MAURICIA BEACHCOMBER – Diving Centre, Mauritius
Located at the heart of Grand-Baie, MAURICIA BEACHCOMBER’s Diving School is very close to all the diving sites in the north of the island. Most of these are between 15 to 25 metres deep and they constitute a real delight for underwater photographers. A five- to twenty-minute boat trip will take you on these sites. For the more adventurous, dives at ‘The Wall’, at Gunner’s Quoin, may also be scheduled. For those parents who wish to enjoy the pleasures of diving in absolute serenity, the mini-club will be happy to take care of their children while they indulge in their preferred activity. The school specialises in underwater photography, and the passionate instructor will gladly initiate you to the different techniques. With more than 22 years of operation, this diving school is the oldest of the Beachcomber group.
- Name of diving school: Diving World Ltd.
- Established in this hotel since: 1993
- Affiliations: CMAS/ PADI
- Instructor: Christelle Besson
- Instructor’s qualifications: CMAS 2 *Instructor, PADI MSDT
- Instructor since: 1997
- Dive tenders: 2
- Skipper: 1
- Number of dives per day: 3
- Night dives: Yes
- Diving baptisms: Everyday
- Maximum number of divers per outing: 12
- Hotel-based diving school: Yes
- Number of scuba air tanks: 50 steel, 12L and 15L
- Children’s equipment: Yes
- Diving regulators: DIN / INT
- Oxygen: DAN Kit on board
- Diving zones: A, B
The best diving spots of Zone A
The North offers a rich and interesting array of diving experiences from 13 metres onwards, with colourful Madrepores, a teeming fauna, and purposely sunk ships to create artificial reefs and stimulate marine life… This part of the island offers excellent diving conditions all year long.
Diving to the left of Gunner’s Quoin Islet, in the north of Mauritius, will bring you close to magnificent underwater elevations ascending to the surface and a splendid wall covered with gorgonians and an abundant reef life. All around, large parrotfish will provide beautiful escort during each dive, but occasional encounters with large predators, in particular the dogtooth tuna, have also been recorded. This difficult dive in strong current conditions ends at Confetti Bay, with multi-coloured corals, anemones and clownfish.
This site for experienced divers will take you through varying depths. Whale Rocks offers an exceptional diversity of reef life within the 20m zone. As you leave around the stocks of parrotfish, wrasses and clownfish, you come across the large groupers, giant leopard morays or other globefish that normally dwell at these greater depths. Also, it is sometimes possible in summertime to come across large species such as marlins or sharks.
On this white sandy seabed, the light radiates on small patches of reefs scattered here and there. The site has been named after the numerous moray species that may be found on a
succession of reefs. This rich fauna is home to some rare or endemic fish species. A highly recommended site for photographers or for refresher dives.
The perfect dive for underwater photographers in search of shallow waters with a good source of light. Made up of sand and coral, the seabed harbours a dense and diverse fauna: small moray eels, torpedo rays, angels, lionfish or balistes…
The best diving sites of Zone B
An exquisite dive, with emperor angelfish, anthias, large groupers and a thriving shoal of reef fish moving about an immense forest of green tubastrea corals rooted in large blocks of rock. Perchance, you may encounter big fish, beautiful rays, schools of barracudas and large tunas on the side of the drop-off.
Here, the landscape is made up of corals encircling enormous granite boulders. This constitutes an ideal environment that provides hiding spots for the titan triggerfish that will bid you
welcome as soon as you get into the water, alongside the wrasses, parrotfish, clownfish, schools of snappers, nudibranchs of all sizes and colours, squirrelfish, and superb gorgonians. Out of sheer curiosity, the Javanese moray eels, which can grow up to two metres, will be drawn to you in search of a gentle stroke.
The upper platform of this drop-off falls away from one plateau to the other, with large rocks and schools of fusiliers frolicking alongside other species of reef fish. Large groups of platax, barracudas and big eye trevallies may be seen there very often, besides the occasional visit of a shark in search of its food amidst the corals.
Green corals reign supreme and shroud the three summits of this site. An impressive anchor, studded with corals, rests on the central elevation, just above a small cave with laces of gorgonians. During the dive, it is not uncommon to come across stonefish, scorpion fish, globefish or even lobsters.
Shipwrecks in the North-West
Sunk in 1981 and 1982 respectively, these two barges today shelter an abundant fauna which will delight divers. The wrecks rest on a broad sandy bottom, where the light is particularly beautiful. Surgeonfish, red crabs, shells, yellow-mouthed morays and schools of spangled emperor can all be found on this site.
The Stella Maru is a former Japanese fishing boat that was deliberately sunk in 1987 to create an artificial reef. Situated just opposite Trou-aux-Biches, the trawler rests on a sandy bottom and accommodates a school of blue triggerfish. Alongside these, two friendly Javanese morays, stonefish, scorpion fish, octopuses, nudibranchs, shells and quite a rich marine fauna have also found refuge amidst the wreck. A diving site to be explored time and again.