The highlight of my summer adventures was definitely a trip to the Dominican Republic, the land of non stop latin music and dance and, of course, the most romantic beaches. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how diverse the country was and how many recreational sports were available for tourists – windsurfing, surfing, horseriding, golf and many others. Scuba diving was on top of my list and I was excited to find a good dive centre through a fellow diver Sarah.
Dive instructors from Coral Point Diving in Bayahibe helped me to plan three days of diving and I was super thrilled to start my underwater adventures. The diving in the area revolves around local coral reefs and “two and a half” wrecks as Valerio, a dive instructor at Coral Point Diving noted jokingly.
Bayahibe is a Carribean paradise – temperature is about 28C around the year and turquoise waters are rich with diverse marine animals. I was happy to see both familiar faces- loads of rays, a few lionfish, lobsters, porcupine fish, moray eels as well as my first-timers: scorpionfish, spotted drum and a sea snake.
Spotted drum is a very elegant fish characterised by its elongated first dorsal fin and black and white patterned body. The scorpion fish that my buddy spotted reminded me of the stonefish I saw before but although they can be easily confused, they are both can be dangerous so I took a photo of it from a safe distance and continued the dive.
What made me really ecstatic was seeing a baby lionfish- I did not know how tiny they could be and the one I saw was nothing short of adorable!
Visbility varied from 8 to 16 meters during the dives and we enjoyed taking pictures of our new friends.
Wrecks in Bayahibe attract both new divers as well as the salty pros.
The small one, Matthew, is roughly 13 meters deep and about 14 meters long. Although it is tiny, it was quite fun going around it. There was a big lionfish in front of it, happily posing for photos and acting calmly and confidently, as if a host was receiving his guests.
Atlantic Princess is more exciting as if you are qualified, you can go inside as all the rooms are safe to explore and doors are either taken out or open. Small stingrays, crabs, shrimps and schools of colourful i fish can be found on this dive spot.
St George is the wreck to dive, especially for those with deep diving specialty or tec divers. Sunk at the depth of 44 meters, this ship was built in Scotland in 1962 and was used to transport barley between Norway and Americas. Later it was abandoned in Santo Domingo port and was renamed after the hurricane Georges that hit the Caribbean in September 1988. It is located half a mile off Viva Dominicus beach and makes a perfect dive spot for the pro divers.
Dominican Republic is also known for manatees and humpback whales so if you are lucky, you may see them during your H2O adventures in the Carribean.