Leaving Portsmouth, bear right where the road goes straight into Fort Shirley on the Cabrits and you will soon reach Douglas Bay. We first visited this spot in 1987, and then again in 1992. Back then the beach was long and broad and bottom along the entire area was sandy.
Alas, storms changes that. But there is still a sandy beach and sandy bottom area just at the beginning of the bay, on the left as you enter. The swimming beach is excellent, sandy with a very gradual slope and no waves or current to speak of.
A nice surprise awaits the snorkeler who ventures up the beach about 30 yards out. There are rock/coral undersea islands that abound with beautiful marine fauna. Each island tends to have a dominant fish species; one has a school of sergeant majors, another mostly blue chromis, and so on. Youâ€™ll also spot the occasional Moorish idol, butterfly fish, discus, etc.
As is the case with Toucari, the sandy areas between the rocks and the beach may have sand dollars that a snorkeler can easily dive to collect. In Douglas Bay you may also find varieties of starfish, harmless white sea urchins, and even a conch.
Fort Shirley, Douglas Bay battery
From the beach at Douglas Bay you can also snorkel towards the left back towards the rear of the Cabrits. The undersea vista is of rocks and undersea life preferring a rocky habitat.
This post was guest blogged by Dan Tanner