the chance.
The island is similar to other parts of the Caribbean in that it’s just large enough to need transportation for activities, especially when a bit short on time. We had booked two back-to-back excursions through Carnival, and those included transportation. After disembarking, we made our way to where our group was supposed to meet and then climbed into a bus for a half hour scenic ride to our destination, Pigeon Island, which is a national park. The park is beautiful, clean, and had very few visitors while we were there.
Our adventure for the day was snuba. Snuba is a form of diving that uses an underwater breathing system similar to scuba, but the tanks stay on top of the water on a raft. Each raft accommodates two to four people, and each person has a long hose that runs from the tank to the mouthpiece. One issue we had read about is that sometimes the hoses get tangled when people don’t pay attention in the water. We didn’t have any trouble with this, but I understand how it could easily happen in larger groups.
We had snorkeled a few times before and would like to become scuba certified in the future, so we decided to try snuba as a sort of introduction. Our guide, Angelfish, was very thorough and efficient in covering safety issues and gearing us up. We were given flippers, weights, and a mouthpiece while on land. Then we moved into the water to put on our flippers and try out our regulators.
Since I learned to swim at a later age compared to most (did not have access to a pool growing up), I am not the most comfortable in deep water. I was a little nervous about how I would adjust to using a regulator under water. It was so easy, though! We spent a few minutes in shallow water getting used to breathing under water before we moved further out.
Angelfish led us away from shore to a depth of about twenty feet and pointed out some life
on the bottom of the ocean. We saw a lot of urchins, fish, and corals. We spent about 30 to 45 minutes in the ocean, but it seemed to go by a lot faster. Far too soon, we were back at the shoreline removing our flippers and being disconnected from the rafts.
For those interesting in trying snuba, I highly recommend it but only after snorkeling at least a few times. A girl in our group had never been snorkeling and could not get used to trying to breathe with her face in the water. She had a very difficult time throughout the experience.
After snuba, we were taken on a walking tour (about a mile walk) of the island. We were led by Angelfish, but the group kept some distance and went at their own pace. We were taken up to the highest point of the park and had a great view of the island and the water below. We also had time to walk along the fort wall and look at the cannons.
When our time at Pigeon Island was over, we took the bus back to the port and met up with our group for our second excursion. This time, we were led to a boat. It was the perfect size for number of people, not crowded at all. The bench seats were comfortable, and the view of the coastline was amazing for our 45 minute ride. When we were almost to our destination, we rounded a turn and had a great view of the pitons towering above us. Our stop was at a little resort between the pitons. The boat could not stay docked, so we had to take anything we needed with us. We were free to leave stuff on board that we wouldn’t need until we were done in the water, though.
There was an area roped off for snorkeling so that boats would not get too close. The water was clear, and the corals were vibrant. We spent about an hour in the water and were pretty sad when the boat blew the horn as our signal to board.
Once we were all back onboard, the crew members brought around rum punch for everyone. They continued to make rounds for the entire trip back. Between the rum punch and the sunshine, everyone on board was happy and carefree for the trip back.
St. Lucia is definitely one of my top recommendations for anyone who loves coastal scenery, water sports, and sunshine. It quickly became one of my favorite destinations and is a place I will return to sometime in the future.