Who would have thought that by just swimming out into the ocean you could explore ship wrecks with just a snorkel? Well, it’s totally possible in Barbados.
Don’t be fooled into paying for an expensive boat trip (unless you want the experience, alcohol and food too), because in Carlisle Bay, just south of Bridge Town on the West Coast (Caribbean ocean) is an abundance of ship wrecks at free-diving depth.
Identifying a lead pipe leading out from the beach into the ocean, we snorkelled for about 0.5km with various distractions from fish, cannon balls and anchors, as well as the Cornwallis, a British ship torpedoed by a German U-Boat in the Second World War, we soon stumbled upon the magnificent wreck, the Bajan Queen. This is the grandest of the 6 wrecks in the bay. Originally an Island party boat it was finally laid to rest in 2002.
We spent a good hour or so exploring this boat on our first trip; followed by another couple of trips later again that week, much longer than the 10 minutes the paying “snorkellers” from the boat trips were given. Plus, once all the crazed tourists had boated off to their next location, the waters calmed and more sea-life appeared. We were even lucky enough to come up close and personal with a turtle in the bay. A site we’ll never forget.
How to find the wrecks:
- A quick look on Google Earth and you can easily see the wrecks, circled by tourist boats.
- Park at the South end of the beach, near the Yacht Club
- Once on the beach, look for a lead pipe. Look out to sea and you should see a group of tourist boats, as per point 1. Follow this pipe out to start, taking note of a landmark on the beach to stay on track. Of course, if you swim out to the tourist boats, you can’t really go wrong.