Snorkel With Turtles Off Cable Beach Nassau

Snorkelling Out The Back Door on Cable Beach In Nassau

Back in sunny and hot Bahamas in July, we are fortunate to have a great friend with a condo on Cable Beach that has a pool at the back and a wide expanse of white sand beach with crystal blue waters outside the front patio. We can indulge our water baby selves whenever we want. Having spent all of February in Nassau, we were excited to see how the near shore artificial reef on the breakwater had developed since our last trip. This would determine how much snorkelling we would do close to home or how much we would head off to great snorkelling spots around the rest of New Providence Island.

Turtles and Rays

Walking along the beach we could see shapes moving in the water. David initially thought they were just buried debris, but after we went snorkelling we would know that below the water outside our door was a varied and active sea life.

While I needed my thin 1mm skin for cold protection in February, I was still wearing it in July for sun protection. Snorkelling was a good part of our daily exercise, often staying out in the water swimming for close to 90 minutes. Although the tourists on the nearby Breezes resort on Cable Beach would sit on the beach and in the water for most of all day, I did not want to become unrecognizable from a cooked lobster. One day we even saw a small boat pulled up on our stretch of beach. This might be a good option for us if we wanted to pay for a trip out to the nearby Sandals island.

All geared up we headed out from the beach, targeting the rock breakwater in front of the new Baha Mar resort development.

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The waters were crystal clear on most days offering great visibility. After only a few minutes, we saw our first green sea turtle, startled by our approach, swim off complete with remoras attached. David chased him for a while to get a good shot in case this was a fluke. We should not have worried.

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During the course of 10 days, we saw turtles almost every time we went out to snorkel. Sometimes they were alone with their remoras stowaways and sometimes they travelled in pairs.

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While the turtles got us excited, we were also delighted to find that the rays had come back to this part of Cable Beach. In February, we caught sight of a huge spotted eagle ray circling the Baha Mar pier but that was the only ray that we saw.

On this trip, we saw several smaller rays in different places. Once we were able to sit back and watch a Spotted Eagle Ray beat its head into the water over and over again, apparently to try to get at some food buried under the sand.

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When swimming out by the rocks, I saw a Southern Stingray head my way and was able to get David’s attention with the underwater camera before it scuttled off.

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Swimming back towards the beach we paused to watch a Yellow Stingray.

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Underwater Aquarium

When we had snorkelled in February we found that most of the fish were much smaller in size but when we reached the rock breakwater we found that either the fish had grown a lot or larger schools of fish had now found this new home. If you snorkelled very slowly you could drift along with schools of fish as they moved in amongst the rocks and out onto the sand and weed sea floor.

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David would often get much closer to the rocks to see the fish that were much warier and kept themselves tucked away.

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One day we saw a smaller caribbean lobster hiding in the rocks but the next time we went out we saw a giant lobster who was not at all daunted by David as he set up to take his picture.

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Along the sea bottom you could see Star Fish in a broad palette of colours.

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Stalled Underwater Eco-Reef

While we found that the sea life along the coast and by the rock breakwater to be quite active and plentiful, we were disappointed when we returned to the artificial reef being cultivated in front of Baha Mar.

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The fish balls and antlers had very little growth on them and there were even fewer, small fish than we had seen on our previous visit. We still remain hopeful that this will draw even more sea life back to the Cable Beach waters.

We have done a lot of scuba diving and not seen the sea life that we saw on snorkelling adventures on Cable Beach, Nassau. We have never seen this many turtles or rays (outside of specific stingray parks). Don’t hesitate to head into the water with your snorkel and mask. Swim slowly, stay off the bottom sand to keep the visibility clean and the sea life will come to you!

Have you snorkelled along Cable Beach? Were you surprised by the turtles too? Did you see something we missed?

About TravelAtWill 292 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!

4 Comments

  1. We will be in Nassau for one day in March. My husband and I have snorkeled a bit (Aruba, St. Thomas, Hawaii, St. John’s, Jamaica). We were really hoping to find a nice spot for the day to walk in from shore and see some pretty fish, etc. Looks like Cable Beach is a good option. I’d love to talk to someone with local knowledge! It’d be great to talk more if you have time. Please feel free to write.

    • Maureen, Are you in for one day on a cruise ship? If you want to go out to Cable Beach to snorkel, you can take the #10 local bus and get off at the new BahaMar hotel. The snorkel pictures we took on Cable Beach were all around their new pier and the underwater marine park they are building. The other option is to head out to Clifton Park (would need a cab) and snorkel on the Ocean Atlas statue (see the blog http://retiredandtravelling.com/snorkel-ocean-atlas-nassau/). The only risk with this second option is that sometimes there is a scum layer of oil that may limit your ability to get in the water. You might want to call them first! Enjoy your time in Nassau. Great to get out of the port area. Linda

    • Stefano
      BahaMar is a new development on Cable Beach (just down from the Breezes resort). It had troubles during build and is currently going through a bankruptcy process so the resort is not operational. You can still get to their beach and can snorkel in the waters where the reef balls are. We were there last week. It is great to snorkel along the rock breakwater – lots of fish. Fewer and smaller on the reef balls. But worth a visit.
      Linda

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