June 24, 2005
After finding a spot (and renting a chair at $60 Dominican--less than $3 U.S.), Julie headed off on a quest to find an ATM, a grocery store, and a bathroom and get ready for the beach. After a little effort, she found all three with some help from some Canadian expatriates who ran a little cafe called the Checkpoint. They pointed me to a bathroom right near their establishment (there is another at midpoint on the beach). Returning to Mark and the gear, we got ready to go snorkelling, but Julie made a huge mistake; she forgot sunscreen.
At that point (it was around noon), we headed into Sosua Bay. The bay is a lovely large, square inlet, about a kilometer wide (possibly a little less) in length. It had a small reef in the middle, a short swim out. There were a lot of fish on this little reef and a few live coral. We really enjoyed our time there and saw a lot of fish--at least a dozen or so species, including parrotfish, blue tang, and others. Mark took about 100 photographs, and we enjoyed it a lot.
Note that it is fairly easy to find the reef in Sosua Bay. If you go to the middle of the beach, the break in the water is fairly obvious, and snorkelers tend to congregate there. It's probably the best beach-entry snorkelling site, both in the ability to find it and in the size and variety of things to see, that I've seen short of the Baths off Virgin Gorda. Much better, for example, than Trunk Bay in St. John for variety.
There were a number of other folks on the reef, some of them actually ON the reef; they were standing on it. And when they came in the water to snorkle, they fed the fish bananas. After about an hour and a half of snorkelling, we were ready to come back in from the reef, which we did.
We grabbed a very late lunch (see review of the Checkpoint), and then we headed back to the chair to pack up our stuff and inadvertently got separated from each other. We each independently determined that we were likely to meet up at the grocery store, so we headed out there, and sure enough, we met up. After picking up a few groceries, we caught the bus back to the resort for the evening.
From journal Paradise on the North Coast of the DR