Imagine how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges. Yes, that is a joke because some of the best dive sites we have in Las Galeras just wouldn’t be quite as beautiful without the sponges that populate the area.
The dive sites in the Dominican Republic offer some of the most diverse in the Caribbean. Bayahibe, Punta Cana, Bavaro and the like all offer scuba diving but whilst they can show you some good sites, nothing compares to some of the dives we have here on the North Coast. Not only do we have the cream of dive spots with depths and conditions to suit all levels of experience but we also have the top two sites that Diver Magazine rate as the best of the Dominican Republic right on our doorstep. Set in the open water of the Atlantic Ocean, just off Cabo Cabron, is The Tower. This wonderful pinnacle has a base (yes, we measured it) and it rises 54 metres from the sea floor and stops 5 metres from the surface. It is best dived by “freefalling” slowly down to an agreed depth, normally around 35 metres, then slowly corkscrewing around and upwards. Before we begin our dive we generally take a moment to look further down into the clear water below us to see if we can spot some of the large ocean going fish that inhabit this area.
The whole pinnacle is encrusted with hard and soft corals and sponges of stunning beauty and colour and shoals of fish lazily swim round with us.
The good visibility we have at the Tower makes it easy to spot the triggerfish, queen angel fish, Jacks. Hogfish , moonfish that are drawn to the site. We often see Loggerhead turtles and large barrucada here and every crevice and crack is home to lobsters, crabs and green morays.
To add even more interest to this pinnacle, 7 metres from the top is a hole in the rock, reminiscent of the eye of a needle, which provides a perfect place to begin your stop.
The other great site Diver Magazine rates highly can easily be dived by Open Water divers by limiting the dive depth. Tibisi is a thrilling wall that is defined into 3 terraces each one offering something different. Well covered with corals and sponges, the wall also has ravines and caverns that just invite a torch shining into them. A myriad of fish spend their days zooming up and down the wall almost racing with each other. We don’t race however as we like to take a slow leisurely ascent so we don’t miss anything.
As well as these fabulous dives, the Samana Bay is home to countless wrecks, gardens full of healthy corals and sponges, a myriad of fish and marine life as well as caves and caverns.
As if this weren’t enough for one area site, from January through to later March/early April, there is also a very chance that you may see – or at least hear – the humback whales that come to Samana Bay every year to mate and calve.
These are just a few reasons why we and so many others love to Dive in Samana Bay.