Viewpoint

Gunner’s Quoin (or Coin de Mire)

Half way through we are met by a shoal of dolphins, swimming jumping playing around and having fun.

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As we leave the bay and look at Coin de Mire from the catamaran, we have the impression of aiming straight at a giant whale floating on the sea… It’s only the famous Coin de Mire or ‘Gunner’s Quoin’, a nature reserve and home to rabbits, geckos and many native birds, among which the white-tailed, red-tailed or red-billed tropicbirds. We’re heading there! Anchored opposite these impressive cliffs, we can only note that the restricted access is very steep and not easy !

On the side of Coin de Mire facing the mainland, sheltered from the wind, between the head and tail of this giant rock, a very enchanting swimming and snorkeling spot. We feel privileged, we feel like locals, who, says the skipper, on week-ends, much prefer to stop here than further north around beautiful, accessible and welcoming Flat Island now a popular tourist base.

Around these northern islands, we also learn that there is a very special attraction : The shark pit! An internationally famous dive site where divers can come closer to the predators and can witness sharks swirling within the pit for the rich oxygen available due to the crushing waves against the cliffs of Pigeon Rock. This experience is an adrenaline guarantee one and a no risk one ! Will I ever be courageous enough to try ? Certainly not ready yet !

Against the blue background of the sky, a superb ballet of white tropicbirds tirelessly drawing figures, accompany the catamaran on its way back towards the mainland… Half way through we are met by a shoal of dolphins, swimming jumping playing around and having fun… On board children and adults get overexcited and seem to be willing to jump overboard and swim with the dolphins… actually no one dare and the dolphins disappear in the waves maybe looking for more courageous buddies!

From far or near, Coin de Mire is surprising. If you happen to be on Pointe aux Canonniers’ beach, at sunset when the weather and the horizon are clear, just sit and enjoy the luminosity on its cliffs, they lighten-up under the rays of the sun… the colours subtly change from orange to coppery and to reddish-brown… A magic moment !

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