Dive Site Focus: Whirlpool at Mabouya

By Alex Ward

Maximum Depth: 23m / 75ft
Level: Easy & Relaxing

The first site in our new Dive Site Focus series of blog articles is Whirlpool at Mabouya. One of our favourite dive sites, Whirlpool with its gentle predictable conditions is a great dive for divers of all abilities, wowing beginners & experienced divers alike.

The island of Mabouya is located in the heart of Carriacou’s Marine Protected Area, and features a gently sloping reef, reaching a max. depth of around 23m / 75ft. Snappers & Jacks, huge Lobsters, Spotted Morays, Porcupinefish & Queen Triggerfish can be found here.

At the bottom of the reef lies the Tuglet wreck. This pocket-sized wreck attracts large schools of Grunts, making it a perfect subject for underwater photographers. Brown Garden Eels, Southern Stingrays, Yellowhead Jawfish and occasionally Lesser Electric Rays are spotted on the sand surrounding the wreck.

From there we head to the bubble canyon. Located in around 12m / 40ft, is a spot where a volcanic vent (thought to originate from Kick ‘Em Jenny, an undersea volcano near Grenada) runs close to the surface of the sea floor, and one can see the volcanic bubbles escape in numerous long streamers that have been likened to a glass of champagne.

Caribbean Reef Squid can often be found in the area around the bubble canyon. Hundreds of tiny juvenile squid find shelter around the dive site boat mooring during the spring & early summer months. The bubbles also attract schools of Creole Wrasse which weave along the reef in a kind of fishy conga.

The bubble canyon leads to a garden of large volcanic boulders. Depending on how much air we have left at this point we can take a longer or a shorter route through there, looking for Nurse Sharks, which can often be found snoozing underneath the rocks.

Once we reach our turning point of 80 bar / 1100 psi of air remaining (or 45 minutes dive time), a shortcut through a shallow portion of the boulder garden then takes us back to the boat, marking the end of a wonderful 50 – 60 minute dive.

Route Variations:
1) For those preferring a shallower dive, we can head straight for the bubbles and the volcanic boulder garden, missing out the deeper wreck.
2) The sand patch underneath the boat presents a great opportunity for a macro dive for those who love all the minuscule creatures, as we frequently find Mantis Shrimp, all manner of Crabs, Pipefish and Nudibranchs there!

Whirlpool at Mabouya

Whitenose pipefish are regularly spotted on the sand patch at Whirlpool. For those who like to spend time looking for macro critters, the sand, coral outcrops, fringing reef and turtle grass surrounding the mooring hold many treasures.

About us: Deefer Diving have been established as the premier dive resort in Carriacou for over 7 years. Our friendly dive centre is run by divers for divers, and we pride ourselves on the number of our customers who return to us time after time.

For more information about diving in Carriacou, please visit our website, www.deeferdiving.com.