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January 2, 2007
Tobacco Bay is quite a nice snorkeling area. It is a popular beach on the edge of the town of St. George on the northern end of Bermuda. To get there, you can follow the Duke of Kent Street from St. George or head to the golf course and you’ll find the beach over the hill just beyond the old Club Med hotel. When we were at this spot in November 2006, there were very few people there.
This beach area can be very busy during the summer and when cruise ships are in. We definitely recommend looking at the cruise ship schedules (available online) because when they are in St. George, the area is packed with shuttles taking people the Tobacco Bay beach. From May to October, there is a food concession where you can rent snorkeling gear. The scenery at Tobacco bay is beautiful. Columns of rock 15-20 feet high separate the bay from the open ocean. Water depths in the bay average 5-10 feet and are great for family /novice snorkeling. When we were there in November 2006, the visibility was between 25 and 35 feet, which was quite nice.
On the outside of the rock columns, you can snorkel at least a half mile north towards Fort St. Catherine. The depths here range from several feet to as much as 20-25 feet. As you approach the Fort, the visibility drops off quite a bit, supposedly because of the silty bottom of the channel that the cruise ships use. This site is quite good when winds are from the south or southeast and the state of the tide doesn’t really matter. On northern winds, the outside of the protected bay could be quite rough. In general, this is an excellent snorkeling location, and water clarity is usually very good. The sea life is very active and there are some very large parrotfish, even over 20 pounds. Even though the government concession stand was closed in November when we were there several workmen that were around for a couple of hours were very pleasant and helpful. Another nice thing about Tobacco Bay was that it had excellent public changing rooms.
From journal Short November Week in Bermuda - Snorkeling & Dining
July 10, 2006
From journal Cruising Norwegian Crown to Bermuda